Monthly Archives: November 2021

Things That Make Me Happy – Tulip Fields

A tulip field is not as spectacular as Mt. Everest, but it has so many beautiful colors while that tall mountain limits itself to white, light gray, and dark gray. (If you want to see 50 shades of gray without the kinky stuff, go to the Himalayas.)

Oh, the temperatures around tulip fields are quite often much higher than on Mt. Everest. They’re safer, too.

Thanks be to God for the beautiful tulip. Thanks be to the workers who plant and tend to the tulips. Thank you, dear reader, for reading my blogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fun Festivals – World Bog Snorkeling Championships

Are you tired of flying halfway across the world only to see the same exotic fish? And then the fish are hard to spot because they’ve been frightened and found hiding places. Why are the fish hiding? Because billions and billions snorkeling enthusiasts have inundated the reef. What two-inch fish wouldn’t be scared off by 200-pound oafs thrashing about my home? I would be too.

Face it, any place to snorkel that is infested by human leviathans is better than any spot with brilliantly colored fish. Where is this place you wonder? I am glad you asked.

Make your way to the World Bog Snokeling Championships in LLanwrtyd, Wales in August. Sure you could snorkel LLanwrtyd’s bog in other months when there would be even fewer people around. But what if you’re bursting with competitive spirit? Then you really must go for the championships. Trust me, they’re still won’t be many fellow snorkelers around. And you can be darned sure they won’t be scaring off any beautiful, tropical fish.

People come from all over the world to race 120-yards through a peat bog. Is it difficult? Dunno. But it is only 120 yards long. Many find the competition to be intense. People root on their favorite snorkelers. They might even bet on it, though not as yet over the internet.

Are there rules? Yes. Are they necessary? Yes. Are they boring? Again yes.

But if you’re an ironman, if you’re a triathlete, you simply must enter in the Bog Snorkeling Championships. It consists of an 8-mile run, a 12-mile Mountain Bike ride, and a 60-yard bog snorkel.
There’s lots of fun for the spectators as well. Graze and quaff your way through the food and drink stands. Work your way to the ale and cider bar. Listen to live music as your kids stampede the bouncy castle.  The festival encourages fancy dress. I have to believe , however, this request applies only to the spectators and not to the bog snorkelers.  Don’t put off making your travel plans. People are already booking hotels and BnBs. Try to get a place with nice, hot showers.
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Gain prestige. Enter the contest. Make your travel plans. Do it now.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Cranberry Sauce

Bosnian Appetizer

CRANBERRY SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

1⅓ cups sugar
¾ cup water
½ cup orange juice
1 pound cranberries

Makes 3¼ cups. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add sugar, orange juice, and water to pot. Simmer at low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves completely. Stir frequently. Add cranberries. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes or until cranberries crack open and sauce is dark and thick. Remove sauce from heat.(Sauce should thicken more as it cools.) Cool in refrigerator for 1 hour or until ready. Goes well on poultry, pork, beef, and fish.

TIDBITS

1) Cranberries are good for you in all sorts of ways. I forget some of them. Apparently, cranberries don’t help the memory much.

2) The Picts and Celts in Ancient Britain were fierce warriors. They got their energy and stamina from eating cranberries. If the these ancient fighters ate too many cranberries they got tummy aches. They also found oodles and oodles of excess energy coursing through their veins. They became too hot. The Picts and Celts had to let some of their escape or they’d collapse.

3) So the first Britons took off all their clothes to cool off. Being nude, they painted their bodies blue for modesty’s sake. Then they charged the opposing army with a ferocity that’s never again been equaled.

4) But they didn’t wear hats or paint their heads. The skin on their heads turned red under the hot unforgiving sun. The invading Romans their skulls, crania, looked as red as the cranberry that the natives ate. So, the Romans called this red berry, the cranberry.

5) I almost forgot, a Roman chef, Quintus Cato, looked at the cranberry sauce in his mason jar and thought, “The mason jar is much taller than it’s wide. Is it possible to build like that as well?” He wrote of this idea to his pal, Emperor Vespasian of Rome. The energetic Emperor immediately ordered construction of the Colosseum, so named because it’s colossal in size. Now you know

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fun Festivals – The International Witches Fair

 

Such fun

Is Halloween your favorite holiday of the year? Did you or your mom spend days making a truly scary costume? Do you want another such day? Each and every year?

Then go to the Witchcraft and the Trasmoz’s Curse Fair. Other towns have their own witch fairs. But do not go to them! Do not accept substitutes. The first and still the best such fair is the one in Trasmoz, Spain. This fair is the one that truly deserves to be called, The International Witches Fair.

This fair takes places every first weekend in July and is just the thing for people who prefer to watch movies about witch burning over roasting marshmallow over an open fire.

This fair is such fun. Watch reenactors capture witches and heretics. Watch the lost souls get tried. Be enthralled by their torture. Be entranced by lovingly recreated witches’s covens. Honestly, is anything near your home that can rival this? I think not.

But wait! There’s more. Listen to the excommunication of the entire town. Puts your “Damn you, (your enemy)” to shame doesn’t it?

Watch as Pope Julius II curses the entire village.

But you can’t see the reenactment of the lifting of the excommunication and cursing. They never happened. The town is still excommunicated and cursed. Can New York City, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, or Bora Bora can say that? No they can’t, only Trasmoz, Spain.

Wait! There’s more.

The festival sports an authentic medieval market place and medieval camp. There are parades, magic shows, musical shows, and medieval combat. You’ll want to go year after year just to see everything.

But wait! There’s more.

Learn about medieval plants. Perhaps you’ll want to learn how to poison someone. It’s okay, it’s okay, all medieval poisons were organic. Or maybe you’ll want to heal people with medieval medicinal plants. To each his own.

But wait! There’s still more. Absorb the town’s rather exciting history as you wander around.

The history

During the 1100s, the town of Trasmoz  clashed with the nearby Veruela Monastery over firewood and pastures. Such disputes were normally decided by lawsuits or mediation by a higher lord or church official. Such a process proved unsatisfactory to the Monastery’s abbot. He excommunicated the entire town saying that witches and covens were running amok. Excommunication was an unambiguously horrible thing to happen to you in the Middle Ages. However, while bad for the town, excommunication is now an annual economic boon for Trasmoz, a town vying with other village for the tourist Euro.

In 1511, the lord of the town and Abbot Pedro Ximénez de Urrea quarreled. Perhaps the lord would point at the abbot and say, “Look, there goes urea breath.” Who can say? But we do know that the abbott complained to the higher ups. Eventually Pope Julius II cursed the entire town.

Some think the curse came about due to counterfeiting. Local counterfeiters didn’t want visitors poking their noses into this illegal activity. So the law breakers told the abbot stories of wickedness and the rest is history.

The excommunication and curse have never been lifted. Only the pope can do that. It’s something to think about should you ever ponder settling in Trasmoz.

So enjoy the history, the torture, and the food. Go to the International Witches Fair. Make your bookings now. It’s fun for the entire family.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: fun festivals | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Day Wise Words – Part Two

On the 19th, I published all sorts of saying and wisdom from my wise readers and Facebook friends. I thought they had neatly encapsulated all the wisdom in the world. I was wrong. It turns out that the world is positively brimming with wisdom it wants to share with us. And here it is, “Modern Day Wise Words – Part Two.”

Don’t let sleeping dogs lie. Wake them up and make them tell the truth. – Amy Gettinger
A watched pot is a helicopter-parented pot. – Amy Gettinger
Two stitches in time save 18. You really can’t stitch time enough. – Paul De Lancey
The highest flag catches the most wind. – Peter Dudley
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Be wary of strangers who don’t wear masks. – Cynthia Bronco
I know I know it but I don’t know how. – 
D Lynn Frazier
Regarding my ma with dementia: every moment is a new day. – D Lynn Frazier
When you come to a fork in the road, take a knife –
Shirley Wetzel
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Shirley, it’s a fork because there is no spoon – Nancy Fairweather
A cookie in each palm is better than a burger in the bush. -Liz Husebye Hartmann
Don’t count your chickens before they’re stashed. – Liz Husebye Hartmann
Hockey sticks make lousy toothpicks. – Liz Husebye Hartmann
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“Shouldn’t you be writing?” – Nancy Fairweather
Never stop learning, never stop growing. – Suz De Mello

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

Categories: wise words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Halwa

Omani Dessert

HALWA

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup corn flour or tapioca flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons ghee (2 more tablespoons later)
6 tablespoons chopped almonds or cashews or combination
1¾ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon rose water
8 saffron threads
1¾ cups water
¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (¼ teaspoon more later)
½ tablespoon ghee
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″ x 8″ casserole dish

Serves 12. Takes 30 minutes if served warm or 1 hour if served cool.

PREPARATION

Add flour to mixing bowl. Gradually add 1 cup water, blending all the time. Add 2 tablespoons ghee, and almonds to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 3 minutes or until nuts start to brown. Stir frequently. Drain. Set aside.

Add sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, rose water, saffron, and 1¾ cups water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 5 minutes until sugar completely dissolves. Stir slowly and just enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low. Stir gently and constantly as you add in the flour/water mix. Let simmer until mixture thickens as starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Fold in sautéed almonds and ¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

Grease casserole dish with ½ tablespoon ghee. Gently pour the setting mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. Serve warm into cups or let cool until it sets.

TIDBITS

1) Halwa can remain on the kitchen table. It can also fly up to the ceiling. This is because it can, locally, turn the Earth’s gravitational field on and off. NASA is studying halwa intensively.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fantastic Pizza at Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria

Quick, what are the most beloved foods in America?

Why, they’re pizzas, tacos, and hamburgers.

What’s the only thing wrong with pizzas, tacos, and hamburgers?

You can’t have them all in one entree. If only there were an authentic Italian Pizzeria that had taco and hamburger toppings. Not just some hamburger meat, taco meat, some onions, cheese, and Mexican spices. No! We all want, we all crave, a pizza topped with entire tacos and entire hamburgers. But where, oh where, is their such a culinary heaven?

This dining bliss is found at Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria. Order the Mammoth Pepperoni Taco Hamburger pizza. After just one slice you will be the happiest you’ve ever been while dining. So go down the Carl La Fong’s Italian Pizzeria. You’ll never want to dine anywhere else ever again.

The 32″ Mammoth Pepperoni Taco Hamburger Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: Carl La Fong, cuisine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kitchen Explosion and the Big Bang Theory

They sure don’t make plastic bags to hold tamarind bags like they used to do. I took my tamarind bag out of my plastic-grocery bag and it ripped open sending tamarind pods everywhere. Many of the pods burst open sending tamarind-pod shrapnel everywhere. If this incident isn’t indicative of the moral decline and malaise of our current society, then I don’t know what is.

On the plus side, however, the pattern of the pods and pod shrapnel provides a solid confirmation of the Big Bang Theory. A rather compact bag of tamarind bag exploded rapidly flings its contents over a much wider area, just as is hypothesized in the Big Bag. I immediately contacted NASA and as many as astrophysicists and astronomers as I could find. They all expressed gratitude and admiration for my research. Some even mentioned a possible Nobel Prize for me. I feel rather humbled by all this acclaim.

Tamarind research confirms the Big Bang Theory

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Modern Day Wise Words

The following bits of wisdom sound like adages, but aren’t. Enjoy.
°
Sugar burns fast on a burner. – Paul De Lancey
Taller brownies have more flavor. – Doug Wissoker
Where there’s a will, there’s a relative. – Adam Slade
Everything is somewhere. – Lee Jackson’s son
There’s more water down by the lake. – Brynne Chandler
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You’re either on the bus or under the bus. – Foinah Jameson
That which does not kill me is still pretty fucking terrifying. – Deci Reynolds
A bird in the hand is definitely going to poop on you. –  Angie Mansfield
A stitch in time and these sutures are gonna take forever. – Dana Hoyt-Bauer
Plan what you’ll eat, then eat what you have planned. – Debra Polk
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What you go through gets you in the room. – Janna Leadbetter
If worms had guns, birds wouldn’t eff with them. – Lee Jackson’s brother in law, Mike Jackson
The river is wide, but I don’t smoke. Ever. – Liz Husebye Hartmann
A wise man treads lightly on shredded wheat. – Tammy Parks
Better to wrack one’s brain than brain one’s wrack. – Steve Barber
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Roofers’ knee pads are insufficient for crawling over broken glass. – Nancy Fairweather
During book burnings, the hottest books are the most red. – Julie Watts
You will find that thing you’re searching for in the last place you look. –  Cheryl Christensen
If you eat a whole chocolate bar in a forest and nobody sees you, then it has no calories. – Badger Dowdeswell
I’ve been saying this one for years: Where there’s a will, there’s a family fighting over it. – Charlie Stuart
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Everything is better with butter. –  Daphne Anne Humphrey
Be wary of strangers who don’t wear masks. – Cynthia Bronco
Putting peanut butter between two pieces of bread won’t turn it to jelly. – Kathryn Minicozzi
°

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shrimp Balls From Bahrain

Bahraini Appetizer

SHRIMP BALLS
(Chebeh Rubyan)

INGREDIENTS – SHRIMP PASTE

1⅔ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined*
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
⅔ cup rice flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

¼ cup ghee or butter (2 tablespoons more later)
1 medium onion (1 small one later)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ tablespoon baharat spice mix** (½ teaspoon more later)

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1 medium onion
4 tomatoes
¼ cup ghee or butter
½ teaspoon baharat spice mix
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons tamarind paste***
5 teaspoons sugar
4 cups warm water

* = Save money and buy shrimp with a large count per pound. It will be ground into a paste.
** = Buy at Middle Eastern supermarkets or order online.
*** = Or use 3⅓ teaspoons tamarind concentrate. Or even soak 4″ of a tamarind in 2 cups warm water and use the resulting tamarind flavored water, or 4 teaspoons pomegranate molasses.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor****
sonic obliterator****

**** = Do not confuse the two.

Serves 12. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

 

PREPARATION – SHRIMP PASTE

Add all shrimp-paste ingredients to food processor. Blend until you get paste. Refrigerate until needed.

PREPARATION – FILLING

Mince medium onion. Add ½ cup ghee and minced medium onion to 1st pot. Sauté onion at medium-heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add lemon zest and ½ tablespoon baharat spice mix. Stir until well blended Remove from heat.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Mince small onion. Dice tomatoes. Add diced small onion and 2 tablespoons ghee to 2nd pot. Sauté onion at medium-heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add ½ teaspoon baharat spice mix, chili powder, sugar, tomato, and water. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – FINAL

While sauce simmers, use your hands to make a ball out of 1 tablespoon shrimp paste. Use a thumb to make a cave in the middle of the shrimp ball. Put ¾ teaspoon filling in cave. Close shrimp paste completely over filling. Repeat until all shrimp paste and filling is used.

Divide sauce equally into 2 pots. (You most likely won’t have enough room in just one pot for your shrimp balls.) Gently drop shrimp balls into the 2 pots with the simmering sauces. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Goes well with rice.

Use sonic obliterator on any guest giving you any guff at all. You spent too much time and money finding the ingredients, not to mention the time cooking this wonderful dish, to put up with that kind of negativity.

TIDBITS

1) It was really, really big day when a herd of shrimps pulled themselves out of a small lake and onto the shore. You can see them above in the photo for this recipe.

2) Some scientists believe that fish became the first amphibians. But culinary evolutionists pooh pooh the idea. “Where are the arms on fish? Where are their legs? Surely, shrimps were the first amphibians. Why shrimps have scads of legs.”

3) When pressed for a reason for shrimps to venture onto land at 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 3,600,000 BC, spokesman Carl La Fong, “Why, because it was there.”

4) Creatures and people would continue to investigate things simply because they were there. Then at 11:30 am on May 29, 1953 Hillary* and Norgay climbed Mt. Everest because it was there.

6) * = This Hillary was Edmund Hillary, not Hillary Clinton. She went into politics.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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