history

Corn On The Cob

American Entree

CORN ON THE COB

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup fresh basil
¼ cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ears corn, in their husks

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

aluminum foil
outdoor grill                                                                                              Modern food, ancient weapons.

PREPARATION

Dice basil. Add all ingredients save corn to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Peel back corn husks most of the way and remove corn silk. Brush corn with buttery blend. Close husks over ears. Tightly wrap corn in aluminum foil. Preheat outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Place foil-wrapped corn on grill. Grill for 20 minutes or corn is tender to the fork. Remove corn and place on plate. Let sit for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove husks.

TIDBITS

1) Since the dawn of time, people have been trying to hurt each other. At first, combatants made scary faces. However, all cavemen had scary faces and all fights ended in draws. Then Ogg, an intellectual giant for his time, dislodged the bugs in his hair and let a stiff wind carry the little critters onto his opponents’ face. Exactly, 1,217 years later Ogg LXII found if he lifted up his arms, the wind would waft the ripe odor from his armpits toward his foes, knocking them out instantly.

2) However, this Oggian technique relied rather heavily upon getting the wind at one’s back. However, this secret would soon be discovered by all cavemen a scant two millennia later. Cavemen would dance around each other trying to get the wind advantage. Indeed, Ogga, Ogg CXI’s wife, found herself grabbing Ogg and whirling around, trying to get the upper hand. But then, she found this close-quarter dancing with her husband to be great fun. It caught on with all cave couples. The waltz, and all other forms of dancing, had been invented.

3) Three millennia later, Ogg CCCXXXIII, discovered how to grow corn. This act revolutionized warfare. The corn cob, with its hard kernels, delivered a vicious migraine, extended the attacker’s reach, and most of all, eliminated the role of wind in combat. Migraine battles proliferated. Then, in the Bronze Age, Ogg DCIV figured out how to make swords. The mighty corn cob lost its position on the battlefield, but not in our meals. We eat corn cobs to this day. There you go.

Chef Paul

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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Bulgogi (Barbecued Beef)

Korean Entree

BULGOGI
(Barbecued Beef)

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

4 garlic cloves
1 green onion
1 nashi pear or bosc pear
1⅓ pounds sirloin, beef tenderloin, or rib eye
1½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon pepper
1½ tablespoons rice wine or sake
¼ cup soy sauce

INGREDIENTS – REST

½ leek
1 medium yellow onion
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (useful, but not essential)
wok (or large pan)

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes..

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Mince garlic cloves. Dice green onion. Peel, core, and grate or dice pear. Slice sirloin into strips ⅛” thick. Then cut strips into 3″-by-1″ rectangles. Add all marinade ingredients to mixing bowl. Toss ingredients until sirloin rectangles are well coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

PREPARATION – REST

While sirloin rectangles, marinate, dice onion. Use mandoline or knife to slice leek and onion into strips ⅛” thick. Add sesame seeds to pan. Toast sesame seeds at medium heat for 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Reserve sesame seeds.

Add sirloin with its marinade, leek, and onion to wok. Heat at high heat for 4 minutes or until sirloin browns and is cooked to your liking. Stir occasionally. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

TIDBITS

1) Bulgogi is made with sesame seeds.

2) Sesame seeds look like bugs.

3) Bugs move. All the time. Don’t even think of asking them to pose for a portrait.

4) So when scientists want to examine a particular, fixed pattern of bugs, they use sesame seeds in place of the bugs.

5) Or “in lieu of” of the bugs. “In lieu of” sounds fancier than “in place of,” don’t ya think?

6) Anyway, these bug patterns can consist of up to two-million sesame seeds. These large patterns can take sixty sesame-placers a whole year to construct.

7) So, when someone sneezes on the intricate sesame-seed pattern, the bug scientists (entomologists, another cool word) get rather irate.

8) On May 4, 1937, the famed aviator, Amelia Earhart, visited the prestigious American Institute of Sesame Seed Patterns (AISSP) to raise funds for her round-the-world-by-air adventure.

9) Ms. Earhadt wowed the men of the institute. Massive funding from AISSP was promised.

10) Then Amelia sneezed. A gale-force sneeze. 1,223,768 carefully seeds scattered all over the room.

11) Just two more sesames seeds had been needed to form the needed sesame pattern. At which point, photographs would have been taken.

12) Analysis of these photographs would have enabled entomologists to eradicate grasshopper plagues. Massive swarms of these insects had wiped out North Dakotan agriculture in 1935 and that of Montana a year later.

13) Ms. Earhart became deeply unpopular. Indeed, torch-carrying sesame-entomologists chased her to her plane. She quickly started her Model 10-E Electra and decided to start her round-the-world flight. If she had more time, she could have gotten a plane with more sophisticated communications and a longer range.

14) Alas, she, her navigator, Fred Noonan, and her plane disappeared on July 2, 1937.

15) Ten years later, Amos Keeto, photographer from the Paducah Post, realized that he taken a quick picture of Amelia at the AISSP. He was sure that the picture’s background would show the nearly completed sesame pattern. Unfortunately, he’d given the picture to the famed aviator as a keepsake just before she left on her fatal journey.

16) If only that picture could be retrieved, we could figure out how to stop all insect-caused crop failures forever. This is why we keep searching for Amelia Earhart and her plane.

Chef Paul

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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Deep Fried Mars Bars

British Dessert

DEEP FRIED MARS-TM BARS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
¼ cup seltzer water
¼ teaspoon baking powder
5 chilled Mars bars (worldwide version) or Milky WayTM (American version)
4 cups vegetable oil or enough to cover Mars bar in deep fryer

SPECIAL UTENSILS

deep fryer Two aliens on a flying saucer
tongs

Serves 5. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add flour, salt, water, seltzer water, and baking powder to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Pour batter into tall glass. Add oil to deep fryer. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Use tongs to dip Mars bar into tall glass. Remove and let excess batter drip off. Use tongs to place coated Mars bar in deep fryer. Fry for 2 minutes or until bars turn golden brown and become crisp. Remove from oil with tongs. Place deep-fried bar on paper towel and pat dry. Repeat for remaining bars.

TIDBITS

1) MarsTM was first produced by Forrest Mars in 1932. It’s sparked religious interest ever since.

2) Mars is the Roman god of war. Technically, the deity could have sued Mr. Mars for copyright infringement, but didn’t. Many culinary theologians have argued that a living god of war would certainly challenged Forrest Mar’s logo appropriation. Therefore, Mars doesn’t exist. Once we accept Mars non-existence, belief in all the other Roman dissolves. And indeed, the number of people worshiping Roman gods after 1932 has been pretty darn close to zero.

3) The American Mars bar ceased production in 2002, came back, stopped production in 2011, and finally came back online 2017. Its composition and size has varied over the decades. Culinary theologians hypothesize that these observable events led to widespread believe in reincarnation.

4) Currently, the Muslim community of Australia is debating halal certification for Mars bars.

Chef Paul

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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Tarragon Chicken – Poulet à Estragon

French Entree

TARRAGON CHICKEN
(Poulet à Estragon)

INGREDIENTS

3 chicken breasts
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 shallot
3 green onions
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
⅔ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (1 tablespoon if dried)

Serves 3. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Rub chicken breasts with pepper and salt. Dice shallots. Thinly slice green onions. Add butter, olive oil, and shallot to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until shallot softens. Stir frequently. Add chicken breasts and green onion. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes for each side or until chicken starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Add white wine and crème fraîche. Stir until sauce is well blended. Bring sauce to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce has been reduced by half. Stir occasionally. Spoon lemon juice over chicken breasts. Sprinkle with tarragon.

TIDBITS

1) In 1922, the Agricultural Department, finding itself with an extra twenty-billion dollars decided to help the American farmer. Specifically, the American tarragon farmer. Why the tarragon growers? It had a really, really, really good lobby back then.

2) That amount of money bought quite a lot of tarragon seeds back then, enough to plant the entire Great Plains. Farmers gave up costly corn and wheat seeds in favor of free tarragon. USA became a global tarragon powerhouse. Tarragon farmers in other lands, however, faced bankruptcy. Foreign nations protected their farmers with prohibitively high tariffs on American tarragon. The United States retaliated with fees on European cheeses, even the non-stinky ones. European countered with tariffs on American wheat. Things got out of hand, with agricultural departments saying, “Na, nana, poo, poo” to each other and finding new ways to destroy each others commerce. Soon the global economy collapsed and we had the Great Depression of 1929-1939. Tens of millions of people were thrown out of work, including America’s tarragon farmers. This was bad; no tarragon on chicken for ten long years. But America survived. Its people are resilient.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

Chef Paul

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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Italian Panini

Italian Entree

ITALIAN PANINI

INGREDIENTS

1 ciabatta roll, Italian roll, or French roll
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 deli-thin slice Provolone cheese (2 more slices later)
¼ cup roasted red bell pepper strips
4 deli-thin slices capocollo
4 del-thin slices Genoa salami
3 deli-thin slices ham
3 deli-thin slices pepperoni
2 ounces pepperoncini peppers
⅛ teaspoon basil
2 deli-thin slices Provolone cheese

SPECIAL UTENSIL

panini press

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Open ciabatta roll. Brush outside of roll with olive oil. Brush inside of roll with mayonnaise. Add 2 slices Provolone to bottom half of roll. Then add in the following order: roasted red pepper strips, capocollo, salami, ham, pepperoni, basil, pepperoncini rings, basil. 2 slices Provolone. and top half of roll. Place completed sandwich in panini press. Toast according to panini press’ instructions or until cheese melts or until bread turns golden brown.. Cut panini sandwich into four smaller ones.

TIDBITS

1) Italian panini is best made with a ciabatta roll. The cia batta roll was originally called the CIA batta roll. Because it was invented by the CIA. Specifically, by Guido Panini, the inventor of the Italian shirt press.

2) Guido was recruited by accident, in 1949, by the CIA. Nevertheless, he continually rose in position because all other employees had made enemies, while everyone loved him for his panini sandwiches. Indeed, in 1961 became director.

3) Later that year, Mr. Panini, suffering from an upset stomach, tried to overthrow Cuba’s Fidel Castro by invading the Bay of Pigs. The whole operation was a fiasco. Guido was given his pink slip, while the CIA was discredited to the extent that the CIA batta roll was quietly renamed, the ciabatta. Chastened, the Agency picks it head nowadays by proficiency in intelligence gathering.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

Chef Paul

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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Garlic Bread

Italian Appetizer

GARLIC BREAD

INGREDIENTS

1 loaf Italian bread or French Bread or French rolls
3 garlic cloves
½ cup butter, completely softened
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor (optional)
tin foil

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice bread diagonally every 1″. DO NOT slice bread all the way to the bottom; keep the loaf together. Mince garlic quite finely, use a food processor if desired. Add finely minced garlic, softened butter, olive oil, and Italian seasoning to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Use spatula to spread garlic butter between bread slices.

Wrap loaf in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until bread is slightly browned.

TIDBITS

1) Garlic bread is an anagram for Grab Da Rice. Grab Da Rice was a slogan for the hungry French rioters of 1781. It was not a particularly good slogan as incendiary slogans go. I mean, some firebrand would whip up the Parisian sans culottes to a fever pitch and then he’d say, “Grab da rice.”

2) But not many stores in the Paris of 1781 even carried rice. So many rioters dissipated their energy tramping all over looking for riceries. They developed blisters and leg cramps and never ever again heeded the call for revolution.

3) The happy few, well as happy as you can be when you’re in full riot mode, found rice stores had trouble grabbing much rice with their hands. The rice kept slipping between their fingers as they scurried all the way home. A more informative slogan would have been, “Scoop the da rice with a large spoon and but it in a sack.” But that’s too long for exciting people to riot.

4) The French revolution only really took off when its leaders targeted bread rioters with, “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” Proper word choice matters, even in a revolution.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

Chef Paul

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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Chicken Fried Steak

American Entree

CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

INGREDIENTS

2¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
8 4-ounce cube steaks
1¾ cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups whole milk

Serves 8. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add flour, garlic powder, pepper, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Add buttermilk and egg to medium mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Dredge steak through flour mix. Dredge steak through buttermilk mix. Dredge steak once more through flour mix. Repeat for each steak. SAVE flour and buttermilk mixes remaining in mixing bowls.

Add vegetable oil to large skillet. Heat oil using medium-high heat. It will be hot enough when tiny pinch of buttermilk starts to dance in the oil. Add as many steaks as will fit in the skillet without touching. (You might need to cook in batches.) Fry for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place steaks on plates covered with paper towels.

Reduce heat to low-medium. Discard all but ⅓ cup liquid from the pan. Leave as much solid bits as possible in the pan. Add remaining flower mix from the large mixing bowl. Mix with wooden spoon until well blended while scrapping bottom of skillet with spoon to ensure even distribution of bits. Add milk. Stir with spoon until you have a well-blended gravy. Raise heat to medium and simmer for 7 minutes or until gravy thickens. Stir enough to keep gravy from burning. Place steaks on plates. Ladle gravy over steaks.

TIDBITS

1) Chicken Fried Steak is an anagram for Chicken Fired Keats. Keats was a romantic poet during the early nineteenth century, also known as the nine teeth century due to poor dental hygiene. His publisher was a chicken who took ill one day. Keat’s brought his boss chicken-noodle soup. Couldn’t hurt, he thought. But strange to say, the chicken took offense and fired the poet just after publishing his worst poems, Ode To A Doorknob. People stopped reading Keats. He became depressed, so much so that he up and died. Then suddenly in the 1920s, the American South experienced Romantic Poet Mania, none more than Chef Scalding of the famed Bella Bellum Hotel. Indeed the Chef named his newly created chicken fried steak after the poet’s dramatic incident. But Scalding was dyslexic and that is why the dish is now known as Chicken Fried Steak.

Leave a message. I’d like to hear from you.

Chef Paul

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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Brazilian Shredded Collard Greens

Brazilian Appetizer

SHREDDED COLLARD GREENS

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds collard greens (about 4 bunches)
4 garlic cloves
3½ tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Serves 6. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Wash collard greens. Remove the thick part of the stems. Bundle up 8 leaves at a time. Cut bundle crosswise into ¼” strips. Mince garlic cloves. Add olive oil to large pan. Sauté garlic on medium-high heat for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir occasionally. Add collard greens. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 5 minutes or until greens have started to wilt, but still are semi-firm. Stir frequently. Add pepper and salt. Stir until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) In Greek mythology, Ancient Earth was not peopled with people. It was horsed with horses. Zeus let the horses roam free with the stipulation that they never ate all the tacos from the Olympian taco truck.

2) But they did and Zeus was so angry for he loved the mighty taco. As who would not? So Zeus put green collars made from veggies on the horses and tied the beasts to trees. He could eat tacos again. And he was happy. So happy, in fact, that he created humans.

3) Zeus kept the gift of fire from the humans. People who knew how to use fire, would learn to make crispy shredded tacos. With that knowledge people would soon become powerful enough to overthrow Zeus. They would send him to clean restrooms in casinos for all eternity.

4) Then, on August 10th, Prometheus, the first poor sport, lost a game of ScrabbleTM to Zeus. Enraged, he set loose all the horses and gave fire to humanity. Zeus took his revenge on Prometheus, but it was not enough. Humanity soon dethroned him.

5) Right now, Zeus cleans men’s rooms at a casino in Monaco. Be sure to live him a small tip. He really is in a bad way. Oh my gosh, his apartment is tiny. It got a lot better for us humans, though. We learned how to make tacos and have become ever more advanced since them. Now you know.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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SPAM Fried Rice

Guamanian Entree

SPAM(TM) FRIED RICE

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice
2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
1 12-ounce can SPAM
2 tablespoons oil
3 eggs
¼ cup soy sauce

Serves 4. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook rice according to instructions on package. Mince garlic cloves and onion. Cut SPAM into ½” cubes. Add garlic cloves, onion, and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove garlic and onion and set aside. Keep any oil. Add eggs to pan. Scramble eggs at medium heat for 2 minutes or until eggs are done to your liking. Remove scrambled eggs and slice any large bits into ¼” wide strips.

Add SPAM cubes to pan. Cook at high heat for 3 minutes or until SPAM starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Add garlic, onion, and eggs back to pan. Add rice and soy sauce. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes or until all is warm and the rice is brown.

TIDBITS

1) Guamanian is the adjective for something from Guam. Ché Guevarra–If this is spelled correctly, it is purely by chance–was a revolutionary.

2) A Guavanian is someone from Guava. Well no, it isn’t. Guava is a bush. The guava bush’s fruit is a guava. No, people live in or around a guava bush. Thus, there are no Guavanians. Indeed, there is no guavanian anything. The adjective for guava is guava.

3) Indeed, this has been the case since prehistoric times. Exactly sometime ago, Cro Magnons switched from herding mastodons and sabertooth tigers to herding the rather more stationary and easygoing guava bush.

4) Che Chevarra–How the heck do you spell his name?–loved sedentary guavas. You can tell he was direct descendant of Cro Magnons. However, Ché didn’t know how to spell guavas. So, if he couldn’t spell guavas, you can’t really expect people to spell his last name correctly. It’s kinda like spelling Benadryl(TM) Cumberbund’s name correctly, who by the way also descends from Cro Magnons.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Burmese Fried Fish Cakes

Burmese Entree

FRIED FISH CAKES

INGREDIENTS

1 pound filleted flounder, cod, or other whitefish
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil

SPECIAL UTENSIL

food processor

Makes 8 fish cakes. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add flounder, garlic cloves, ginger, red chile flakes, salt, and turmeric to food processor. Process the ingredients until you get a well-blended paste. Dip your fingers in fish sauce. Take 1 teaspoon of paste in your hands and smoosh it flat until you get a patty 3″ across. Repeat until you use all the paste. Keep dipping your fingers in fish sauce to keep them moist.

Add oil to large pan or wok. Heat oil in pan using medium-high heat. Oil is hot enough when a tiny bit of paste in the oil starts to dance. Carefully use spatula to add fish patties to oil. Don’t let patties touch each other. You might need to cook in batches. Deep fry for 3 minutes or until bottom of patties turns golden brown. Flip patties over and deep fry for 3 minutes or under the new bottoms are golden brown as well. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all patties have been deep fried.

TIDBITS

1) The original birthday cake was deep fried on November 7, 1769 was made of cod, not flour. It was made for Captain James Cook’s 41st birthday. It was made, as far as I can tell from the same ingredients used in this recipe. Cook was in the second year of his first voyage of discovery and circumnavigation. His officers loved him. The crew loved him. Seals and tuna swam by the boat just to be near him. Captain Cook was that kind of guy. So his birthday had to be celebrated. But there was no flour for the traditional birthday bread roll. So the cook whipped up this dish and shaped it like a roll, well sorta. He stuck 41 candles in it to symbolize his age and the stars they sailed under. The idea caught on like wildfire and everybody had fish cakes for their birthday.

2) Alas, on February 14, 1779, Captain Cook was killed in a skirmish in Hawaii. Fish birthday cakes rapidly fell out of favor. Bakers kept the cake shape, but switched back to flour. Now you know.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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