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The Meeting’s Minutes

Serve this and they will come.

I absolutely do not want to put down anyone’s faith, including Catholics, in any way. However, I also believe that meetings are generally soul-sucking experiences. Here’s my impression of a meeting at a Catholic church. I suspect much of what’s said below would apply to other religious meetings and to business ones as well.


The Ever Magnificent Local Chapter of the Legion of Goodness:

Umpteenth meeting.

People showed up. Some people did not show up. The ones that didn’t show up were elsewhere. They failed to attend because they were ill or didn’t want to come.

A deacon showed up. He talked about the Eucharist. He said it was good. Everyone agreed with this. I feel he said some other things as well.

People said at length what they did. Some visited retirement homes to give the Eucharist to the shut ins. This was a great thing. Other members did things of lesser importance.

Many people commented on what others did. Some attendees, however, minded their own business and said nothing at this point. One person had a painful canker sore and said nothing. A friend, I am told, watched the wall clock a lot.

It is possible that more people would show up if shrimp cocktails and tea sandwiches were to be served. We meet a week from now at the same time.

Jane Dough, secretary


Keep the faith.


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


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Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

Vietnamese Entree

(cha gio)



1/4 teaspoon Thai chili or red pepper flakes or minced serrano
1/4 cup fish sauce or Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
½ cup water


1 ½ ounces cellophane noodles or rice vermicelli
½ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound pork
1 carrot
4 green onion stalks
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
20 rice wrappers or egg roll wrappers
1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
2 cups peanut oil as necessary
2 lettuce leaves


electric skillet


Combine Thai chili, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and water in mixing bowl. Stir with fork until sugar dissolves. Set aside. This is the dipping sauce.

Put noodles in mixing bowl. Add enough water to cover. Let sit for 10 minutes or until noodles become soft and bendable. While noodles are sitting, cut shrimp into eighths and mince pork. Shred or grate carrot. Mince green onion and garlic cloves. Drain water from noodles. Beat egg in small bowl.

Add sesame oil, carrot, garlic, pork, shrimp, fish sauce, and Hoisin sauce to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until shrimp turns orangish-pink and is no longer translucent. Stir frequently. Add noodles, green onion, and ginger. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Let cool.

If rice wrapper is hard, quickly run warm water over until it is pliable. (IMPORTANT! Run water over only ONE WRAPPER at a time. If you run water over multiple wrappers at a time or leave the wrappers for any length over time you will get a gelatinous mass that can’t be separated for love or money.) Place rice wrapper on board. Brush edges of rice wrapper with egg. Add 1/4 cup of pork/shrimp/veggie/noodle mix to center, bottom third of rice wrapper. Fold in sides to form 3″ long roll. Roll up rice wrapper from bottom. Brush remaining corner with egg. Repeat until you run out of rice wrappers or pork/shrimp/veggie/noodle mix.

Set electric skillet to 375 degrees. Put a drop of water in skillet. When drop starts to bubble or move around, add up to 2 cups of peanut oil as necessary. Carefully add 8 egg rolls to skillet at a time using tongs. Fry egg rolls for 2-to-3 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Turn egg rolls. Once. Remove and place on paper towels to drain grease. Repeat until all egg rolls are fried.


1) Vietnam is an anagram for Mite Van.

2) Most mites are way too small to drive a van safely.

3) Or even pedal a bicycle.

4) Vietnamese policemen are banned from wearing dark sunglasses while on duty. This is because you really need to see well to see a mite driving a van illegally. A drunken mite would make for a particularly poor driver.

5) If you are a mite and you want to hit the hard stuff, consider drinking ruou ran (snake wine.) This wine comes with a pickled snake inside the bottle. It is supposed to be able to cure any illness.

6) Giving snake wine to all the sick people of the nation would be a unique national health program. The National Health Care Dispensaries, formerly known as bars and liquor stores, would sell the wine direct to the public.

7) This plan would require no tax dollars from the government. Households would be freed from spending 14% of their income on health care.

8) The Federal Government could use all the money it saves to pay down the debt, invest in infrastructure, and conduct energy research. People would spend their windfall on college education for their kids, provide for their retirement, and buy bacon.

9) With people’s retirement completely assured, we wouldn’t need to contribute to social security. Indeed, the government could then distribute all the money we having coming to us. We’d buy cars, homes, and doughnuts. The surging demand would force businesses to hire every worker they could find and at a high wage. Higher take home pay would mean more spending. To meet this spiraling demand, businesses would want to investment massively for the future. Massive future investment means full employment forever. I see a Nobel Prize in Economics coming for me very soon.

– 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

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How To Make Polite Conversation With Ghosts

Ghosts were people too. They have feelings. Indeed, many of them are sensitive spirits. Many of them fly away at even the mention of an exorcism.ghost Remember manners are always are must whether dealing with a friend, a socially undesirable person such as a cannibal or telemarketer, and even someone from the Great Beyond.

With that in mind here are several responses designed to make Joe or Jane Ghost feel useful and at ease.

Ghost: I’ve been dead for 126 years.
You: You haven’t aged a bit. You don’t look a day over 29.

Ghost: I’ve been wandering these halls for 423 years.
You: Oh thank goodness, you must know where to find the bathroom. I’ve been holding it in for nearly an hour.

Ghost: Do I scare you?
You: No, not a bit. You can’t be a politician. I can see right through you.

Ghost: I haven’t eaten in centuries.
You: There’s only lutefisk in the fridge.

Ghost: My business partner murdered me last year.
You: He’s being audited.

Ghost: I left the water running.
You: I turned it off.

Ghost: I have no purpose
You: Would you help me find my car keys?

Ghost: I frighten to death nearly every one I chance upon.
You: Could I give you my ex’s address.

Ghost: I can never feel the touch of a human again.
You: Dentists are people.

P.S. The size of the photo is medium.

– 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

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