Posts Tagged With: Earth

When I Saved the Universe

Let’s face it, the affairs of people remain remain fraught with chaos and tinged with unpleasantness. We need something in our lives that stays constant, orderly, and clean. Astronomy fulfills that role all the time. Or does it?

Halley’s (pronounced Halley’s) Comet takes a long elliptical orbit around our planet, returning to Earth every 76 years. That comet visited us in 1910. But take a look around your room. Do you see any evidence–posters perhaps?–that Comet Halley passed by us in 1986? No, I didn’t think so.

Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! The clocklike movements of our Solar System are falling apart. Maybe the entire universe is returning to singularity in a Big Collapse. We’re all going to die! We’re all going to die! Damn the calories, I’m eating an entire chocolate cake.

But fear not. We need no longer end our sentences in exclamation marks. The period, our workhorse, will suffice.

For I have found my Official Halley’s Comet Observer’s Certificate. I saw Halley’s Comet back in 1986. I humbly share my proof below. Now relax and breathe slowly, the universe is still working fine. You will live. You will thrive. There will still be love and tacos in your future.

 

Note, I was so excited in 1986 about spotting Halley’s Comet and thus saving us all that I started to write in the date in the spot reserved for my signature. But can you blame me?

 

– 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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Vietnamese Sugar Cane Shrimp (Chao Tom)

Vietnamese Appetizer

SUGAR CANE SHRIMP
(Chao Tom)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound medium shrimp, frozen, peeled and deveined (41-to-50 count)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 garlic clove
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon white pepper or pepper
1 egg white
2 teaspoons corn starch
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
8 4″-sugar cane sticks (fresh or canned) *

* = I suggest using canned sugar as fresh sugar cane needs to be peeled and cut into 4″ sticks. Canned sugar cane can be found in Asian supermarkets. Fresh sugar cane can be found there as well or online.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
electric grill pan
no-stick spray

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes. Allow for up to an extra hour if using fresh sugar cane. In this case, cut the sugar cane apart around the joints. Then use knives and cleavers to remove the hard outer shell of the can.

PREPARATION

Add shrimp, fish sauce, garlic, salt, sugar, and white pepper to food processor. Blend until ingredients form a shrimp paste. Add egg white to mixing bowl. Whip egg white with whisk until frothy. Add shrimp paste and corn starch to egg white. Mix with whisk until shrimp is again well blended.

Preheat grill to medium high. Dip hands in vegetable oil. Take 1½ tablespoons shrimp paste and press it evenly around the middle of a sugar-cane stick. Leave ¾” sugar-cane stick exposed at both ends. Brush shrimp paste on sticks lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Add shrimp-covered sticks to grill. Grill for 8 minutes or until shrimp paste is golden brown on all sides. Turn gently, at least every 2 minutes, Bite into the sugar cane a bit as you eat the shrimp. This will add sugar juice to your bite.

TIDBITS

1) Wherever the well loved Chef Tomasso went, everyone said, “Ciao, Tomasso.” Then one day he left his hometown of Padua in search of some squid ink for his next meal. He should have gone to Venice. Instead ended up in Hanoi as he was way too proud to ask for directions. Fortunately, the locals took him in. In gratitude, Tom, as he is now called, created this dish. Now, the Vietnamese greet him with “Chao, Tom” in honor of his cooking style .

2) Then, alas, tragedy struck.

3) Chef Tomasso fell off the edge of the edge of the Earth on July 1, 2018.

4) Apparently, he walked farther than normal and got lost.

5) He again refused to asked for directions and so, fell off the edge of the Earth.

6) Let this be a cautionary tale for all men.

7) This demise demised dumbfound all the physicists, who thought the Earth’s gravitational field would surely keep the good chef securely on terra firma.

8) Okay, the previous tidbit contained some ambiguity. It would be perfectly logical to wonder if, at some point, the physicists lost their dumfoundedness after Tomasso’s plunge into the interstellar abyss.

9) Let me clear up this confusion. These learned scientists remain perplexed by Tomasso’s misfortune.

10) It is amusing thought to think that Chef Tomasso truly lived life on the edge.

11) And if the word “dumfoundedness” from tidbit 8) is not a word, it ought to be.

12) Write your Miriam Webster and Oxford English Dictionary editors and ask them to include “dumbfoundedness” in their next editions. Thank you.

13) Tomasso’s great fall, shown on the 10 o’clock news, also flummoxed cartographers who, pretty much unanimously, agreed that our Earth is round like the globe in your fifth-grade classroom.

14) Meanwhile, maritime insurance rates have soared. If Tomasso, through no fault of his own, happened upon a spot that was the edge of the Earth, who’s to say that a freighter carrying wheat or a tanker bringing oil couldn’t fall off the edge of the Earth as well?

15) Can you imagine the following conversation?
Shipping CEO: Sorry, but your wheat will be a little late. Our freighter went over the Earth’s edge.
Food Importer CEO: Yeah sure, like I haven’t heard that one before.

16) As of yet, Chef Tomasso has not returned. His fate is still unlearned. I hope he will and that he’ll have a rattling good yarn to spin. In the meantime, watch your step.

 

– 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

Tom Yum Soup From Thailand

Thai Soup

TOM YUM SOUP

INGREDIENTS

½” galangal root, ½ teaspoon ground galangal, or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 lemongrass stalks, 2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, or 2 tablespoons lemon zest
5 Thai chiles, aka Bird’s eye chiles
1 tomato
1¼ pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined (36-40 count)
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4⅓ cups water
3½ tablespoons fish sauce
5 kaffir lime leaves
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon palm sugar, coconut sugar, or sugar
⅓ cup fresh cilantro

Serves 6. Takes 35 minutes.

PREPARATION

Peel and dice galangal. If necessary, remove outer, white layers of lemongrass. Mince remaining green part of lemongrass. Dice Thai chiles. Cut tomato into 8 wedges.

Add shrimp and butter to pan. Sauté for 90 seconds at medium-high heat on one side or until the bottom side of the shrimp turns red or orange. Move shrimp occasionally. Flip shrimp and sauté for another 90 seconds on one side or until the bottom side of the shrimp turns red or orange.
Move shrimp occasionally. Remove shrimp and its glaze from the pan and set them aside.

Add water to large pot. Add fish sauce, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, Thai chile, tomato wedges, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and palm sugar. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add shrimp and its glaze. Mince cilantro. Garnish with cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) I live in San Diego. To me, this recipe is printed right-side up. However, if I were to plunge all the way through the Earth and come out the other side, coming out somewhere near Antanarivo, Madagascar, this recipe would appear to be upside down. Oh no!

2) This is because I’d upside down as well. Fortunately, all I’d have to do read this recipe is to stand upright. Going from handstands to standing on their feet, is how people on the other side of the globe adapt to a round Earth. Crazy, huh?

 

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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Deep Thought Man Ponders Unicorns

 

 

 

Deep Thought Man #8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: Deep Thinker, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Block the Aisle With Your Shopping Cart

You work hard all day. Things went wrong. You’re seething with barely suppressed anger. But food is needed at home. So off to the supermarke you go. The one particular item you need is all the way down the aisle. This aisle is so long you can barely see the other end for the curvature of the Earth. You almost make it to your package of squid-ink spaghetti you need for that meal you were going to make for your Venetian boss, where you were going to ask for a much needed raise.

But, but, but, there’s someone blocking your way with her cart. You summon your last reserves of patience and say, “Excuse me, would you please move your cart.” But no, the oaf, she doesn’t move her cart. She is oblivious. You shout at her, “Move your fecking cart.” She sneers at you. “How rude.”

Your self control evaporates. The two of you tussle. Another shopper has filmed the whole thing and posts it everywhere. Shoppers everywhere take this video as a license to attack other shoppers. Shopping-cart riots engulf our great nation. This unbridled anger spreads to politics. Soon, all of America descends into undeclared civil war. Lutefisk vendors take advanage of the widespread chaos to sell lutefisk at our grammar schools. My forward-looking mind shuts down at this point.

DON’T BLOCK THE AISLE WITH YOUR SHOPPING CART!

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Paul R. De Lancey

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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Deep Thought Man Ponders the Earth’s Rotation

If this were to happen, the West Coast would get all the sports scores first, for a change.

Deep Thought Man #7

 

 

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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mastava Soup From Uzbekistan

Uzbek Soup

MASTAVA

INGREDIENTS

1 pound lamb or beef
2 potatoes
2 carrots
½ green bell pepper
3 tomatoes
2 onions
¼ cup olive oil or meat fat
7 cups water
1¼ cup short-grain rice
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh green onions

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline (optional)
Dutch oven

Serves 12*. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

* = This dish is meant for a large gathering. Feel free to cut all ingredients in two or in three.

PREPARATION

Cut lamb and potatoes into ½” cubes. Put potato cubes in small bowl of water. Dice carrots, green bell peppers, and tomatoes. Slice onions into ¼” slices using mandoline or knife. Add lamb cubes and olive oil to Dutch oven. Sauté cubes for 5 minutes at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until they are completely browned. Stir enough to prevent burning.

Add carrot and green bell pepper, onion, and potato. Sauté cubes for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Stir in tomato. Bring to boil using high heat. Add water, rice, coriander, cumin, pepper, and salt. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally.

While soup simmers, mince cilantro and green onions. Garnish soup with cilantro and green onion. Goes well with sour cream or Greek yogurt.

 

TIDBITS

1) This dish, Mastava, uses tomatoes.

2) Tomatoes are round.

3) This roundness explains the popularity of tomato bowling at amusement parks.

4) That and the fact that tomatoes go splat when they speed into the wooden bowling pins.

5) Do tomatoes enjoy disintegrating in tomato bowling?

6) No, not at all.

7) Do tomatoes relish being diced, minced, and pureed for culinary purposes?

8) No, no at all.

9) That is why they are trying to become more buff.

10) To the right is a tomato trying to build up its arm muscles by doing handstands.

11) This, of course, a fruitless endeavor. Tomatoes cannot do handstands. They do not have hands.

12) Nor even arms. Then how did it flip itself upside down? I have no idea, but let us applaud the effort.

13) It’s worth mentioning that tomatoes are quite territorial. This is why you don’t see other plants, bushes, or trees growing near tomatoes plants. The tomatoes don’t tolerate any intruders. They simply squash all comers.

14) Indeed, all kinds of produce are quite clannish and practice segregation. This is why you find only tomatoes with tomatoes, only bananas with bananas, and so on.

15) Yes, tomatoes remain discontented with their existence on Earth, just getting eaten and rubbing elbows with dirty potatoes and the like.

16) Which is why they want to leave Earth and find a new home on Mars, the Red Planet. Scientists pooh poohed this idea, ascribing the tomatoes’ goal as just idle talk.

17) Then one year ago to this very day that you’re reading this tidbt, the tomatoes mustered hitherto unsuspected resources and launched one of their kind into space. The photo to the right proves they succeeded.

 

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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Cuban Cascos de Guayaba (Guava Shells with Cheese)

Cuban Dessert

CASCOS DE GUAYABA
(Guava Shells With Cheese)

INGREDIENTS

1 15-ounce can guava shells in syrup*
8 ounces cream cheese

* = Found in Hispanic supermarkets or online.

Serves 4. Takes 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Remove guava shells from syrup. Keep syrup. Add ½ tablespoon to 2 tablespoons cream cheese to guava shell. (Amount depends on size of guava shell.). Drizzle 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon syrup over each guava shell with cream cheese, again depending on the size of the shell. Repeat for each guava shell. Goes well with saltine crackers.

TIDBITS

1) I had to go online to order guava shells in syrup.

2) They traveled the entire country by truck. They arrived by truck. The whole process took days. Fortunately, I planned to prepare this dessert for family. They were willing to wait days.

3) But if instead, I am regaling my business associates about Cascos De Guayaba. I’m really selling how great it tastes when I made it. I can see them starting to drool.

4) Finally, my boss snaps. “Dang, that sounds great,” he says, “I sure could go for some good Cascos de Guayaba. Whip me up a batch right now and I’ll make you vice president. And if you can’t, well . . .” He draws a finger across his throat. I’ll be clearing out my desk tomorrow.

5) But it doesn’t have to end this way. What if I could launch millions of bags of Cascos de Guayaba into the outer atmosphere? Higher than where planes fly, of course. I am nothing, if not careful.

6) Anyway, I’ll have billions of freezer bags full of this delicious dessert orbiting the Earth. All you have to do is order. With seconds a package of Cascos of Guyaba will be directly over your house. A little parachute will deploy. Your dessert will drift precisely to your doorstep. You will be able to make this dessert for your boss. You will become vice president. Your life will be good, very good.

7) But won’t billions of bags of Cascos de Guayaba in the atmosphere block out the Sun, at least to an extent? Won’t that temperatures to fall? Yes. But that what’s needed to stop global warning. I see a Nobel prize in my future.

 

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, Following Good Food, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wanda Wunder Wonders About the Earth

Wanda Wunder #16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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: Wanda Wunder | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Ham

American Entree

SLOW COOKER DR. PEPPER HAM

INGREDIENTS

1 12-ounce can Dr. PepperTM
3 tablespoons brown mustard
¾ cup brown sugar
5 pounds boneless or 5½ pounds bone-in ham

SPECIAL UTENSIL

slow cooker

Serves 8. Takes 4 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add Dr. Pepper, brown mustard, brown sugar, and brown mustard to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add ham. Turn ham until well coated. Poke holes in ham with toothpick or skewer. Add ham to slow cooker. Ladle Dr. Pepper mixture over ham. Cook on high for 2 hours 15 minutes. Turn ham over. Cook on high for another 2 hours 15 minutes. Slice ham while hot.

That’s it! That’s the length of the ingredients’ list. That’s the length of the preparation; just one paragraph, I love cooking. I find it therapeutic and satisfying. So, I sometimes love complicated and time-consuming dishes. But every one in a while, it’s such fun to make something simple.

TIDBITS

1) Ham is red. Dr. Pepper is reddish.

2) Mars is red.

3) Mars is a gigantic Dr. Pepper ham.

4) It was made in a huge slow cooker.

5) Mars has almost no atmosphere. Our Earth has quite a good atmosphere. We’re very proud of it.

6) So, it stands to reason air-breathing Martians came to our planet quite a long time ago.

7) How do we know this? We Earthlings eats lots of ham, just like the Martians. Also, we love MarsTM bars. QED.

 

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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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