Posts Tagged With: Bonaparte

My Favorites for the next round in Soccer’s World Cup

France over Germany. I’m a direct descendant of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. I’m ready if they ever come to their senses and restore me to my rightful throne. On the other hand, they did kill some of my Hugenot ancestors in their religious wars some centuries ago. I bicycled through France while in grad school and had a great time, except for that one French driver who ran me off the road and sent me to the hospital. France has invaded Germany many more than times than vice versa over the centuries. However, Germany has done the last three invading. I took French in school and at my peak, I could go toe to toe with any French eight year old. While I like German food very much, I love French food much more and have so many more French recipes. And my gosh, how could I not root for the country that invented the chocolate eclair?

Brazil over Columbia. Brazil speaks Portuguese. Portuguese names are cool. Is there any name cooler than Vasco di Gama? (Quite possibly spelled correctly.) I liked the variety of Brazilian cuisine over Columbian. Brazil has had brutal dictatorships, while Columbia has been in the thrall of drug cartels. It’s gotten better in both countries. In grad school at Wisconsin, I sometimes worked registering students. One semester the whole process got horribly messed up. Students who registered at the end found no classes open that they liked. Some were nearly in tears, afraid they couldn’t register for any class at all and would have paid tuition for nothing. Fortunately, there was a poster behind me that read, “Why not Portuguese?” Apparently the Portuguese department had openings in their classes for the tired, huddled masses of freshmen yearning for credits so they could graduate in four years.  I hope that helped the beleaguered students.

Belgium over Argentina. While much better now, Argentina once had a brutal dictatorship while Belgium has remained pretty much harmless. Years ago, I bicycled through Belgium without incident. Yay. Who could not love the Argentinian barbecue, but for goodness sake, Belgium gifted humanity with the French fry. And who does not feel warm and fuzzy about the Belgian waffle? Belgium did beat America, boo!, and if the Belgians had invented only the French fry, I’d be saying, “Viva, Argentina!” But the Belgian waffle brought me back to backing Belgium. Close call, though.

Netherlands over Costa Rica. I don’t no anything about Costa Rican cuisine, sorry. However, the Dutch have the most amazing spicy mustard they put on their French fries. And my gosh, the Dutch know how to cook their French fries just right! Their mini pancakes with confectionery sugar is one of the world’s best desserts. You can get great Indonesian food anywhere in the Netherlands. Sure, that’s because the Dutch invaded Indonesia in the 1600s, which was bad. But the Dutch left Indonesia in 1948 taking home a love for Indonesian food, one of the world’s greatest cuisine. I lived in the Netherlands for three years while a teenager and loved it. The people there are very nice. They keep everything clean except for a strange blind spot about dog poop everywhere on the side walks.

– Sports reporter, Paul De Lancey

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Banane Celeste From Martinique

Martiniquai Dessert

BANANE CELESTE

INGREDIENTSBananeCeleste-

1 pound cream cheese (1/2 pound at a time)
3 tablespoons butter
6 ripe bananas
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon more later)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

serves 6

SPECIAL UTENSIL

baking dish

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let cream cheese and butter soften. Peel bananas and cut them in half along their lengths.

Add cream cheese, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Use fork or blender on lowest setting until mixture is light and fluffy.

Light and fluffy sounds so peaceful doesn’t it? Next time you’re at a peace conference say, “Light and fluffy” to the warring sides and see if the mood of the room doesn’t improve dramatically.

Meanwhile back at the stove, use medium heat to melt the butter in a pan. Add banana halves to pan. Sauté bananas on medium heat until they turn light brown on both sides. Turn bananas carefully over with spatula to ensure even browning.

Evenly arrange 6 banana halves in bottom of baking dish. Spoon 1/2 pound cream cheese evenly over bananas. Place 6 more banana halves on top of the the cream cheese. Spoon another 1/2 pound of cream cheese atop the second banana layer.

Smooth heavy cream over the second layer of cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon over heavy cream.

Put baking dish in oven and bake in over for 15-to-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until cream-cheese sauce is bubbly and golden brown.

TIDBITS
1) Josephine Bonaparte, wife of the Emperor Napoleon, was born in Martinique in 1763 with the name of Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie. This name was way too long so most people just called her “Ma.” Josephine possessed a lively sense of humor.

2) People loved her jokes. She had them in stitches. Agents from Vau de Ville frequently came to her mansion to sign her up for large engagements but she always demurred, saying she was but a simple banana plantation monopolist.

3) Still the island’s elite kept coming to her comedy soirées to hear her jokes. They never wanted to leave even when she got tired and wanted to retire. They’d say, “Yo, Ma, Ma, tell us another joke.”

4) Her funnies became known as “Ma Ma jests,” then “Mama jests,” and finally by 1779 as “Yo, Mama jokes.”

5) In 1779, Ma Pagerie married the owner of the Folies Bergère, Monsieur de Beauharnais, and moved to Paris.

6) Nothing much of note happened in the lives of the de Beauharnaises until monsieur ended their marriage by getting guillotined in 1794. Saved the unpleasantness of a bitter divorce, Ma commenced a series of mirthful affairs with the handsome leaders of the French Revolution.

7) In 1796 she attracted the eye of a young artillery officer named Napoleon Bonaparte. “She made me laugh,” said Napoleon.

8) Napoleon had suffered from chronic depression and often stayed in bed neglecting to fight the smallest battle until Ma bucked him up with one of the world’s first chicken-crossing the road jokes. “Pourquoi le poulet a traversé la rue? Pour obtenir à l’autre côté.”

9) Ma’s mirth gave Napoleon the energy to follow his dream. In 1799, he and two other hombres overthrew the constitutional government. In 1804, he reached the top of the government ladder when he made himself emperor.

10) Life was good for France with Napoleon conquering one country after another. People no longer had to get visas to visit the Italian Riviera. Napoleon had made it part of France. What a guy!

11) But things went sour in 1810. Napoleon wanted an heir for his Empire. Ma, although always able to conceive a knee-slapping joke without a moment’s notice, could not do the same with a child. So Napoleon divorced her and married Marie Louise of Austria.

12) Marie Louise lived in a permanent humor-free zone. She never made Napoleon laugh, not once. Napoleon grew moody, his judgment became impaired. In 1812, he invaded Russia, a disaster. By 1814, his enemies were at the French border. They offered Napoleon a peace treaty, but without Ma’s jokes to relieve the tension caused by his tactless outbursts, negotiations went downhill.

13) Napoleon was forever defeated in 1815 and exiled to St. Helena. It would decades before vaudeville revived.

cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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