Posts Tagged With: European Union

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

 

Great Arctic Eats – Utsjoki, Finland

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Are you a diner who shuns crowds, but loves saunas* and watching reindeer ? Do you love words with “aa” in them, such as “kalastaa,” the Finnish word for “fish?” Indeed, do you love Finland but feel uncomfortable with large crowds of Finns who often congregate in the country’s large cities? Do you wish to dine above the Arctic Circle? Well make your way to Utsjoki, Finland, the little town that has it all.
* “Sauna” is “sauna” in Finnish. See? You’re speaking like a native already.
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There are five restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm).  So, the competition for your patronage will be fierce indeed. Let’s  visit the local eateries.
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The top rated dining establishment is the esteemed Restaurant Deatnu. They serve traditional Sámi dishes. Yes, they do wonders with reindeer, local berries, and fresh fish. The restaurant has a nice view and a friendly staff. But please, please try the salmon soup.

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Next on our restaurant adventure is Restaurant Aurora Holidays. They serve great local food. Try their delicious reindeer and cod. For dessert, you would do well to order their great sticky cakes. The restaurant looks out on a soothing river. Maybe you’ll even see some wildlife. This pleasant restaurant is run by the family who owns it.
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Winning third place is  Utsjoen Kylatalo Gilsa. It’s known for its hot drinks. Not only is it a charming cafeteria will the flavor of local culture, it also has a grocery store. It’s your one-stop place for food. And remember, you’ll love their buns.

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All self-respecting towns will have a great hamburger joint. Annukan Grill fits this bill nicely. And oh my gosh, oh my gosh, they have a reindeer burger. I want to go there!
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Honorable mention goes to Restaurant Pub Rastigaisa. It serves pizza and has a bar. This restaurant received many reviews written in Finnish, so you know the locals frequent it.
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Utsjoki, unlike many of the other towns reviewed in Great Arctic Eats has a road going in and out of it. It can even boast of a spectacular bridge going into Norway. So you’ll be able motor into town. No dog sleds and hiking needed to get to Utsjoki. Well, I suppose you could charter a plane from Helsinki, but if you want to travel by yourself and see soothing scenery, travelling the last leg of your trip by car really is the way to go. Anyway, there are many must-see sites in Utsjoki.

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Be sure to visit Kevo Strict Nature Reserve.  This place boasts of extremely beautiful hiking routes. You’ll find you self losing track of time while viewing the entrancing scenery. So, be sure to bring a watch with an alarm on it, as the park gets dark at night.

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By all means, see the enchanting church huts. They’re beautiful in their simplicity. All in all, it’s wonderful way to learn Finnish history while staying outdoors. None of that entering the bowels of a stuffy museum for us. The site sports a splendid, little craft shop and a waffle cafeteria. What more could want?

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Drive over the nearby Sàmi Bridge. It’s boasts an elegant, yet impressive dressing. It’s perched over a river dividing Finland from Norway. The bridge and its surrounding are especially beautiful in the twilight. Plus, it doesn’t take much time to take it all in. Just drive your car over the bridge. If you want a quick bit of beauty, this bridge is for you.

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Try to see the beautiful Utsjoen Kirkko. This is the northernmost church in the European Union. So there. The church’s architecture is both pleasant and impressive. Go inside and spend some soul-soothing time with God.

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If you prefer guided tours rather than thrashing about by yourself, look up Aurora Holidays or Tundrasafari Finland. And at the end of a glorious visit, simply unwind at Utsjoki DiscGolfPark.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– 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: Arctic eats, humor, international, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kourma Shurpa (beef vegetable soup)

Uzbek Soup

KOURMA SHURPA
(beef vegetable soup)

INGREDIENTSKourmaShurpa-

1¼ pounds tri-tip or chuck
3 russet potatoes
2 medium carrots
1 green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2 tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ tablespoon cilantro
½ teaspoon coriander
¾ teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons dill
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or salt
1½ quarts water
2 teaspoons parsley

Makes 10 bowls. Takes about 1½ hours.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Cut tri-tip into ½” cubes. Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into fourths. Cut carrots into round ½” slices. Remove seeds from bell pepper. Dice bell pepper, garlic, onions, and tomatoes.

Add tri-tip cubes and oil to Dutch oven. Stir occasionally. Sauté for 4 minutes on medium-high heat or until cubes brown. Add garlic and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add bell pepper, carrot, tomato, cilantro, coriander, cumin, dill, parsley, pepper, and salt.

Add water. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to warm and simmer for 30 minutes or until carrot becomes tender. Stir occasionally. Add potatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potato fourths are tender. Stir occasionally. Garnish with parsley and serve to guests who will be agog with your knowledge of Uzbekistan.

TIDBITS

1) Uzbek is an anagram for bezku.

2) Kudzu is an extremely fast growing vine that’s spreading all over parts of the southern United States.

3) Bezku is a fast growing beet that’s growing all over Uzbekistan.

4) For the longest time, the Turkmen government was aghast about the proliferating bezku.

5) Then came last month’s announcement that Beetball would be added as a sport for the Summer Olympics. Now athletes all over the world are clamoring for beets.

6) Beetball is played very much like volleyball but with a beet instead of a volleyball. So, tough agile hands are a must for the successful participant.

7) Oh, also good eyesight, excellent eyesight, superb eyesight. You really don’t want to get hit in the nose by a beet hurtling toward you at 80 miles per hour, because you didn’t spot it in time.

8) The best beetball players hail from Mongolia. Genghis Khan trained his warriors to dodge arrows by hurling beets at them. Sure, he could have trained his fighters by loosing arrows at them, but men with arrows in their heads or heads invariably prove to be slow learners.

9) That reminds me, the phrase, “That beats all,” really came from “That beets all,” and is a deadly serious statement. Nothing beats beets for tough army training.

10) Genghis Khan and the succeeding khans of Mongolia nearly conquered Europe in 1241. No European army could withstand the Mongols. The Mongol horsemen, toughened by months of beet throwing, easily dodged the arrows of Russian, Hungarian, and Polish archers.

11) It looked really grim for the nascent French pastry industry.

12) Then suddenly in 1242, the fiercesome, all conquering Mongol armies withdrew to Mongolia. Their khan, Ogadai, had tied and the Mongols true to their tradition, had returned to their homeland to elect a new leader. How did Ogadai die?

14) Well, Sven Svenson of Sweden poisoned the Mongol leader with lutefisk. Sven knew that just as no Western army could stand up to the Terror of the East, no man could survive eating lutefisk, or even smelling and looking at it. Apparently though, Sven was okay with run-on sentences.

15) Indeed, lutefisk warfare is the primary reason the tiny Viking armies consistently overwhelmed the much larger armies of Ireland, England, France, and Germany. We hear the expression, “God save us from the fury of the Norsemen,” but it used to be, “God saves us from the horror of lutefisk.”

16) Anyway, Svenson was decapitated by the Mongols, which certainly was a bummer for Sven.

17) The United States and the European Union still permit the making and even the selling of lutefisk to adults and innocent children. Why? Why? Because we all know how lutefisk saved Western civilization in 1241. There is even the suspicion that Western armies maintain vast stockpiles of lutefisk, but no one will talk.

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

Doctor Economics – America Needs to Expand

GlobalWar

America’s last bit of expansion, from the 1840s to the 1890s was a great period for dime-novelists and newspaper reporters. Yep, those people went to work with a smile knowing their country was strong and their jobs secure.

Then we gave up the Philippines and various bitty islands in the Pacific. As a result, Americans stopped reading and turned to cat videos on the internet. What should we do? I’m glad you asked. We need to expand.

How? By force? Oh heavens, no. The world these days frowns on aggression and what with all those nuclear weapons stashed all over the world, conquest is a might dangerous.

Expansion by war – bad!

Then how do we expand? By purchasing Leichtenstein, that tiny country in the middle of Europe. It would be a bargain. If we paid each of Liechtenstein’s 35,000 citizens a million dollars, it would cost only $35 billion, lock, stock, and barrel.

But we don’t have that money what with continued fighting in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. However, these conflicts are really an opportunity in disguise. Simply stop the fighting in these hot spots until we’ve saved $35 billion. How did we get the enemy insurgents to lay down their arms?

By giving them soft ice cream cones. Admittedly your average Joe Desert Fanatic will not stop shooting, bombing, and carrying on forever for soft ice cream. But he will for a few months, especially in those hot summer months, when the sun bakes the sand, bakes you and all you can think of is a nice, cool, creamy chocolate/vanilla swirl served up in a sugar cone.

Voila, the conflict stops for a spell. We spend the savings on Leichtenstein. What are the benefits? First, it helps our national pride. Second, we could use the vast forests of that tiny land to print billions and billions of novels, providing steady employment to thousands of needy writers. Third, we could join the European Union. Our farmers would become eligible for those legendary EU subsidies handed out to thistelwort farmers. But most importantly, our tourists could visit Europe and never leave America. Life doesn’t get any better than that.

– Paul De Lancey, Dr. Economics

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, international, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ask Dr. Economics: Greece Needs Help

Ask Dr. Economics: Greece Needs Help

I came up with a solution to Greek Debt Crisis two years ago. Did the powers that be listen to me? Noooo. So what happened? A continuing crisis and worldwide instability. So, in the interest of the entire world I resubmit my solution.

The mounting debt of the Greek government is threatening to destroy the Greek economy, the Euro, the economies of Portugal and Spain, and the cohesiveness of the European Union. If that happens the world economy will collapse and we will have 30%, 50%, 80, maybe even 200% unemployment–you will lose that second job you never had. You’ll lose your house, your car, your package of Bar-S hot dogs that sit in the fridge you will lose. There will be revolution in the streets, only reality shows will be allowed on tv, ketchup in the supermarkets will be a thing of the past. There will be no more supermarkets. There will be NO MORE LATTES. Earthquakes will become the latest trend, hailstones will rain down non-stop. Bug-eyed monsters will roam the streets devouring Bactrian camels and humans.

This is all bad. What can we do to support Greece? Best thing to do is to buy Greek debt but as it might lose 70% of its value, you might want to spend your sofa coins on something better. Try vacationing in Greece. If that is not in your budget, try buying gyros, you that pita bread that is stuffed with that beef/lamb meat.

Now, if we all buy gyros demand for beef/lamb meat will soar. And Greece is the only country where the rare lambcow animal roams. Sure, America has lambs and it has cows, but not the one animal that is both. So, if demand for the Greek lambcow rises, Greek lambcows herders will gain more revenue. More revenue from lambcow herders means more taxes for the Greek government. The Greek government pays off its debt. The debt crisis is averted and we and our fellow Bactrian camels will not get eaten in the streets.

Eat all the gyros you can. Besides, they’re tasty.

– Paul De Lancey, Dr. Economics

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: Ask Dr. Economics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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