international

Sow (Milk Drink from Senegal)

Senegalese Appetizer

SOW
(Milk Drink)

INGREDIENTS

8 cups (2 quarts) buttermilk*
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup vanilla sugar**
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

* = Traditionally made by letting fresh milk go sour outside then adding sugar and ice.
** = Can be ordered online. PenzeysTM has it. Or make your own with vanilla beans and sugar.

Serves 8. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Combine all ingredients into pitcher or jug. Stir with spoon until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) “Sow,” if pronounced incorrectly, in Woolof, a Senegalese language, means something bad.

2) What if calling someone “sow” in Woolof means something that would you get you roughed up, put in prison, or expelled from Senegal?

3) You wouldn’t want that especially after spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on four-star hotels and flying there for its magnificent food and scenery and friendly people. Okay, friendly as long you don’t say “sow” the wrong way to them.

4) So what can you do to keep your words from getting yourself assaulted?

5) Go to another country? Nope. Won’t work. Foreign countries have foreign languages just chock full of okay words that are similar in pronunciation to dirty words, offensive words, and words that if said a little different that will get you dumped off all alone at a glacier when all you really wanted was an ice cube for your orange juice.

6) Learn Woolof. Learn all the languages that are spoken in Senegal. Take those intense language courses! Conjugate those Woolofian verbs every chance you get.

7) Or just smile and point to glass of sow. Just be careful how you point? Pointing the wrong way in a foreign country can get you trouble.

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 With Coffee Sauce

Sao Tomean Entree

CHICKEN WITH COFFEE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 teaspoon salt
2 red chile peppers
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
½ cup brewed coffee
1 cup white wine
9 coffee beans
¼ cup heavy cream

Serves 2. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts into 1″ cubes. Rub salt onto chicken cubes. Seed and mince red chile peppers. Mine garlic cloves. Add butter to large pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add chicken cubes. Cook for 12 minutes at medium heat or until the sides of the chicken cubes start to turn golden brown. Turn cubes enough so that they brown evenly.

Add red chile, garlic, and bay leaf to pan. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken cubes and set aside. Add brewed coffee and white wine to pan Cook until sauce reduces by half. Stir frequently.

Add coffee beans and heavy cream to pan. Stir until well blended. Return chicken cubes to ban. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove bay leaf. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) It costs a pretty penny for NASA to shoot one of its rockets into space. For those rockets–whether they carry amazing machines for carrying out zero-gravity experiments, taking astronauts to Mars, or people who named the murderer before you could watch that must-see mystery movie on a way trip to Pluto–use expensive rocket fuel Just like us, NASA too has a budget. Sure, its annual budget is tens of billions of dollars more than ours, but the concept is the same.

3) Heavier payloads on space missions require more fuel than lighter ones. So budget conscious NASA is always looking for ways to save weight. NASA particularly favors this entree because it combines a nutritious, satisfying meal while, at the same time, providing those hard-working astronauts with their caffeine fix. There’s no need to stow heavy coffee. No heavy coffee, less need for fuel. Less fuel, more things that can taken on the spaceship. More things aboard, more instruments. More instruments, more experiments. More experiments, more knowledge gained. Soon we will be living in a Golden Age. And we’ll all owe it to the entree from Sao Tome.

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 Stew From Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean Entree

CHICKEN STEW

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
½ green chile
1 carrot
1 garlic clove
1 onion
1 tomato
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
2½ cups chicken stock

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts into 3 pieces each and thighs into 2 pieces. Seed green chile. Dice green chile, carrot, garlic, onion, and tomato.

Rub chicken pieces with pepper and salt. Add chicken and olive oil to pot. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes or until chicken pieces are no longer pink on the outside. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken. Add green chile, carrot, garlic, and onion to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently.

Add basil, parsley, thyme, tomato, and chicken stock. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Add chicken pieces. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe calls for ½ green chile. Stores don’t sell a half of a green chile. Not even if you ask nicely. But then you’ll have an extra half green chile that you don’t need and won’t need. So you throw it away.

2) But all our lives, religious leaders, civic leaders, teachers, and parents have all instructed us with, “Waste not, want not.” Yet here we are, wasting a half chile. This sort of conflict stresses us. It drives our slowly mad, unless we buy a carton of ice cream. Ice cream reduces stress. And, of course, we always eat the entire carton. So we never waste a single bit of cream. Now we are, “Wasting not, wanting not.” We can once again feel good about ourselves and be at peace with the world. There you go.

 

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, observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Swedish Raspberry Cave Cookies

Swedish Dessert

SWEDISH RASPBERRY CAVE COOKIES
(Hallongrottor)

INGREDIENTS

1¼ cups butter, softened
⅔ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
½ cup potato starch or corn starch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup raspberry jam (or your choice of jam)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

24 paper cookie cups
baking sheet
cooling rack

Makes 24 cookies. Takes 1 hour plus 30 minutes to cool..

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add butter and sugar to 1st large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set at medium until soft and well blended. Add baking powder, flour, potato starch. and vanilla to 2nd large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Gradually add baking powder/flour/potato starch mixture to bowl with butter/sugar. Mix with electric beater set at medium until you get a fluffy dough.. Roll out dough until becomes a 12″-long log. Cut dough log every ½” to get 24 even circles.

Place dough circles into paper cookie cups. Press finger in middle of each dough circle to make a little indentation. Carefully fill each indentation with 1 teaspoon raspberry jam. Place filled paper cups on baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cookies just begin to turn golden brown. (These cookies should remain fairly pale.)

TIDBITS

1) Billions of year ago, the Earth was just seething seas and voluminous volcanoes. Yes, the elements of life existed, but nothing actually came into being, not even the simplest of telemarketers. There was just no animating catalyst.

2) The week after that, microscopic cave cookies appeared. These microscops were themselves inert, but any element of life attaching itself to a cave cookie became alive. Hooray for life! As thecookie micrcoscops naturally enlarged, so did the number of life elements that could attach to it. So, life forms became bigger and bigger. Eventually we would we would have life on Earth as we know it.

 

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

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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Triple Sandwich

Peruvian Entree

TRIPLE SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs
4 slices white bread
1 small avocado
1 small tomato
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (6 times at ½ tablespoon)
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Makes 1 sandwich. Serves 2. Takes 20, or so, minutes, depending on the hardness of the boiled egg.

PREPARATION

Boil 2 eggs in water for 6 minutes, for soft boiled, to 12 minutes, for hard boiled. While eggs boil trim crusts off bread slices. Peel and remove pit of avocado. Cut avocado into ½” cubes. Dice tomato. Peel eggs. Cut each egg into 2 slices along its length.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on 1st slice of bread. Arrange avocado cubes evenly over mayonnaise. Sprinkle pepper and salt over avocado.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on each side of 2nd slice of bread. Put 2nd slice of bread on avocado. Sprinkle diced tomato evenly on 2nd bread slice.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on each side of 3nd slice of bread. Put 3nd slice of bread on diced tomatoes. Arrange egg slices evenly on 3rd bread slice.

Spread ½ tablespoon mayonnaise on 4th slice of bread. Put 4th bread slice, mayonnaise side down, on egg slices. Cut sandwich diagonally. This sandwich looks really nice.

TIDBITS

1) A triple is a term from Peruvian baseball. Baseball was invented in Peru by Señor Alfredo Lopez de Santiago y Albondigas. Lopez owned many large diamond mines in Northern Peru. Diamond mining was cramped work. Cramped work leads to cramped workers. Cramped workers lead to crimped productions. So to stretch the muscles of his miners, Lopez invented the game of Baseball. This occurred in 1834, a full eleven years before Alexander Cartwright supposedly invented the sport in America.

2) Lopez found no takers from his weary and famished workers. He had to bribe his miners with food. Batters who ended up at third base, were rewarded with a triple-layered sandwich of avocado, tomato, and eggs. This sandwich came to be known simply as a “triple.” The corresponding base hit also became a triple. 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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Caramelized Banana Cake

Cape Verdean Dessert

CARAMELIZED BANANA CAKE

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs
½ cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar (1¼ cups more later)
½ cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
2⅓ cups wheat flour or flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
no-stick spray
4 ripe bananas
⅓ cup water
1¼ cups sugar
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
8″ * 12″ cake pan
9″ * 13″ cookie tray
sonic obliterator

Serves 10. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs into yolks and whites. Add butter and 1½ cups sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Add egg yolks, milk, and salt. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Gradually add wheat flour. Mix with electric beater set on medium until well blended. Add baking powder and egg whites. Mix with electric beater set on medium until this dough is well blended and fluffy. Spray cake pan with no-stick spray.

Cut each banana into 6 circles. Add water and 1¼ cups sugar to pan. Warm sugar using low-medium heat until it begin to melt. Stir enough to keep sugar from burning and clumping. Reduce heat to low and continue warming sugar until it melts completely and turns a caramel brown. Stir constantly. Pour this caramel immediately into cake pan. (Don’t let it set.) dish. Smooth with spatula.

Place banana circles evenly over caramel. (Be careful if caramel is hot.) Spoon dough over bananas. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick stuck in middle of cake comes out clean. Loosen cake by sliding spatula around the edges and, as far as possible, under the bottom. Put cookie tray on top of cake pan. Carefully turn cake pan and cookie tray upside down. Tap cake pan with knife. Say a brief prayer. Lift cake pan. Cake should come out cleanly onto cookie tray. Let sit until cool. Serve to adoring guests. Zap unappreciative ones with sonic obliterator.

TIDBITS

1) One of the most beloved form of communal games of gambling is craps. Just go to any casino. Any time you hear a loud roar of happiness, it is quite likely it came from the craps table. Of course, as with all gambling choices in a casino, you will likely go home a loser. But you have more fun losing than people playing slot machines. And that’s the main thing.

2) There are two games that come to mind for people to play face to face. They are chess and dominoes.

3) However, chess is mostly a silent game. It’s bad form to disturb, in any way, the player about to make a move. People can take the longest time pondering whether to move their bishop or not. Or where. How long can some players take to move?

4) Eons.

5) Culinary sociologists have determined that chess is the game of choice for prison wardens. The wardens deal with violent and otherwise troublesome prisoners by placing them in solitary confinement.

6) There is always a chess game going in solitary confinement. The guard tells the ingoing inmate whether he is playing for white black. The player looks at the game. His mind goes a mile a minute thinking over the 172,329 possible moves. This takes a while, and lo and behold. just as he moves his chess piece, his time in solitary is over.

7) The head guard then picks the current troublemaker in the chess-game cell and informs this inmate that his is playing the opposite color from that of the previous cell mate.

8) Solitary Prison Cell has become all the rage. Inmates have begun to commit offenses just to play chess in solitary. Prisoners have begun to form chess gangs. The most popular gang names are the White Knights and the Black Bishops. For a while, wardens tried segregating these groups.

9) However, as this policy is proving insufficient in decreasing prison violent, the guards are starting to take away solitary-chess privileges for frequent rule offenders. These men can only play dominoes, a much less violent game. It’s still addicting, though.

10) When prisoners are released, the dominoes players need a good fix of the game. This is why you see people playing dominoes outside a remote, rural general store. But there aren’t many such establishments any more. So dominoes junkies naturally flock to anything that has the big dots on them that dominoes has. What do they do? They can’t play chess anymore. That games doesn’t have dots. Beside, the ex-cons have been conditioned against playing that game? So what do they do?

11) They play craps. The dice in craps have plenty of dots on them, enough for any dominoes junkie. However, as we established in the first tidbit, people who plays craps lose all their money.

12) Then what do these one-time felons due for their dot fix? They eat food with dots on them. Like caramelized banana cake. The bananas in ths dessert look like the dots on a domino tile. (See the above photo.) This is why this dessert is so enormously popular around the world. 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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Syrian Meatloaf

Syrian Entree

SYRIAN MEATLOAF
(lahme bil sanieh)

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 large onion
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or black pepper
2½ teaspoons pomegranate syrup*
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Roma tomatoes

* = Found in Middle Easter or World supermarkets

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″ casserole dish
mandoline (optional)

Serves 4. Takes 50 minutes

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat casserole dish with butter. Dice onion. Add beef, onion, Aleppo pepper, pomegranate syrup, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Add beef/onion mix from bowl to casserole dish. Smooth surface with spatula. Gently poke about 30 shallow holes in meat. Drizzle vegetable oil over meat. (The shallow holes you made let the oil get into meat.) Slice tomatoes ¼” thick with mandoline or knife. Arrange tomato slices over meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) 1,000,000 B.C. – 1519: Nothing happens in history on in cooking.
1519 – Conquistador Cortez brings tomatoes back to Spain. People don’t eat the pretty plants.
1595 – Europeans note that tomatoes are part of the poisonous nightshade family. The French also believe that tomatoes, pommes d’amour, have aphrodisiacal properties. Tomatoes still aren’t eaten.
1872: Tomatoes first appear in an ingredient in a American recipe for tomato chowder.
1870s: The modern American meatloaf appears on the scene.
1894: Joseph Campbell cans condensed tomato soup. This proves wildly successful.
1929-1939: The Great American Depression forces starving family to extend precious protein to great lengths. Making meatloaf ensures that everyone gets some beef. All Americans eat meatloaf.
1949: LegoTM starts producing Legos. Legos look like squares with four raised dots.
1962: Syria gains its independence. Syria starts making meatloaf. Its meatloaf squares have four raised tomatoes slices. Was this meatloaf inspired by Legos? I like to think so.

 

– 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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Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

 

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

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Are you a diner who shuns crowds, but loves saunas* and watching reindeer ? Do you love words with “aa” in them, such as “kalastaa,” the Finnish word for “fish?” Indeed, do you love Finland but feel uncomfortable with large crowds of Finns who often congregate in the country’s large cities? Do you wish to dine above the Arctic Circle? Well make your way to Utsjoki, Finland, the little town that has it all.
* “Sauna” is “sauna” in Finnish. See? You’re speaking like a native already.
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There are five restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your patronage will be fierce indeed. Let’s  visit the local eateries.
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The top rated dining establishment is the esteemed Restaurant Deatnu. They serve traditional Sámi dishes. Yes, they do wonders with reindeer, local berries, and fresh fish. The restaurant has a nice view and a friendly staff. But please, please try the salmon soup.

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Next on our restaurant adventure is Restaurant Aurora Holidays. They serve great local food. Try their delicious reindeer and cod. For dessert, you would do well to order their great sticky cakes. The restaurant looks out on a soothing river. Maybe you’ll even see some wildlife. This pleasant restaurant is run by the family who owns it.
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Winning third place is  Utsjoen Kylatalo Gilsa. It’s known for its hot drinks. Not only is it a charming cafeteria will the flavor of local culture, it also has a grocery store. It’s your one-stop place for food. And remember, you’ll love their buns.

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All self-respecting towns will have a great hamburger joint. Annukan Grill fits this bill nicely. And oh my gosh, oh my gosh, they have a reindeer burger. I want to go there!
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Honorable mention goes to Restaurant Pub Rastigaisa. It serves pizza and has a bar. This restaurant received many reviews written in Finnish, so you know the locals frequent it.
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Utsjoki, unlike many of the other towns reviewed in Great Arctic Eats has a road going in and out of it. It can even boast of a spectacular bridge going into Norway. So you’ll be able motor into town. No dog sleds and hiking needed to get to Utsjoki. Well, I suppose you could charter a plane from Helsinki, but if you want to travel by yourself and see soothing scenery, travelling the last leg of your trip by car really is the way to go. Anyway, there are many must-see sites in Utsjoki.

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Be sure to visit Kevo Strict Nature Reserve.  This place boasts of extremely beautiful hiking routes. You’ll find you self losing track of time while viewing the entrancing scenery. So, be sure to bring a watch with an alarm on it, as the park gets dark at night.

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By all means, see the enchanting church huts. They’re beautiful in their simplicity. All in all, it’s wonderful way to learn Finnish history while staying outdoors. None of that entering the bowels of a stuffy museum for us. The site sports a splendid, little craft shop and a waffle cafeteria. What more could want?

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Drive over the nearby Sàmi Bridge. It’s boasts an elegant, yet impressive dressing. It’s perched over a river dividing Finland from Norway. The bridge and its surrounding are especially beautiful in the twilight. Plus, it doesn’t take much time to take it all in. Just drive your car over the bridge. If you want a quick bit of beauty, this bridge is for you.

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Try to see the beautiful Utsjoen Kirkko. This is the northernmost church in the European Union. So there. The church’s architecture is both pleasant and impressive. Go inside and spend some soul-soothing time with God.

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If you prefer guided tours rather than thrashing about by yourself, look up Aurora Holidays or Tundrasafari Finland. And at the end of a glorious visit, simply unwind at Utsjoki DiscGolfPark.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– 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: Arctic eats, humor, international, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pudim de Coco (Coconut Pudding)

East Timorese

PUDIM DE COCO
(Coconut Pudding)

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups sugar
5 eggs
2 cups coconut milk
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons coconut flakes (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

6-to-8 cups baking dish or casserole dish
9″ x 13″ casserole dish* (Must be longer and wider than baking dish)
sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hours 20 minutes plus 6 hours in refrigerator.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add sugar to pan. Melt sugar using low-medium heat until it begin to melt. Stir enough to keep sugar from burning and clumping. Reduce heat to low and continue warming sugar until it melts completely and turns a caramel brown. Stir constantly. Remove immediately from heat. (Don’t let it solidify.) Pour this caramelized sugar right away into baking dish. Smooth it with spatula.

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Blend eggs thoroughly with whisk. Add coconut milk and cornstarch. Mix with whisk until this custard becomes smooth. Ladle mixture over caramelized sugar. Put baking dish into casserole dish. Add hot water until it is 1″ high in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of pudding comes out clean.

Loosen pudding by sliding spatula around the edges and, as far as possible, the bottom. Put plate on top of casserole dish. Carefully turn casserole dish and plate upside down. Tap casserole dish with knife. Say a brief prayer. Lift casserole dish. Pudding should come out cleanly onto plate. Spoon liquid caramel on plate onto the caramel already on top of pudding.

Let sit in refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. If desired, garnish with coconut flakes. Serve to adoring guests. Use sonic obliterator on any guest who gives you guff in any way. You cannot afford to let any threat or insult to your authority as chef go unchallenged.

TIDBITS

1) Many of you would look at the picture for this recipe and declare, “Why someone has hungry. That person was too tempted by the dessert to wait for the chef to take a photo for the cookbook.” And you would be right.

2) Many others. gazing at the photo would say, “Why it looks like a tiny square was taken from a larger square. If only high school geometry had been as tasty.” And you too would be right.

3) But these reasons are not the reason this picture touches your soul so deeply, why it speaks so strongly to your innermost self, why you feel the spirits of generations after generations of primitive ancestors dating back to Olduvai George whispering in your inner ear.

4) Go back into the distant mists of time when Lucy of Olduvai Gorge, your great, great, great, great, . . ., really, really great grandmother saw dust sweeping down, down the gorge to her.

5) Then Lucy heard thundering getting ever closer.

6) She, of course, saw the dust before she heard the accompanying thunder. For light travels at 3 * 10^8 meters per second and sound at 3 * 10^3 meters per second.

7) It is doubtful that Lucy fully grasped the concept of relative velocities. Culinary scientists even discount the notion that Lucy even knew about scientific notion. It is certain, though, that either she never developed the Theory of Relativity or if she had, that she never published it.

8) Oh my gosh, while I speculated about Lucy’s scientific achievements, the dust-shrouded herd got really close. Run, Lucy, run!

9) But the soul of a lion beat in Lucy’s heart. She picked up a stone and hurled it at middle of the dusty cloud. (This is, by the way, the real genesis of the sport of baseball. Now you know.)

10) A creature in the herd shrieked in pain. The thundering stopped. The dust settled. Thousands upon thousands of panting coconut puddings became gradually clearer. “What are they?” wondered Lucy. She gazed at the dead coconut pudding. “Is it edible? I hope so. I’m ever so hungry. And all I ever get to eat are thistlewort berries. I shall eat this meat.”

12) She tore a remarkably square section out of the dead, square coco pudding and ate. She looked at what remained. The photo for this recipe bears an uncanny resemblance to what Lucy saw those millions of years ago.

13) “It tastes great,” shouted Lucy. Her tribe raced toward her. “Eat these squares, eat them. They’re ever so yummy.” And they did. They felt full for the first time ever. Even though they couldn’t articulate the concept, they just knew they had ingested sufficient caloric intake to leave the gorge, leave Africa, and spread humanity all over the Earth. It was the dawning of the Age of Humanity.

14) Unfortunately, the first humans fed themselves almost completely on herds of coco puddings, so much so that coco puddings became extinct. But the hankering for coco pudding never went away. It just went dormant for eons until the Age of Discovery started in the fourteenth century. Fueled by the need for a vegetarian version of coco pudding, European monarchs starting with Henry the Navigator dispatched fleet after fleet in search of sugar, coconut milk, and coconut flakes. They’d eventually find these ingredients. Humanity would once again live in a culinary golden age.

15) Oh, and in doing, we’d chart the entire world. And we owe it all to brave Little Lucy.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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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Matthew’s Pastrami Sandwich

American Entree

MATTHEW’S PASTRAMI SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

8 slices rye, crusty deli bread, or French rolls*
⅓ cup Russian dressing
1½ pounds sliced pastrami**
4 slice Swiss cheese
2 cups coleslaw

SPECIAL UTENSIL***

aluminum foil

* = rye bread is by far the most popular bread for this sandwich. However, I’m listing substitutes as some people can’t abide rye.
** = This is a simple recipe, so the quality of the pastrami is particularly important.
*** = Omit this if you wish to eat a cold sandwich.

Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes if sandwiches are served cold, 30 minutes if the sandwiches are hot.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap bread in aluminum foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. (Skip this step if you’re making cold sandwiches.) Spread Russian dressing over 2 slices. Add pastrami to bottom bread slice. Place 1 slice of Swiss on pastrami. Top with coleslaw. Complete sandwich by adding the top slice of bread.

TIDBITS

1) Look at the sandwich in the above picture. If you were to turn one of the sandwich halves upside down, you would still have a pastrami sandwich half. In fact, if you hadn’t done the flipping yourself upside down, you never would have been able to tell.

2) This very thing happened to the budding artist, Auguste Renoir. In 1859, he labored all summer painting the best pastrami sandwich the art world had seen or even would see. He painted with such style and such élan that the directors of the Escalier Galerie asked to display his masterpiece.

3) But quelles horreurs, the oaf in charge of exhibitions hung Renoir’s brilliant “Le sandwich au pastrami” upside down. None of the visiting art lovers nor any of the heads of France’s Académie Française noticed this mistake. No, not enough to articulate their artistic uneasiness. But mon Dieu, their psyches did. The viewers’ souls recoiled. The masses, without knowing why, turned away from Renoir. The painting elite also shunned the young Auguste. Renoir shook his fists at the heavens. “Bah, never again will I faithfully painting reality. Mais non, I shall quickly paint my impressions of life. Nothing more. He did and to his lasting amazement, he became one of the pillars of the impressionist movement. Now you know.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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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