Posts Tagged With: ancient

Huckleberry Milkshake

American Dessert

HUCKLEBERRY MILKSHAKE

INGREDIENTS

3 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
½ cup huckleberry preserves

SPECIAL UTENSIL

blender

Serves 4. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to blender. Set blender to milkshake. Blend until you get the consistency of a milkshake.

TIDBITS

1) Fresh huckleberries can be quite hard to find. Really, really hard As hard as finding yak butter? No, you find can buy fresh huckleberries in Wyoming when they’re in season.

2) Honest men, according to Diogenes, the ancient philosopher, are as hard to find as fresh huckleberries.

3) Diogenes, the ancient philosopher, carried a lamp with him as he wandered the days looking for an honest man. He never found a honest soul as most people walked away from him. What a loony, using a lamp when there was a perfectly good Sun in the sky illuminating everything.

4) Travelers also thought Diogenes was a highwayman out to steal their fresh huckleberries. Looking for honest men selling blueberries took up all Diogenes time. He had no time to get a good-paying job. So, he remained poor. Then he made a virtue of poverty. The little faker

5) It’s too bad. The Great Greek was a crackerjack philosopher when he put his mind to it. But he didn’t. Bereft of his calming philosophical guidance, the Greek city states plunged themselves in decades-long war where many died and all huckleberry farms withered away from neglect.

6) Some 100 years later the brainy mathematician, Archimedes, proved the proved the Earth to be round and, for extra credit, calculated its circumference. The Earth was round! Greek sailors could have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean without fear of falling off the edge of the Earth. Then it would have only been a hop, skip, and a jump to Wyoming, land of the huckleberries. But all knowledge of huckleberries had long since disappeared. Huckleberry deficient Greeks got conquered by Rome. All because of events set in motion by the obsessed Diogenes. Bummer.

 

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Roasted Chestnuts

American Dessert

ROASTED CHESTNUTS

INGREDIENTS

1 pound chestnuts (most of the fresh ones are available in Autumn)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

baking pan

Serves 6. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While oven preheats, cut an “x” that covers one entire side on each chestnut. Make the cut deep enough to cut through the shell. (This makes the chestnut easy to peel. It also keeps it from exploding. This really can happen if you omit this step.)

Place chestnuts on baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until chestnuts become tender, the chestnut shells start to open and become easy to peel, and the edible nut that’s inside turns golden brown. Remove from heat. Cover with kitchen towel. Let cool for 5 minutes. Peel and eat immediately.

TIDBITS

1) As you can see, the left chestnut in the above photo is unpeeled. It also has an “x” cut into it by a knife. This makes it much easier to peel. The two chestnuts on the right have been peeled and are ready to eat. ☺

2) But wait! This narrative gets even more exciting. ☺☺

3) When prehistoric tribes decided to cut “x”s on chestnuts, they inadvertently developed the game Tic-Tac-Toe. The uncut chestnuts became “zero” or the letter “o.” These doughty cavemen were already two letters on the way to the present English alphabet. Go, cavemen, go! Excelsior!

4) Then one fine summer day caveman Carl La Fong invented the letter “b.” (We know about La Fong because he signed his cave paintings. They’re worth quite a bit if you can discover one.) Ancient peoples could now spell the word “box.”

5 Before you knew it, peoples everywhere had an alphabet and words for everything. Not much later, the word “box” led to actual boxes. CheeriosTM and AmazonTM became possible. And we owe it all to chestnuts and the visionary Carl La Fong. Yay.

 

– 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

John Wallis and Infinity

Sure, Greek philosophers, and other smarty pants after them, talked up a storm now and then about the concept of infinity. But none of it wrote down a symbol for it. So they all got forgotten, except for Socrates. And as we all know, Socrates was forced to take hemlock for not coming up with a symbol for infinity. The ancient Athenians took their proto-calculus discussions seriously.

One day, British mathematician and doughnut lover, John Wallis, was sitting at his table looking at two alluring pink doughnuts. His next door neighbor, Carl La Fong sat across from John gazing longingly at the pink delights. The great British painter, John Hoskins, happened to be there. This is his painting, “Two Pink Doughnuts.” It hangs in the Tate Museum in London, England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“May I have one of your pink doughnuts?” asked La Fong.

“No, you may not,” said Wallis, “I love pink doughnuts beyond all measure.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut if you had three?” asked La Fong.

“No, I would not. I would eat all three. I would eat them just with me.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut if you had four?”

Wallis shook is head. “No, I would not. I would eat all four. I would eat them by the door.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut, if you had an infinite number of pink doughnuts?”

“No, I would not. I would eat an infinite number of doughnuts.” Wallis scratched his head. “Say, what would the symbol for infinity look like?”

“Like this, you greedy man.” La Fong squished the two doughnuts.

And, lo and behold, John Hoskins painted the squished doughnuts. The wildly popular painting is on display at the British Science Museum in London. It’s called, “Infinity.” Here it is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so due to Wallis, La Fong, and Hoskins, we now have the symbol for infinity. Sir Isaac Newton used it to develop calculus. 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: history, proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Romanian Salata de Boeuf (Beef Salad)

Romanian Entree

SALATA DE BOEUF
(Beef Salad)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound thin beef sirloin
1⅓ pounds potatoes
2 carrots
2 eggs
⅓ cup green peas
1 cup diced or sliced pickles
½ cup pickled red bell peppers
1 cup mayonnaise (¼ cup more later)
2 tablespoons mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour. No mayonnaise topping at front, so you can see inside.

PREPARATION

Add sirloin and enough water to cover. Bring to boil at high heat. Boil for 30 minutes or until sirloin is tender. Drain. Remove sirloin, let cool, and chop into ½” cubes. While beef cooks, add potatoes and enough water to large pot. Bring to boil at high heat. Boil for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain. Let potatoes cool. Peel potatoes and chop them into ½” cubes.

While sirloin and potatoes cook, add carrots and water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 15 minutes or until carrots becomes tender. Drain and cool. Chop carrots into ½” cubes. Add water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Carefully add eggs. Boil for 8 minutes for soft boiled and 12 minutes for hard boiled. Let cool. Peel and cut each egg into 6 slices.

Add sirloin, potato, carrot, peas, pickles, pickled red-bell peppers, 1 cup mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, and salt. Mix by hand until well blended. Add this mixture to a serving plate. Mold by hand into a flat, round shape like a layer of cake. Use spatula to coat cake-shape mixture with ¼ cup mayonnaise. Dice parsley. Garnish with egg slices and parsley.

TIDBITS

1) Prehistoric humans believed the Sun was a god. Egg yolks look like the Sun. Our ancestors reasoned that egg yolks themselves must possess a bit of divinity. The ancient Egyptians went further. Any animal that could birth so much godliness must itself be divine. The chicken became the preeminent Egyptian god. However, during the 18th dynasty, the priests of Amun Ra gained power and destroyed the Chicken Cult. Chickens would never again be worshipped. Their eggs, however, may be enjoyed in this dish.

 

– 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

Chicken Kebabs from Lebanon

Lebanese Entree

CHICKEN KEBABS

INGREDIENTS

3 boneless chicken breasts
7 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion
¼ cup lemon juice
6 tablespoon Greek or plain yogurt
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
2 tablespoons red vinegar or apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon tomato paste
6 pita loaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
6 skewers (If wooden, soak in water for 20 minutes.)

Serves 6. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Crush garlic cloves. Seed and chop green bell pepper into 1″ squares. Chop onion into 1″ squares. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until chicken cubes are well coated. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Thread chicken cubes, bell pepper squares, and onion squares onto skewers. Turn heat on grill to medium. Add skewers to grill. Heat all sides for 3 minutes each. Place skewers in large pot and cover. Let rest for 10 minutes. (This step helps keep the chicken cubes moist.) Serve on skewers or if using pita loaves, remove all ingredients from skewers and place on pita loaves.

TIDBITS

1) Kebabs have been around since Ancient Greece. See Herodotus’s History of Greek Kebabs. You might think it should have been called History of Ancient Greek Kebabs. However, he lived in ancient times only to us. He thought he was being quite modern. Anyway, Herodotus noticed the shape of the pita bread would make a nifty shield and the skewer would make a spiffo spear. Ancient Greek warriors, hoplites, adopted both ideas and would become their era’s fiercest warriors. 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.

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

Ancient Roman Honey Cake

Ancient Roman Dessert

HONEY CAKE

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups spelt flour or regular flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
¾ cup liquid honey (2 tablespoons later)
¾ cup milk
⅓ cup sweet wine
¼ cup slivered almonds or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons liquid honey
no-stick spray

NOTE: Spelt flour is the closest you can get to what the ancient Romans used. The Romans used the herb “rue” instead of coriander. However, some people are extremely allergic to it; feeling queasy smelling it or getting blisters just by touching. The Romans used pine nuts instead of other nuts. However, many people have allergic reactions to it. Clearly, the Romans were dare-devil eaters. Dare-devil eaters became all-conquering soldiers. This is how the Roman Empire became so big.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″ cake pan
wire rack

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, coriander, and pepper to medium mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Add eggs, ¾ cup honey, milk, and wine to large mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients until well blended.

Gradually add dry ingredients from medium bowl to large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Use spatula to fold in nuts. Spray cake pan with no stick spray. Pour mixture from large bowl into cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before serving

NO TIDBITS! I ran out of space with the above rather tidbitty NOTE.

– 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.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Biram Ruzz

Egyptian Entree

BIRAM RUZZ

INGREDIENTSBiramRuzz-

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice (1 more cup later)
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon pepper
1¼ teaspoons salt
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1⅓ cups milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

2 quart casserole dish

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter. Use brush to coat side of casserole dish with melted butter. Spread 1 cup rice evenly over casserole dish. Place chicken thighs evenly over bottom layer of rice. Sprinkle cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, and salt over chicken and rice. Spread 1 cup of rice evenly over the chicken thighs. Add chicken stock, heavy cream, and milk to pan. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly. Pour liquid over top layer of rice in casserole dish. Bake at 375 degrees 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with lid and let sit for 30 minutes.

Use spoon to loosen rice from edges of casserole dish. Remove lid. Place large serving place over casserole dish. Firmly hold casserole dish and serving plate together and quickly invert them so that the contents of the casserole dish are now upside down on the serving plate.

TIDBITS

1) Ancient Egyptians loved the board game, “Senet.” It was simple and a blast to play. Nearby kings constantly came to Egypt to play Senet and often ended up concluding treaties of friendship.

2) Then, in 675 BC, Pharaoh Taharka challenged the Assyrian leader, Esharddon, to play Qunark, a game resembling the modern ScrabbleTM.. Taharka drew the bird-like letter “A” to make “antihistamine” for a triple word score for 528 points. Esharddon claimed pharaoh had really drawn the bird-like letter “W” and had not come up with not a word at all. He called Taharka a low-down dirty hippo. Taharka slugged Esharddon who went home in a huff. The Assyrian king returned with a mighty army. Egypt would chafe under foreign domination for much of the next millennium.
Culinary historians say this is why Scrabble comes with pre-drawn letters.

– 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.

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

Åland Semolina Pancake with Prune Sauce

Finnish Breakfast

ÅLAND SEMOLINA PANCAKE WITH PRUNE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS – PANCAKEAlandSemolina-

2¾ cups milk
¾ cup semolina or Cream of WheatTM
½ tablespoon cardamom
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
1 cup flour
no-stick spray.

INGREDIENTS – PRUNE SAUCE

12 pitted prunes
3⅔ cups water (½ cup more later)
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn flour
⅓ cup water

whipped cream (optional or is it?)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″ x 12″ baking dish

Serves 8

PREPARATION – PANCAKE

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking dish with no-stick spray.

Add milk to pot. Simmer milk on low heat until milk warms. Stir frequently. Gradually add in semolina. Stir constantly to prevent lumps. Remove semolina porridge from heat.

Add cardamom, eggs, salt, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until foamy. (Scare away unwanted visitors by smearing this mixture on your mouth before you open the front door.) Add flour and semolina porridge to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until batter is well blended.

Pour batter into baking dish. Put baking dish in oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-to-6o minutes or until pancake is firm and golden brown.

PREPARATION – PRUNE SAUCE

While pancake bakes, dice prunes. Add prunes and 3⅔ cups water to pot. Soak for 40 minutes. Add cinnamon stick. Boil to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for xx minutes or until prunes soften. Add sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Add corn flour and ⅓ cup water to small bowl, . Mix with whisk until well blended. Add corn flour/water mix to pot. Bring prune sauce to boil using high heat. Stir constantly. Cook for 1 minute or until prune sauce thickens. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour into serving tray.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Cut pancake into 8 squares. Top pancakes square with prune sauce and whipped cream, if necessary. (Oh, of course it is.)

TIDBITS

1) The penalty for speeding in Finland varies with income. An American CEO might be fined over a million dollars. Tough country on scofflaws, you bet.

2) If you lose your shirt to Finland’s highway patrol, why not indulge your self with a Sauna? Be advised, social norms require you to be naked in the sauna. But you’re already half disrobed, having forfeited your shirt in tidbit 1).

3) It’s also quite acceptable for a bunch of friends to go to sauna together. Where everyone is naked. Good friends indeed.

4) Finland must not have many introverts.

5) It’s considered normal to leave the sauna, run outside, and jump in the nearest lake.

6) Although if its winter, it’s advisable to cut a hole in the lake before jumping.

7) Finns must have strong hearts.

8) What do Finns do if the nearest lake is twenty-six miles away and it’s freezing outside?

9) Run fast! It’s quite possible that Finland has the greatest number of saunas that are exactly twenty-six miles, the distance of a marathon, away of any nation in the world. This explains why Finland routinely garners the gold, silver, and bronze medals at every Nude Winter Marathon event.

10) Ancient Greeks invented the marathon. Or did they? Current speculation has Greece being invaded and settled by Finns around 1,700 B.C.. Finding ancient spas in Greece would go along way to proving this theory to the scientific community.

11) Some people point to the modern nude marathoners of Finland and the naked ancient Greek athletes as evidence of a vast Graeco-Finn empire around 1,450 B.C.. Why is there no evidence of this enormous realm? The au naturel Finns and Greeks, of course, wore no shirts. No shirts, no shirt pockets. No shirt pockets, no pens. No pens, no written history, and Bob’s your uncle.

– 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.

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pound Cake

American Dessert

POUND CAKE

INGREDIENTSPoundCake-

1 tablespoon butter (2 cups more later)
1 tablespoon flour (3 cups more later)
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups butter
6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

SPECIAL UTENSILS

2 9″x5″ loaf pans
electric beater

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub inside of pans with 1 tablespoon butter. Dust inside of pans with 1 tablespoon flour. Add3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt to medium mixing bowl. Mix together with whisk. Add 2 cups butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract to large mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on cream or high. Blend ingredients for 5 minutes or until sugar/butter mix is light and fluffy. Alternate adding 1/3 of the milk with 1/3 of the flour/baking powder mix until all is used. Use low or blend setting on electric beater after each addition of milk or flour. Blend each time until everything is smooth.

Pour mixture into loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees on until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Let pan cool for 20 minutes. Gently remove cake from pan and let cool on wire rack for 1 hour more. Goes well with strawberries.

TIDBITS

1) The ancients Celts celebrated the Beltane festival by lighting bonfires and rolling cakes down hills. A cake that didn’t break brought good fortune.

2) Ancient cultures sometimes celebrated weddings by breaking a big bread loaf on the bride’s head. I hope this practice died out before the invention of the baguette or the fruitcake.

3) 17th century English folk believed keeping fruitcakes under unmarried people’s pillows will give them sweet dreams about their spouses to be.

– 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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