Posts Tagged With: British

British Digestive Biscuits

British Dessert

DIGESTIVE BISCUITS

INGREDIENTS

⅔ cup flour
3 cups wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup milk

SPECIAL UTENSILS

parchment paper
2 baking sheets

Makes 60 cookies. Takes 2 hours.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour, wheat flour, baking powder, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork or whisk. Cut butter into ½” cubes. Knead with hands until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add milk. Knead with hands until dough forms.

Roll out dough until it’s ⅛” thick. Cut dough into 2½” circles. Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Place biscuits on parchment. Prick biscuits all over with fork. (Make a design if you wish.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until biscuits turn golden brown. (You will most likely need to cook in batches.) Cool on wire rack. Goodness, these simple biscuits are tasty.

TIDBITS

1) From Professor Nicholas Baigent, London School of Economics, “ Did you know that they are seldom consumed in public places in the South of England, though lots are enjoyed privately with family and friends? In the Deep South here, dunking is thoroughly frowned upon. If you don’t want the job you are being offered, just dunk your biscuit in the cup of weak tea they will force upon you at the interview.”

2) Mitch Jagger attended the London School of Economics (LSE). However, he dropped out after only one year.

3) “He announced his attention of going into business but was worried about mathematics,”
– Walter Stern, Jagger’s tutor at the LSE

4) Mr. Jagger’s career path gained more traction when he became lead singer for The Rolling Stones. He did rather well while there, by all accounts.

 

– 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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We Need Polite Subtitle Choices

We all watch live streaming or DVDs. Many of these, thank you, provide subtitles. However, I take issue with the choice of “English for the deaf or hard of hearing.” I am certainly not deaf. Even though I do need to see the occasional word spelled out, I’m not quite at the stage where I should called hard of hearing. And many times I don’t understand the accent, particulary British.

Why do we have to make judgments about people? Perhaps making them feel bad? Why not simply have “English” as a choice for subtitles?

Or even tailor the choices to me, Paul. See below.

 

 

The one on the right would make me feel special. Of course, it doesn’t have to be my name listed on the right. You should be alter the phrase to reflect your name, “English for Desdemona,” for example.

 

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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Mincemeat Pie

British Dessert

MINCEMEAT PIE

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

3¼ cups flour (2 tablespoons more later)
1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar (1 tablespoon more later)
1¼ cups butter, cubed
1 egg
ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, as necessary
2 tablespoons flour

INGREDIENTS – FINAL

1 28-ounce jar mincemeat
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

SPECIAL UTENSILS

round pastry cutter, glass cup, or muffin tray
sonic obliterator

Makes 12 small pies. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add 3¼ cups flour and confectioners’ sugar to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Use cold hands to fold butter and egg into flour. Add ice water 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary, until dough starts to form a ball without being sticky. (Don’t over do it.) Cover pastry and let chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes. (You might to re-roll the dough so you can make more circles.)

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Place about ¼ of the dough at a time on flat surface.. Leave the rest in the refrigerator until needed. (You really do want to work with cold dough.) Roll out dough until it is 1/6″ thick. Use round pastry cutter to make a large circle sufficiently wide to fill the bottom and side of muffin cups, about 5″ wide. Re-roll the dough as needed to make more circles.

Line muffin cups with 5″ dough circles. Now make 12 small circles wide enough to cover the top of the muffin, about 3″ wide. Use ¼ of the remaining dough, left over from making the 5″ circles, Leaving the rest in the refrigerator until needed.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill the pastry-lined muffin cups ¾ full with mincemeat. Cover with 3″ dough circles. These lids should overlap the mincemeat-filled pastry cups. (But not go over onto the rest of the muffin tin.) Gently push down on lid edges to form seals. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks then sprinkle mincemeat pies with 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar. Or serve right away. Zap any guest who doesn’t fully appreciate the care you took in making this dish.

TIDBITS

1) Mincemeat pies don’t have mincemeat in them.

2) But way back in the 16th century, in Tudor times, they did.

3) Because meat was cheaper than fruit in those days. The meats of choice were: beef, venison, and lamb. There was even a Tudor poem about this.

Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep.
But where did they go?
Into a neighbor’s pie they weeped.
Ho, ho. Ho, ho. Ho, ho.

In real life, the next-door neighbor was usually a rapacious, unfettered lord, who supported King Henry VIII. So many sheep were stolen by the greedy nobility that the peasantry became increasingly disgruntled.  It didn’t help that space aliens kidnaped the remaining sheep in 1535. Since the extraterrestrial sheep abductions occurred at night, no one saw them happen. The poor people naturally blamed the barons, lords, and earls.

A surly mob of peasants gathered at the Duke of York’s castle demanding the return of all their sheep. We are lucky to have the following exchange in writing as the historian John Haggis was just happened to be present. Here it is:

Surly Peasant Leader: We want our sheep back!
Duke of York: There are no sheep. I have no sheep. No one has sheep.
Surly Peasant 1: We don’t believe you.
Duke of York: I don’t care.
Surly Peasant 2: But how can we make mincemeat pies without sheep?
Duke of York: Eat mincemeat pie made from giraffes.
Surly Peasant Leader: C’mon lads, lets throw Duke Greedypants from off the castle walls.

They stormed the castle and they him down into the moat. This act precipitated a rather serious revolt with the rather mild title of The Pilgrimage of Grace. Eventually, King Henry VIII had this revolt put down.

But the king had seen the writing on the wall. King Henry proclaimed in The Great Ingredient Decree of 1538 that no matter the prevailing conditions of the realm, every peasant would had a right to find all she needed to make a proper mincemeat pie. Since, the sheep were all gone, pie makers switched to beef. Centuries later, the price of fruit began to fall compared to that of beef. So the beef in the pies began to be phased out in favor of dried fruits. Nowadays, mincemeat pies have no meat in them at all. Now you know. Oh, the sheep found their way back to Earth and England in 1567,

 

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.

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We’re French and You’re Not – Chapter One – Chardonnay Man – Last Part

6 p.m.: We fly over the battlefields of Verdun, where 350,000 of our countrymen died fighting the brutal German invaders. What is this? Jean points out a crowd of German pig-dog tourists. Enraged, we throw bottles, cabbages, and the contents of our chamber pots at them. Ha! Ha! Suddenly, and without warning, our balloon descends. Horrors! I recognize Président Pommefrite and Chancellor Erwtenzup of Germany. They are very filthy and very angry. They shout and shake their fists at us. We also notice French soldiers firing at us. Jean opines that perhaps we should ascend quickly. Stirred to action, I increase the flame. Our balloon fills with hot air and we leave them far below. Jean and I are so upset by the whole incident that we delay dinner by a full hour.

14 November, 10 a.m.: We find ourselves over the town of Amiens. Jean informs me that Jules Verne used to be its mayor. He astounds me with the information that he had been reading Verne lately. So, that’s what he has been doing with his afternoons. I thought he was cheating on his mistress.

Noon: We reach the town of Calais on the English Channel. We commemorate our successful journey across France with a simple meal of French bread, onion soup, salade Niçoise, and shrimp scampi. We examine the looming channel, but are not frightened.

3 p.m.: A great jolt rouses Jean and me from our naps. What has annoyed us? Oh, our basket has smashed to bits the radar of a French destroyer. “Vive la France!” we amiably cheer. But incredibly, the sailors shout angrily back. Jean suggests that we quickly leave those clods. I once again increase the size of the flame and we climb back into the clouds.

The sailors fire their rifles and the ship’s big guns at us. Boom! But they cannot see us as we are hiding in the clouds and have broken their radar dish. We shout our apologies to our countrymen and fellow adventurers. We toss down cases of caviar and our best champagne to make up for our faux pas. However, this noble gesture does not appease them. Strange to say, they are becoming even angrier. The lack of manners in our navy appalls Jean and me.

6 p.m.: We are over Dover, England. Hurrah! The great race is coming to an end. We see a great crowd below us. It cheers us wildly, so ours must be the first balloon. The throng includes the Queen and most of the Royal family. We also notice an enormous number of police and soldiers. No doubt, they are there to protect us from our enthusiastic admirers.

Jean and I drink several toasts to England, to the Queen, and to a successful race. I stand up and stagger towards the lever to lower the flame. However, I trip on Jean and fall with all my weight on the lever. Instead of lowering the flame, I shut it off completely. We fall precipitously and hit the ground with a squish.

We dust ourselves off and march proudly towards the Queen. For some reason she appears to be upset. However, we attribute her emotion to the passion of the moment. We present her with the first Chardonnay bottle of the season.

But, the Queen, she is not thankful. No, she accuses us of murdering her Corgi. What dog, we ask? “The one under your balloon,” she cries.

Before we think to apologize, ill-mannered British policemen clasp handcuffs on us and lead us away. We hear behind us German and French voices arguing vociferously for the right to arrest us. Their argument appears to be escalating into a brawl. We shrug our shoulders.

* * *

“Bah! Monsieur le reporter, the food here in this jail is horrible! But yes, I have been without Dom Perignon for three days! Why are these stupid English treating me this way? Can it be that they do not care that I won the Chardonnay race?

Monsieur, tell my friends to hurry and get me out of here. The Tour d’Artichoke starts next week! Sacre bleu!”

****

I hope you enjoyed this chapter from my book. Please let me know what you thought of it. Thank you.

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

We’re French and You’re Not, 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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German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich Kuchen)

German Dessert

BEE STING CAKE
(Bienenstich Kuchen)

INGREDIENTS – ALMOND TOPPING

½ cup butter (6 tablespoons more later)
5 tablespoons sugar (3 tablespoons more later)
1 tablespoon honey
1½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream (½ cup more later)
1⅓ cup slivered almonds
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS – CAKE

2¾ teaspoons yeast
2⅔ cups flour
5 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon more later)
3 tablespoons sugar
⅔ cup milk, lukewarm (2 cups more later)
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
parchment paper

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

6 tablespoons vanilla pudding powder
1 cup milk
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (½ teaspoon more later)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
8″ * 12″ baking pan
parchment paper

Serves 16. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – ALMOND TOPPING

Add ½ cup butter to pot. Melt butter using low-medium heat. Stir gently and frequently. Add 5 tablespoons sugar and honey. Stir constantly until sugar melts and liquid is well blended. Add 1½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir with spatula until well blended. Remove from heat. Fold in slivered almonds. Just before cake is ready to be bake, use low heat to make topping lukewarm and spreadable.

PREPARATION – CAKE

Add all cake ingredients except 1 tablespoon butter to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Knead for 15 minutes or until mix becomes a smooth and pliable dough. Remove dough. Grease mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Return dough ball to mixing bowl. Cover with cloth and let rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size. 15 minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover baking pan with parchment paper. Add dough to baking pan. Smooth dough until it is level. Use spatula to spread almond topping over dough. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until cake turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. Remove from heat and let cool for10 minutes. Grab opposite sides of parchment paper, remove cake, and place on serving plate.

Let cool for another 15 minutes. Cut cake into 16 rectangles, 2″ * 3″. Use serrated knife to cut each rectangle lengthwise into 2 thin layers.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While cake cools, add pudding powder 1 cup milk and ½ cup heavy whipping cream to mixing bowl. (Prepare according to instructions on package.) Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

After filling has chilled, use spatula to carefully spread equal amounts of filling on bottom half of the cake rectangles. (The ones without the slivered-almond topping.) Place cake rectangles with slivered-almond topping on rectangles covered with filling.

A forgotten episode from the Great War

TIDBITS

1) World War I was mostly a static affair as it became incredibly difficult to dislodge the enemy infantry defending their trenches.

2) Then a German beekeeping general thought, why not use bees? After all, everyone flees bees.

3) So, on March 13, 1915 the Germans sent boys and girls carrying this cake to the British lines. The Tommies loved this dessert. So did the bees. The bees dive bombed the British soldiers who fled en masse. The Germans were on the verge of total victory. Then the wind shifted toward the German lines. Countless soldiers on both sides suffered repeated stings. The Great Bee Sting Truce was agreed upon and lasted for two weeks. After that, Bee Sting Cake got banned as a weapon of war.

 

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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Realistic Goals Versus Dreaming

 

I’m doing physical therapy for my lower back. They gently stretch my muscles and have me do exercises.

They do good work. See the picture below.

 

 

i

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what I’d like to be able to do by next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I want to do is to bend my head and left leg backward so that a golden Easter egg nestles between them all while balancing on the tip of my other foot.

Is that too much to ask?

 

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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Pączki (Polish Doughnuts)

Polish Dessert

PĄCZKI
(Doughnuts)

INGREDIENTS

1½ tablespoons yeast
1 cup milk, warm
1½ tablespoons water, warm
⅓ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon rum extract or 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons flour
1 quart lard or vegetable oil
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup of your favorite jam or jelly

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater (with dough hook, if you have it)
sonic obliterator

Makes 20 doughnuts. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add yeast, milk, and water to large mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until yeast dissolves. Add butter. rum extract, salt, sugar. and vanilla. Stir with whisk until sugar dissolves. Add eggs. Mix with electric beater on medium setting until well blended and mixture thickens. Add 6 cups flour gradually and blend with electric beater set on low. (Use beater’s dough hook if you have one.) Mix until dough is smooth and will not stick to your hands. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Roll out dough until it is ¾” thick. Cut dough into 3″ wide circles. (A cookie cutter and upside-down glass work well here.) Let rise for 1 hour on until dough circles double in size.

Add lard to large pan. Heat lard using medium-high heat until a tiny bit of dough dances in the lard. Carefully add as many dough circles as possible without having them touch each other. Fry for 1-to-2 minutes or until the bottom of the dough circles turn golden brown. (Please monitor to prevent burning.) Carefully flip dough circles. Fry for another 1-to-2 minutes or until the second side turns golden brown as well. Remove and place on towel-covered plate. Repeat for the following batches. (Please note that frying times tend to go down with successive batches.)

Let doughnuts cool until they can be handled. Add confectioners’ sugar to mixing bowl. Add doughnut. Turn doughnut until covered with confectioners’ sugar. Use sharp knife to cut a 2″ slit in the middle of a doughnut’s side. Use spoon to insert ½ tablespoon jam into doughnut. Use sonic obliterator on anyone who gives you guff in any way. I mean, geezo flip, you’ve been working with hot grease to make them a super yummy dessert. And no jury would ever convict you.

TIDBITS

1) German bombers attacked London during The First World War, 1914-1918, and World War Two, 1939 -1945.

2) The British, understandably, didn’t like this at all, no not one bit. But what to do? Until the advent of the British radar defense system, the RAC, and later the RAF, found it nearly impossible to find and intercept the German bombers. So, the bombing continued unmolested.

3) Then, on May 19th, 1915, Polish immigrant and master baker, Jan Kowalski, made 20,000 pączki (using this very recipe according to culinary historians) to celebrate the wedding of Antoni Adami and Maja Bartosz.

4) Unfortunately, just before the wedding the father of Antoni told a “Your Mama” joke to the Maja’s mom. It was now well received. Maja’s mom told her husband. Words were said. A few fist fights broke out. The Bartoszes cancelled the wedding. Jan the baker didn’t get paid.

5) Jan’s friend, Bazyli Blaszak, owner of Blaszak’s Catapults was also at the wedding. “I know you feel. I have 500 catapults doing nothing. The British army put in a big order for catapults, but at the last moment they decided to go for75 millimeter artillery pieces instead. Wanted to modernize their army, they said.” He spat. “Dranie.”

6) “Well pierdolić,” said Jan. “We might as well use your catapults to fling my pączki as high as they can go into the sky.” So, the two friends flung up one paçzek after another into the heavens.

7) As contrived luck would have it, a squadron of German Gothas dropped by that very moment to bomb London. The squadron cleared the barrage balloons designed to keep Hun bombers away.

8) But they did not pass through Jan’s and Bazyli’s Polish Doughnut barrage unscathed. Pączek after pączek went through the bombers’ wings, shredding them completely. 31 bombers fell from the skies.

9) The British Army noted the failure of the barrage balloons and invested in anti-aircraft guns, a beefed up fighter force, and 500 polish catapults because hey, they worked.

10) The German air force also took note. All future planes would be designed to fly higher than any catapulted doughnut could achieve. Once the spirit of innovation spread through the Luftwaffe, it never really stopped. Their air planes got better and better. And in May, 1940 the German aircraft played a vital role in overrunning France. Aerial combat had gotten real. So next time, make sure you pay your doughnut caterers.

 

– 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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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

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