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Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Mexican Entree

STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

INGREDIENTS

4 bell peppers
¼ cup fresh cilantro (1 tablespoon more later)
1 16-ounce can refried beans
¼ cup cooked rice
¼ cup sour cream
½ tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon pepper
⅔ cup Mexican blend or Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

Serves 4. Takes 55 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops off bell peppers. Seed bell peppers. Dice ¼ cup cilantro. Add refried beans, cooked rice, sour cream, ¼ cup diced cilantro, cumin, lime juice, and pepper to mixing bowl. Mix with fork or spatula until bean mix becomes creamy.

Use spoon to stuff bell peppers with creamy beans. Add stuffed bell peppers to baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bell peppers start to soften. Remove bell peppers and sprinkle cheese on refried beans. Bake again for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Dice 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro. Garnish bell peppers with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) The thrusters on NASA’s rockets look remarkably like Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers as the pictures to the right show.
.
2) This is no accident as NASA’s scientists love Mexican food. They’ve always have.

3) This is why NASA incorporates so much that is Mexican food into their rockets, space stations, and excursion modules.

4) Using this dish as the design for rocket thrusters was such a brilliant idea that when one scientist looked down on his Mexican Stuffed Pepper, he said, “Let’s use the shape of this bell pepper for our thrusters.” His luncheon pals threw up their hands in agreement. “Yea, why not.” And so, the quest to conquer space began.

 

– 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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Shorba Frik Soup From Tunisia

Tunisian Soup

SHORBA FRIK

INGREDIENTS

1 pound boneless chicken parts
1 celery stalk
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
2 tomatoes
3½ tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon ras el hanout* spice mix
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup tomato paste
⅓ cup canned chickpeas, drained
¾ cup cracked freekeh*, semolina flour, or spelt flour
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro

* = can be found online or at Middle-Eastern grocery stores.

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into ½” cubes. Dice celery, cilantro, garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, paprika, pepper, ras el hanout, salt, and tomato paste to large pot. Sauté at medium heat for 4 minutes or until mixture becomes fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add chicken cubes. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until chicken cubes turn white on all sides. Add enough water 4 cups or until soup reaches your desired thickness. Add celery, chickpeas, freekeh, and tomato. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken and freekeh are tender and soup has thickened. Be sure to stir enough to keep freekeh from sticking to the bottom. Dice cilantro. Garnish with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Culinary climatologists assert that the Roman Empire of 138 AD suffered through continual blizzards and freezing rains. AD. Indeed, all salads froze. Milk in cereal bowls also froze. Cereal would not be eaten again until Mr. Kellogg invented Corn FlakesTM in 1894.

2) Romans began to starve. They knew how to make chicken fricassee, but the poor couldn’t afford entire chickens. They desperately needed a way to stretch the little meat they had. Then the current emperor distributed the recipe for Shorba Frik. Romans now had a way to keep feed themselves. Grateful, anagramists, rearranged the letters in the life-saving Shorba Frik to give their adored emperor the new name Antonius Pius. 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.

 

 

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Lemon Drizzle Cake from Britain

British Dessert

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE

INGREDIENTS – CAKE

1½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (takes 2-to-3 lemons)
1 cup butter
4 eggs
¼ cup milk
5 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2¼ cups flour
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4½ tablespoon lemon juice

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
9″ * 12″ baking pan
parchment paper

Serves 12. Takes 1 hour 5 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cool.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Add sugar, lemon zest, butter, eggs, milk, baking powder, and salt to large mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on high until mixture becomes fluffy. Fold in the flour with a spatula until cake mix is well blended. Line baking pan with parchment paper. Ladle cake mix into baking pan. Smooth cake mix with spatula. Bake at 340 degrees for 35 minutes or until cake turns golden brown, becomes springy, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

While cake bakes, add confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk or fork until confectioner’s sugar dissolves. Use toothpick to poke holes in the warm cake. Spoon drizzle over cake. Let cake sit in tin until it’s cools completely. Remove cake and cut into squares.

TIDBITS

1) In 1844, Alexander Cartwright was eating a corner piece of Lemon Drizzle Cake. His piece looked very much like the one like the one shone in this recipe. Then a mosquito landed on his cake. He flicked it off. This act inspired him to invent the sport of Lemon Drizzle. LD as it was called, was supposed to have been played a lot like baseball. However, the athletes would show up and stuff themselves cake after cake until they didn’t feel athletic anymore.

2) Then in 1845, Mr. Cartwright forbade the eating of Lemon Drizzle Cake. Once, players actually played baseball, they loved it. So much so, that it became the national pastime.

 

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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Fluffy Curd Cake From Lithuania

Lithuanian Dessert

FLUFFY CURD CAKE

INGREDIENTS

½ cup milk
6 tablespoons semolina
3 eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter
5 tablespoons sugar
1 pound curds
¼ cup hard bread crumbs

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
8″ * 8″ casserole dish or casserole dish

PREPARATION

Serves 9. Takes 1 hour.

Add milk to medium mixing bowl. Add semolina. Set aside to let semolina swell. Separate eggs. Add butter and sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until sugar dissolves. Add egg yolks. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Crumble curds, if necessary. Add curds. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Preheat oven to 370 degrees. Add milk/semolina to curd mix in large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add egg whites to small bowl. Use electric beater set on high. Whip egg whites until they form stiff beaks.

Spread bread crumbs into baking dish. Carefully pour semolina/curd mix into baking dish. Gently shake baking dish, or smooth with spatula, until mix is level. Carefully spoon egg whites onto semolina/curd mix. Bake for 30 minutes or until mix rises, hardens, and turn golden brown, or stick a toothpick in the center of the curd mix. If nothing sticks, it is ready. Serve warm.

TIDBITS

1) The game of dominoes remains the world’s most relaxing game. Sure, a nap loosens you up like nothing else can. But suppose you want it all? Let’s say you want to stay awake AND chill out. This is why we play dominoes. Modern dominoes uses black, solid tiles with white dots on them.

2) But back in 1919, the Lithuanian chef, Andrius Balkus, noticed that a square of his Fluffy Curd Cake looked like a gaming tile. Also, the tops of some of the squares seemed similar to each other while different to the rest. His Fluffy Curd CakesTM used the same rules as modern dominoes, But problems arose right away. People argued constantly about what the tops of the squares looked like. Also, game after game ended when hungry players ate the curd squares. We now play dominoes.

 

– 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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Chicken Orzo Soup From Portugal

Portuguese Soup

CHICKEN ORZO

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove
1 onion
5 cups chicken broth
7 cups water
8 allspice berries or ½ tablespoon ground allspice
1½ pounds chicken boneless
2 bay leaves
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ cup orzo or arborio rice, couscous, and pearl barley
½ cup fresh cilantro

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes

PREPARATION

Mince garlic clove and onion. Add chicken broth, water, chicken, allspice, bay leaves, garlic, onion, and salt to large pot. Bring to boil using medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 50 minutes or until chicken is tender to the fork. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Return shredded chicken to pot.

Add orzo to pot. Simmer at medium heat for 10 minutes or until orzo is done to your desired level of tenderness. Stir enough to keep from burning. While orzo cooks, dice cilantro. Garnish soup with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Every time you hesitate to eat some new meat or fish someone will say, “Try it, it tastes just like chicken.” I used to say, “Well, why can’t I have chicken then?”

2) But don’t get angry at your annoying would-be advisor. He has to say that. It’s in our genetic make up. Just like we have a gene to determine height; we all have a gene that makes us say, “Try it, it tastes just like chicken.”

3) However, the chicken in Chicken Orzo does taste like chicken. Indeed all chicken tastes like chicken. The reverse is also true.

4) One wonders why humanity evolved this gene millions of years ago. You’d think learning to walk upright, to cook with fire, to build huts, or to harvest wheat would have been much more useful to Early Man than saying, “Try it, it taste just like chicken.” Particularly, when chickens weren’t around. And what of the woman hearing this advice? She couldn’t understand all those words nor respond intelligently, particularly when the vocabulary of the time limited itself to “ugh” and “ugh!”

 

– Paul De Lancey, 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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South African Gatsby Sandwich

South African Entree

GATSBY SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

2 cups frozen French fries
1 baguette, crusty roll, or hoagie
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable
5 baloney slices
3 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon piri piri sauce or hot sauce
½ cup shredded iceberg lettuce

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cook fries according to instructions on package. Cut baguette open lengthwise, but not all the way through. Put opened baguette in oven 3 minutes before fries are to be done. Take fries and baguette out when fries are done.

While fries bake, add olive oil to large pan. Heat oil using medium heat. Oil is ready when a bit of baloney starts to dance in the oil. Carefully add baloney spices to pan; oil is hot. Make sure baloney slice don’t touch each other. Sauté baloney for 2 minutes or until bottom of baloney slices brown. Flip slices and sauté for another 2 minutes or until the new bottom side browns.

Arrange baloney slices on bottom half of baguette. Then sprinkle fries over baloney. Drizzle ketchup and piri sauce over fries. Sprinkle lettuce over ketchup and piri piri sauce. Close sandwich. Cut sandwich into 4 equal pieces.

TIDBITS

1) The Gatsby Sandwich looks a lot like a ping-pong paddle. This is not an accident. The sport of ping pong consumed the famed author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, all his life.

2) Indeed, the great writer littered his earlier works with ping pong imagery. His most renowned work in the niche ping pong, aimless rich folk genre surely must be Proud Priscilla Pernod and Paul’s Ping Paddle. Literary critics still debate his pregnant metaphors and why he ever wrote the novel.

3) Anyway, disaster struck in 1924 when Fitzrgerald was thrown out of the Paris Ping Pong tournament for using a corked paddle. Depressed permanently by this affair, F. Scott turned to writing once more and penned his magnum opus, The Great Gatsby, which has tortured high-school students ever since.

4) The son of one of these destroyed scholars moved to South Africa and invented the Gatsby Sandwich. Some see the sandwich as an homage either to The Great Gatsby or to ping pong. While others hold that the chef only had French fries, a baguette, and baloney on hand. Who can say?

 

Paul R. De Lancey

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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Grilled Jerk Salmon

Jamaican Entree

GRILLED JERK SALMON

INGREDIENTS

2½ tablespoons jerk seasoning*
2½ tablespoons olive oil
2½ tablespoons lime juice
4 5-ounce salmon fillets with skin

* = Jerk seasoning or Jamaican jerk seasoning can be found at many supermarkets, ethnic grocery stores or online. It’s good to have some of this around particularly here where the jerk seasoning combines 14 ingredients.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
meat thermometer

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add jerk seasoning, olive oil, and lime juice to large mixing bowl. Stir this marinade with fork until well blended. Brush both sides of all fillets with marinade. Place coated salmon fillets on plates. Let marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Preheat outdoor grill to medium Place salmon fillets on grill, skin side down. Grill for 5 minutes. Flip fillets. Grill for another 3 minutes or until salmon is opaque and flaky.

Or if you have a meat thermometer, take the salmon off the grill when the internal temperature reaches 125. Let the fillets sit for 3 minutes. This will get a medium salmon fillet. The FDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Goodness.

TIDBITS

1) Jamaicans love grilled jerk salmon. The salmon of choice remains the King Salmon which can weigh over 120 pounds. Strong chefs lifted the hefty salmon to the cleaning table to clean the fish.. Then the chefs brushed the King Salmon with a jerk marinade. After an hour, the cooks placed the salmon on the grill. The whole process became the Clean, Jerk, and Grill.

2) Many people watched the muscular men lift and prepare the salmon. In 1921, preparing this dish became a national sport. The Clean, Jerk, and Grill became an Olympic sport in 1948. As salmon goes bad quickly under hot summer sun, organizers switched out salmon for metallic weights and so the event has remained as the Clean and Jerk. (Because you can’t grill weights.) 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.

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Chocolate Frosting

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups heavy whipping cream
1¾ cups (10 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar

Makes 4½ cups. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

FROSTING NEEDED

Dessert Type Needs Cups of Frosting
—————– —————————–
2 layer cake                       3
3 layer cake                       4
12 cupcakes                      2
13″ * 9″ cake                     2

PREPARATION

Add heavy whipping cream to pan. Heat whipping cream at medium heat until cream just starts to bubble. Stir constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips. Stir with spatula or fork until all chips melt. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Keep in refrigerator until cooled and still pourable, about 40 minutes. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar.

Mix with whisk or fork. Lasts for 7 days in refrigerator when stored in Mason jar or other airtight container.

TIDBITS

1) Chocolate has pleased billions of people for thousands of years. Just saying “chocolate” puts even the most stubborn people in a good mood. This is why chocolate figures prominently in peace treaties, legislation, and court cases.

2) If only there were enough chocolate to dispel all disagreements, the world would be perfect.

3) But there isn’t. Powerful people try to secure the globe’s chocolate supply for themselves. The Aztec nobility monopolized Mexico’s chocolate. This bred fierce resentment among the poor Aztecs and in all of the surrounding tribes. So, when Cortés and his fellow conquistadors set out in 1519 to conquer the Aztecs, the chocolate-lacking Mexicans said, “Sure, why not? Go ahead.”

4) The gold-lusting Spanish then went onto conquer the Incans in Peru for its gold. Spanish gold financed over a hundred years of wars in Europe. And all this happened because the Aztec elite wouldn’t share its chocolate. So when people ask for part of your chocolate bar, give them some. Oh look, I have an extra line left. Let’s use this space to daydream about chocolate. Mmm.

 

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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Red Velvet Cookies

American Dessert

RED VELVET COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1¼ teaspoons baking soda
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2⅔ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
3½ teaspoons red food coloring
1¾ teaspoons vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
parchment paper
2-to-3 cookie sheets

Makes 40 cookies. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add baking soda, cocoa powder, flour, and salt to 1st large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add butter and sugar to 2nd large mixing bowl. Use electric beater set on high to beat butter and sugar until the mix is light and fluffy. Add eggs, lemon juice, red food coloring, and vanilla extract. Mix with electric beater set on high until well blended. Gradually add in flour/cocoa powder while mixing with electric beater set on high. Mix until dough is well blended. Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Form 1″ dough balls. Put parchment paper on cookie sheets. Place dough balls 1″ apart on parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges of cookies turn golden brown. Transfer cookies with spatula to plate and let cool. Cookies go well with cream-cheese frosting.

Red Velvet flag………. Soviet flag

TIDBITS

1) By March 15, 1917, the Red Velvet Cookie makers of Russia finally had enough of the Czar’s indifference, cruelty, and incompetence. So they up and overthrew him, setting up the Provisional Red Velvet Government. The Red Velvet Makers chose the red background of the new flag to match their cookies. They also put their cookies in the upper left corner because you can never have enough red velvet cookies. Then the bratty Communists overthrew the Provisional Government and replaced the cookies with the hammer and sickle, because the Soviets weren’t into nice things.

 

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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Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding

British Entree

ROAST BEEF WITH YORKSHIRE PUDDING

INGREDIENTS – ROAST BEEF

3½ pounds top sirloin or rib roast
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon rosemary

INGREDIENTS – YORKSHIRE PUDDING

4 eggs
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

SPECIAL UTENSILS

wire rack
roasting pan
cooking thermometer
aluminum foil
8″ * 8″ casserole dish

MEAT DONENESS

This recipe assumes that the center cut will be medium-rare and the end cuts more well done. But you can roast to your desired level of doneness. A rule of thumb has the following meat temperatures for the following cuts: Rare = 125, medium rare =135, medium = 145, medium well =155, and well done = 160.

Serves 8. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION – ROAST BEEF

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Rub sirloin with pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Mince garlic cloves. Add garlic, olive oil, and rosemary to small mixing bowl. Mix with fork. Rub sirloin with olive oil/garlic mixture.

Put wire rack in roasting pan. Put sirloin on wire rack. Roast at 475 degrees for 20 minutes. (Roasting is similar to baking but at a higher temperature.) Reduce heat to 375 degrees and roast
until meat thermometer in middle of sirloin registers your desired level, about 1 hour. (Please note that different ovens and different thicknesses of meat will make roasting time vary. Pay attention to the meat thermometer.) Place roasted sirloin on plate and cover with aluminum foil. Save drippings.

PREPARATION – YORKSHIRE PUDDING

After you put sirloin to oven, add eggs to cup. Beat eggs with whisk. Add flour and ¼ teaspoon salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add eggs. Mix with whisk until well blended. Gradually pour in milk, whisking while doing so until you get a smooth batter with the thickness of heavy cream. Let sit until roast beef needs to be removed from oven.

After removing roast beef from oven, raise oven temperature to 425 degrees. Add ¼ cup reserved drippings to casserole dish. Put casserole dish in oven. Heat drippings for 15 minutes or until drippings start to smoke. (Save drippings remaining after this step. Put casserole dish on stove top. (Carefully! The casserole dish contains hot oil.) Ladle batter to casserole dish. (Again, do this carefully.) Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until batter puffs up and becomes golden brown.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Ladle any remaining drippings over roast beef. Carve the roast beef. (End cuts should be more well done than the center cuts.) Serve roast beef and Yorkshire pudding right away.

TIDBITS

1) The above picture shows a corner piece of the Yorkshire pudding. Notice how two edges of this piece puff up way higher than the rest of the pudding. In fact, doesn’t the entire corner piece look like a meadow full of golden wheat ripe for harvesting all set against two majestic mountains?

2) This is no accident. People have want to know what different places of the world looked like. Before the age of cameras, the only real way to depict landscapes and mountains was to paint them. But painting was slow and laborious. Making pigments for the paint colors cost lots of money. Finding the proper clays and pigment bases proved daunting as well.

3) By the time the client who’d commissioned a field of grain swishing in the wind before the Alps, he could already traveled to the Alps. Alps painting languished. Travel to Switzerland fell to zero.

4) Then in 1777, Chef Hans Gasthaus made Yorkshire Pudding for some British nobility. Hans noticed his pudding looked exactly like the wheat field and Alps outside the kitchen window. Hans journeyed from Alpine town to Alpine town skillfully making Yorkshire pudding that looked exactly like the local fields and mountain. He ‘dlet these creation dry out and send them to British tour guides.

5) Penurious British lords took to displaying their pudding art in their manors. After all, pudding art cost much less than a painting. Other chef painters turned out great pudding sceneries. It was the golden age of Yorkshire Pudding landscapes.

6) Alas, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars soon broke out. These bloody wars ruined everything. Flour, milk, and eggs which had powered the Yorkshire Pudding Landscape Revolution (YPLR) got diverted to feed the rampaging armies on the continent.

14) Yorkshire Pudding Art died forever. Our world became forever grayer. Hardly any (YPLR) examples remain. But if you can find an antique Yorkshire pudding, keep it. They’re worth millions.

 

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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