Posts Tagged With: Confederacy

Elephants Graveyard – Part 2

“Yep, but that won’t do me no good. That ‘phant will just hunt me down and crush every car I drive.”

“Surely, you are blowing a little tiff by that elephant all out of proportion.”

“No, I’m not. An elephant never forgets.”

The cabby remained inconsolable, and so, I waited quietly for AAA to bring the new cab. I then spied the smashed meter, and so, waited contentedly for the new car.

We got into the new car when it arrived, and sped eastward. A few blocks later, we turned into Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, only president of the Confederacy.

“Is this the Elephants’ Graveyard?”

“No, it isn’t. Well, okay, there’s one elephant buried here.”

We got out of the car and headed toward the guide stationed at the gate.

“I hear you have an actual elephant buried on the grounds.”

“Yes, it’s true,” responded the guide. “His name was Hector, and he’s buried right beside Jefferson Davis under the shade of the oak tree where he used to read.”

“What’s this, an elephant that could read, hard to believe?”

“I’m sorry,” mumbled the blushing guide. “I meant to say where President Davis used to read. But look here, notice how Hector’s grave comes between Jefferson’s grave and that of his wife, Varina.”

“Varina often complained, ‘Jefferson, I do declare you love that beast more than you love me, your own wife.’ Jefferson would respond with the factoid that Varina meant ‘over-the-hill elephant’ in Swahili. Varina then invariably threw a hissy fit which, if she was five foot ten inches tall, instead of her occasional four foot nine, ended with her decking the great man with a solid, right hook. When he regained consciousness, Jefferson would ride Hector over to the home of his great friend Edward Hurlyburly to eat peanuts and drink delicious grape-citrus coolers.”

I listened entranced for hours to many great tales of Mr. Davis and his elephant. “You know, you all won’t find these stories in the history books,” said the guide as I took my leave.

The cabby and I fought our way back through the thick forest and shrubbery of Beauvoir to the cab. I took the lead and held any branches that got in our way.

I suddenly remembered the meter that was no doubt astronomically high.

Thwack! “Ow!”

I turned around and noticed the cabby lying on his back spitting hazelblatt leaves.

“Hey, I know many parts are edible, but let’s get moving. I want to see that Elephants’ Graveyard.”

“Grumble, grumble, Yankee, grumble, ‘phant, grumble.”

Soon, we sped eastward. We turned left at Peters Street and headed toward Keebler Air Force Base. The sight of guards leveling their rifles at us prompted the cabby to stop. The guard knocked at the cabby’s window just as he pushed the button to roll it down.

“Ow, why’d you do that?” complained the cabby as he rubbed his head.

“I’m sorry sir. This is a restricted area. You’re not allowed inside.”

“I don’t want in. I just wanted to show this Yankee those elephant statues.”

The guard then waved to the sergeant on duty who put down his sausage, onion, and hot pepper sandwich to come over. The two airmen talked briefly before the sergeant came over to the car. The sarge, a man of few words, leaned inside the car and talked across the cabby.

“Well sir, those two statues are memorials to Castor and Pollux, two brave elephants, who gave their lives for their country. Back in January 1942, a German U-boat landed a platoon of marines to blow up this base. Security was disorganized back then and the Germans managed to get within just a few yards of the fuel dump when all of a sudden, Castor and Pollux, two wandering elephants charged. They routed the Germans but not before taking hits from a marine, who just happened to be carrying an elephant gun. They saved hundreds of airmen.”

“Gosh, what heroes,” I said.

I revived the wilted cabby and we soon continued eastward on Beach Boulevard. There, just beyond Mameuse Street, on the North side of the street was it, the Elephant’s Graveyard. I would soon understand one of history’s greatest mysteries.

“Son, you’d best stop right there,” said the guard at the entrance. “See, that herd inside. Well, that’s a herd of elephants holding a funeral. It’s not smart to disturb elephants when they’re grief stricken and edgy. You might start a stampede and you just might get stomped and killed. We’ve lost far more than a tolerable amount of tourists that way.”

We argued with the guard but eventually I turned away disappointed. The cabby seemed contented, but then the meter read $350

– 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: humor, short story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Corny Dogs

American Entree

TEXAS CORNY DOGS

INGREDIENTStexascornydog

Enough vegetable oil to cover hot dogs in deep fryer, maybe 4 cups (¼ cup more later)
½ cup flour
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2½ tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1⅓ cups milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
12 ice cream sticks
12 hot dogs

Makes 12 corny dogs. Takes 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSIL
The squiggle says, “I’ll be at the music stage”
empty Mason jar (or any jar taller than a hot dog)
deep fryer
tongs

PREPARATION

Add enough vegetable oil to deep fryer to cover hot dogs. Set temperature to 350 degrees. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Blend with whisk or fork. Add eggs, milk, and ¼ cup vegetable oil. Whisk vigorously until well blended. Pour batter into Mason jar. (Refill as necessary.)

Put ice cream stick into hot dog. (Leave enough stick out to make a good handle.) Dip hot dog in batter. Put hot dog in deep fryer. Repeat for all hot dogs. Deep fry hot dogs at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until golden brown. (You might need to do this in batches.) Remove with tongs.

TIDBITS

1) Mustard squiggles are an ancient form of communication dating back to the American Civil War. Union generals communicated with their vast armies via telegraph, a system subject to frequent breakdowns. So, Northern officers often sent instructions via mustard squiggles on strategically placed hot dogs and corn dogs. Unbeknownst to the North, General Lee’s cryptographers had cracked the mustard code. Union generals marveled how Lee always anticipated their moves. However, the Southern string of victories ended when Northern mathematicians came up with an early version of the Enigma machine. The South would never decipher another message. The Confederacy would lose the war. Mustard code only lives on at county fairs.

 

– 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Koshary From Egypt

Egyptian Entree

KOSHARY

INGREDIENTSKoshary-

1 cup lentils
3 cloves garlic
2 onions
4 tomatoes
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 pound elbow macaroni

1/2 tablespoon olive oil (1-1/2 tablespoons more later)
1 15 ounce can chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Makes 8 bowls. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Soak lentils in bowl for 1 hour. While lentils are soaking, mince garlic and onions. Dice tomatoes. Cook rice according to instructions on package. Cook elbow macaroni according to instructions on package. Cook lentils according to instructions on package. (Thank goodness for package instructions.)

Put olive oil and onion in skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir frequently. Remove onion and place on towel-covered plate. Add garlic to skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove garlic and place on towel-covered plate.

Add olive oil, chickpeas, tomato, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, and salt to skillet. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Put chickpea mixture into serving bowl.

Combine garlic, white vinegar, and red wine vinegar in mixing bowl.

Serve on plate with a spoonful each of: rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpea mixture, vinegar/garlic mixture, and top with a spoonful of sautéed onion.

TIDBITS

1) Chickpeas preserved the United States of America during its unpleasant Civil War of 1861-1865.
2) Rebel forces during this war often ran short of fun food to eat. Sausage pizzas were unheard of on the front lines as early as August, 1861. Quiche Lorraine disappeared by February, 1862. Caviar in April. Chicken parmigiana in August. And so it went. The Confederate forces had to subsist on chickpeas.

3) By September, 1862, the Confederacy was on the culinary ropes. General Robert E. Lee, command of the Army of Northern Virginia devised a daring invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania to secure vast supplies of ham so necessary to delicious recipes such as juice and sugar-glazed ham.

4) But it didn’t happen. Sometime in September, Union soldiers looking for fine Southern tobacco hit the Mother Lode, found three fine cigars wrapped in sheets of paper. These papers detailed General Lee’s invasion plans.

5) The Union scouts turned the plans over to General McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac. The Northern forces scurried, between epic banquets, to intercept the rebel foes. The worthy foes collided at Antietam, Maryland on September 17, 1862.

6) Fighting at Antietam’s cornfield was so hot that the kernels popped off the corn cobs. And so popcorn was invented while the South’s hopes for military victory melted as fast as ice cream on a charcoal grill.

7) But it needn’t have happened that way. If only Lee’s orders had been wrapped in a can of chickpeas. Those Northern scouts fresh off a meal of bacon cheeseburgers would surely have ignored orders surrounding a can of chickpeas.

8) And so, the South would eventually lose the Civil War. The Union would be preserved. Slavery would be abolished and bacon cheeseburgers would forever after dominate the nation’s culinary scene.

9) And so it goes.

– 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

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