Posts Tagged With: Florida

The Wonder Dog

This story was based on two sources. First, my dad who served his country in World War II  did his basic training in Louisiana, He said soldiers would throw snowballs at the platoon ahead of them as they marched off to the mess hall. He must have told me this story when I was quite young as snowballs during a Louisianan summer didn’t bother me. Or perhaps I misremembered  the story. Second, someone, decades ago, told me how a resourceful officer came across some abandoned hot dogs in a shed food and in a moment of admirable economy served the dodgy franks to the men on the base. The rest of the story is my imagination.

* * * * * * * * * *

We won the war. We brought the Nazis to their knees, not some namby-pamby foot soldier who probably counted dodging Spam thrown in the mess halls as combat experience. Yes sir, it was me and the airmen of Okeechobee. Young man, I’m gonna tell you our story.

Okeechobee, Florida then was only known for its millions of bugs; huge bugs the size of baseballs. But it was there, in 1944, that the Army set up the 800th Bomber Group, captained by Henry Pizarro.

Well, we were out in the middle of nowhere in a state often forgotten by the rest of the Union. Supplies never did get to us in a regular manner. Sometimes we’d go weeks without any supplies. Sometimes, we got a lot of stuff we didn’t really need. One week they sent us one million scarves, and 22,187 bird feeders stamped “U.S. Army bird feeder, Red-Headed Woodpecker Only.” Antonio Cedeno, Army Head Scratcher First Class, scratched his head and said, “That’s army for you.” Oh, we also received eight hundred tons of papayas. It seemed that although our nation’s scientists were still failing with the general concept of refrigeration, they had miraculously found a way to refrigerate papayas several months ago.

Well, around August, we had run out of all food but papayas for two months, and no one wanted to eat bugs. Hell, the bugs had been biting us so much that some of us figured we’d be cannibals if we’d eat them. So, we approached Lieutenant Kelso, who was in charge of food supplies. Kelso said that he was mighty sick of papaya soup and papaya burgers. He said he’d raise heaven and earth to find some new food.

The next day we heard a terrible ruckus all around us. Every flea-bitten mutt in the flea-bitten state of Florida was barking, yelping, yipping, and scratching his balls. Sergeant Niekro went out to investigate. Apparently, Kelso planned to use these dogs to sniff up some food for us.

Well, I decided to follow the dogs. They headed away from the mess hall as even dogs get tired of papaya biscuits. Those mutts made a bee line toward the swamp where bugs felt particularly secure and ornery. Way in the distance I could make out that huge ominous, gray, metallic building so forbidding that even the chaplain called it “the Hut of Hell.” The Hut of Hell housed our chemical supplies, used oil drums, and various pleasant poisons.

Those dogs just ran to the Hut and barked something fierce. Kelso, opened the door and immediately the dogs keeled over in agony. Kelso doubled over and proceeded to vomit big yellow chunks of papaya loaf. Sure, it was up to me, Robert Carbo, the man with the big sniffer. I dodged a stream of papaya spew from Kelso and went inside.

As God is my witness, I have never seen so many hot dogs in my life. These hot dogs were arranged in huge columns. Each column was twelve feet long by ten feet wide and stretched at least fifty feet up to the ceiling. There were thousands of these majestic columns.

Well, perhaps not majestic, more like tons of decaying, larva infested, grayish-green beef shapes. How long had they been sitting in that metal building in Florida’s fine, humid, 120-degree weather? However, stench worse than Private Aparicio’s pits after a twenty-mile hike, prompted to me continue this thought outside. I wrenched my boots free from some hot-dog ooze and bolted outside.

I carried Kelso all the way back to the infirmary. Unfortunately, our doctor was away in Miami picking up popsicle sticks off the sidewalks as we had run through our last shipments of tongue depressors. Corporal Johnny Conigliaro, a quack in civilian life, prescribed a dose of deadly nightshade, a rather poisonous, purplish flower. Kelso nearly died from this treatment but did not complain, saying, “It’s worth risking death to eat something that’s not yellowish orange.”

A week later Captain Pizarro, arose from his desk and put on his papaya-woven flak jacket and walked to the mess tent. The cook had outdone himself with a gourmet feast. We started off with a snappy papaya fondue and a Waldorf salad where the apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise were substituted with papaya, papaya, papaya, and papaya sauce. For the main course he regaled us with a choice of: barbecued papaya sandwiches on papaya bread with a papaya sauce or chicken cordon bleu, where instead of chicken, ham, gruyere cheese, breading, and butter, he substituted papaya, papaya, curdled papaya juice, papaya crumbs, and melted papaya. For dessert we could choose either the papaya balls or the papaya flavored ice cream made with creamed papaya instead of cream. We washed down this feast with good ol’ papaya juice.

Captain Pizarro surveyed the yellow-orange expanse and announced that we were going to eat those hot dogs or die. Pale-faced Lieutenant Kelso staggered to his feet to voice his support before pitching forward into a huge bowl of papaya-bisque soup. Corporal Conigliaro timidly suggested that eating rotting hot dogs might kill us, or worse, give us diarrhea. Sergeant Gagliano put both of his powerful hands on Conigliaro and volunteered the Corporal for the honor of tasting the hot dogs.

Conigliaro said that although he was aware of the immense honor, he was reasonably sure that army regs stated that a certified medical doctor had to test all suspect foods. He was only an unregistered quack and so, respectfully declined.

It appeared that some stupid health regulation written by some desk-bound, pencil pusher in the Pentagon was going to deny us this wondrous, alternate source of food. However, our Sarge immediately volunteered Private Romero, a veterinarian, to taste the frankfurters.

Bilko accepted the assignment but said that he was such a good vet that he could determine the quality of the franks just by looking at them. He headed straight to the Hut of Hell, stopping only at the infirmary to put on a gas mask. Moments later he returned, ashen and trembling, stating that they were safe to eat. Though I did hear him mumble as he headed back to his tent hot dogs should not display internal movement. The other airmen just heard our cook announce hot dogs for tomorrow’s lunch.

Around eleven o’clock cookie started boiling the franks. Fortunately, a strong wind from the south blew the fumes away from the camp toward the town of Lake Harbor. About that time in an unrelated incident, Bert Taylor, a tea tester from that town, suddenly pulled his own head off and died.

We all lined up at the mess tent to eat our hot dogs in shifts of one hundred which was also the number of gas masks on hand. Well, the first shift manfully ate their hot dogs and immediately fell to the floor suffering from violent convulsions. Then Private Owchinko’s stomach burst open flinging his guts all over the mess hall. Soon, everyone’s guts erupted just like cooking popcorn. Owchinko turned his hideously contorted face toward me and said, “Dang, at least it wasn’t papaya.” He then died with a look of complete serenity on his face; well, at least as serene as one could get with an exploded stomach.

We carried the men outside and buried them properly. We put on all their tombstones, “He wouldn’t eat papaya.” Since bullets were scarce at our base, we gave our departed comrades ten hot-dog salutes. Most of these franks exploded in air giving off the same noise as rifle shots. However, some didn’t explode until they hit the ground. One hot dog, in particular, landed on a latrine and exploded, scattering its contents for hundreds of yards. Private Franco noted that the smells of the latrine improved the smell of the hot dog. However, Captain Pizarro displayed true genius when he stated these franks could be terrible weapons of war.

We drifted along in papaya hell until we received orders to fly over to Europe. The Germans had just broken through our lines in a massive offensive now known as the Battle of the Bulge. Disaster loomed and every airman was needed. We armed our bombers with our hot dogs, which now had been rotting for an additional four months in the hot, humid Hut of Hell.

Our 800th Bomber Group arrived just as the Germans seemed poised to overrun the heroic defenders of Bastogne. None of our infantry or armored divisions could get to them in time. None of the other bomber groups could get off the ground due to bad weather. However, we could and we did.

We bombed the hell out of those Nazis. A Tiger tank can take a direct hit from a Sherman tank just twenty yards away and drive away only mildly annoyed, but just one hit from our franks just ripped those tanks to bits. Down they fell, ton after ton of freedom franks. The foul, poisonous vapors from the exploding dogs suffocated the supporting German infantry. Our hot dogs created a huge hole in the German lines into which poured General Patton’s troops. Patton, that glory hog, claimed full credit for the American victory at Bastogne.

However, we knew better and so did many others. In fact, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain praised us saying, “This was their finest meat product.”

Doctor Paul De Lancey

(Please click on my name and submit Bad Advice questions to my Facebook page and simply make a comment to this post. I look
forward to hearing from you.)

 

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Son of a Bun Cheeseburger

American Entree

SON OF A BUN CHEESEBURGER

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

½ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
1½ tablespoons yellow mustard
4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
2¼ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¾ teaspoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar

INGREDIENTS – REST

1 onion
1 tomato
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1¼ pounds ground beef (80% is best)
8 slices American cheese
8 hamburger buns
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

Makes 8 cheeseburgers. Takes 1 hour.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

mandoline
outdoor grill

PREPARATION- SAUCE

Add all sauce ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Chill in refrigerator until ready.

PREPARATION – REST

Dice onion. Use mandoline or knife to cut tomato into slices ¼” thick. Add onion and oil to pan. Sauté onion at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Remove from heat. Divide beef into 8 balls. Press down on balls until they become patties ¼” thick.

Grill patties at medium heat for 7 minutes. Flip patties over. Grill for 4 minutes. Top each patty with 1 slice American cheese. Grill for 2 minutes more. Remove patties from heat. Divide special sauce equally among all 16 bun halves. Spread sauce evenly over bun haves. Add cheese-covered patties to bun bottoms. Top patties with sautéd onions. Sprinkle iceberg lettuce evenly over onions. Place 1 tomato slice over each cheeseburger. Place top bun on each cheeseburger.

TIDBITS

1) I had some difficulty naming this dish. So I had a contest where my FacebookTM friends got to name this burger.

2) Mike Allsopp, a retired policeman from Florida, came up with the winning entry. Thanks Mike!

3) So Mike has helped his community by arresting bad guys and in general by keeping the peace.

4) Mr. Allsopp also won a BoeingTM 747 for his clever suggestion.

5) Though there are doubts that he ever received his prize.

6) For although I know the name of the city where he lives, I don’t know his specific address.

7) And pilots for commercial jets really want to know that sort of thing.

8) Moreover, Mike has a short driveway.

9) How short? Oh I don’t know, maybe 30 feet long.

10) How long a runway does a 747 require to land?

11) The answer seems to be about 10,000 feet.

12) So most likely. the jet landing at Mike’s house would hurtle past the 30 foot driveway and into his garage where it’d completely demolish a Honda FitTm as if it weren’t even there.

13) Which might not be the case. Mike might have a HummerTM limo for partying around town.

14) Sad to say, though, the Hummer limo wouldn’t stand up the rampaging 747 either.

15) Most likely the 747 wouldn’t halt stop until it tore down several fences and pancaked house after house after house.

16) The plane, would also certainly destroy any garden gnomes in the neighborhood. So some would come out of it.

17) But upon sober reflection, I would have to say, all in all, Mike’s neighbors would be rather peeved at him. Miffed even.

18) Especially those neighbors whose garden gnomes got crushed.

19) And I’m entertaining doubts that the pilots’ union would even countenance such a difficult landing. So, it’s quite possible the plane meant for Mike never even took off. ☹

20) So Mike if you’re ever in my neighborhood, come on over and I’ll grill you some Son of a Bun Cheeseburgers.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

Categories: cuisine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ayran – Bulgarian Yogurt Drink

Bulgarian Dessert

AYRAN
(yogurt drink)

INGREDIENTSBugarianYogurt-

3½ cups Bulgarian or plain yogurt
2½ cups water
½ teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

Add yogurt to large bowl. Beat yogurt with whisk or electric blender set on medium until well blended. Add water and yogurt. Blend with whisk. Serve cold. Woo hoo! That’s it. This is simple. Woo hoo!

TIDBITS

1) Run, Dick, run.

2) Dick, ran, ran.

3) Did Dick run?

4) Ay, ran he did.

5) Ayran, is an anagram for Ayn Ra. Ayn Ra is not related to Ayn Rand, the famed novelist of The Fountain Head. Many people love her political views. Many don’t.

6) However, everyone loves Ayn Ra. She’s a sweetheart. Not a sweatheart as many people who can’t spell would have you believe.

7) Does Ayn Ra sweat? No, she’s a descendant of Ammon Ra, Chieftain of the Egyptian Gods, god of the sun, sky and heaven, Patron deity of Egyptian Thebes, who didn’t sweat.

8) Wow! Ammon Ra has an impressive resume. He could get any job she wanted.

9) Was Ammon Ra really a god? No, but he didn’t sweat, not even under the hot Egyptian sun. That’s kinda impressive. Okay, amazingly impressive. So his fellow Egyptians started liking him a lot and when his neighbors found out that mosquitoes never bit him, well that was an enough for them to start worshiping him. Ammon Ra was cool was this. Being a god always got him invited to the most exciting parties. I mean who wouldn’t want to invite a god?

10) Ayn Ra inherited the Ra gene for non-sweating, which is good thing since she lives in Florida. Ayn currently runs a Bulgarian yogurt shop. It’s the most popular Bulgarian yogurt shop in America.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Khachapuri (Georgian cheese roll)

Georgian Entree

KHACHAPURI

INGREDIENTSKhacapuri-

¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2½ teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
2⅔ cups flour (4 additional tablespoon later)
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour (3 additional tablespoons later)
1 tablespoon butter (2 additional tablespoons later)
1 pound Muenster or mozzarella cheese
½ pound feta cheese
¼ pound ricotta cheese
2 eggs (2 additional eggs later)
2 tablespoons flour (1 additional tablespoon later)
1 tablespoon flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter

SPECIAL UTENSILS

parchment paper or at least, no-stick spray
food processor
2 x 9″ pie tins
clothes dryer

Makes 2 loaves. Takes 2¾ hours.

PREPARATION

Add milk and sugar to small pot. Cook on low-medium heat until mixture is lukewarm. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and add yeast. Stir until well blended. Let cool for 10 minutes. Add olive oil, 2⅔ cups flour, and salt. Stir until mixture becomes a lumpy dough ball. Let sit for 30 minutes.

While dough ball sits, dust a flat surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Add dough ball to flat surface. Knead dough by hand until you are at peace with the world or 8 minutes. Grease large mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Add knead dough ball to greased, first mixing bowl. Turn dough ball around until it’s coated with butter. Cover bowl and let sit for 1 hour.

While dough rises, cut Muenster and feta cheeses into ½” cubes. Add grated Muenster, feta, and ricotta cheeses to food processor. Blend until only a few cubes remain. Add 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons flour. Blend until mixture is smooth. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After dough has risen, dust flat surface with 1 tablespoon flour. Add dough ball to flat surface. Flatten dough ball with hands. Divide dough ball in half. Flatten dough halves until they are 11″ wide and about ⅛” thick. Add parchment paper or no-stick spray to pie tins. Add flattened dough halves to pie tins. Add half of cheese/egg/flour mixture to center of each dough half. Pull edges of dough to the center until there is only a round 1″ hole in the middle. Pinch edges together.

Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees or until bread loaves are starting to brown. Use spoon or shot glass to press a 3″ hole in the center of the loaves. Add an egg to each 3″ hole. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until loaves turn golden brown and eggs are slightly set. (The eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the oven.) Remove from oven and brush each loaf with 1 tablespoon butter.

Serve hot to adoring guests. Put pairs of unappreciative guests in pairs of matched socks. Put sock-clad guests in clothes drier. When one of the matching socks disappears, as often happens, it’ll take one of the complainers with it. Repeat until your home has only happy people in it.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is from the country called Georgia. This Georgia is near Russia and Iran. There is also a state in America called Georgia. It is near Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

2) Both Georgias are named after Madamoiselle Georgia Chat. We know little about Mlle. Mousse save that she was born in Tours, France about 708. She was also extraordinarily beautiful. Okay, we know that. Oh, she was also fabulously rich. All right, we know that as well. So, you’d think she’d be a hot marriage prospect for all the local barons. Why did she never marry?

3) Mademoiselle Georgia never considered giving up her independence and she had a giant, pet rabbit Snuggles to protect her. How gigantic? Sources yield varying heights from twelve feet tall to the preposterous sixty-seven feet. Given the fact that Snuggles was also a ninja, you can see why the local nobility thought twice before courting her. On it went. Georgia performed scientific experiments. She even invented the briquette for barbecuing while Snuggles swung his one-ton hammer. at local lords and door-to-door salesmen.

4) Then in 732, Abd Al-Raman with his Berber tribesmen invaded the Frankish kingdom. The Franks assembled their forces at Tours under Charles the Pippinid. The Muslim Berbers were famed for their cavalry. The Franks had the fiercest infantry in all of Europe. Unfortunately, the Franks at the time were notorious for their allergy to horses.

5) The Muslims should have won. Europe should now be eating koushry instead of croissants. What happened? Snuggles happened. He shoved his way past the sneezing Frankish infantry and swung his mighty hammer over and over again at the massed Berber cavalry. Soon, the overmatched Berbers fled, but not before one of them shot an arrow through Snuggles’ heart.

6) Two bards saw the battle and would travel the world singing Snuggles’ praises. One settled in America, the other near Russia. Locals impressed by Snuggle’s deeds wanted to renamed their lands after him, but balked at his cutesy name. They settled on Georgia instead and there you have it.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie

American Dessert

PEANUT BUTTER PUMPKIN PIE

INGREDIENTSPeanutButterPumpkinPie-

2 eggs
¼ teaspoon cardamom, ground
½ tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves, ground
¾ teaspoon ginger, ground
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
¼ cup honey
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
2 x 8″-to-9″graham-cracker pie shells or 1 x 9″ deep dish graham-cracker pie shell
whipped cream for topping

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add eggs, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and sugar to large bowl. Beat eggs with whisk. Add peanut butter, pumpkin, and honey. Mix with whisk. Add evaporated milk. Mix again with whisk. Pour mixture into pie shell. Put filled pie shell in oven and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake an additional 40-to-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the pie’s center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve with life-giving whipped cream. Yay.

TIDBITS

1) Florida’s highest point is only 345 feet above sea level.

2) This is why few people travel to Florida for downhill skiing. That, and Florida’s lack of snow.

4) But even if Florida’s snowfall increased significantly, downhill skiing there would still not be popular. The state has no ski lifts, no not one.

5) And how do we know the altitude at the bottom of the high point’s slope isn’t something like 318 feet? That would only be a drop of 27 feet. And maybe it’s a gentle slope. Maybe it takes you a mile to ski down that 27 feet. Such a rate of descent would discourage most thrill-seeking skiers.

6) Of course, that slope might be exciting enough for snails. Do snails even have skis? I don’t know; I don’t run with that crowd.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Egg Cream

American Dessert

CHOCOLATE EGG CREAM

INGREDIENTS??????????

1 1/3 tablespoons Fox’s u-bet® original chocolate flavor syrup
2 tablespoons whole milk
9 tablespoons seltzer water (needs to be cold, needs to have all its fizz, preferably from an unopened bottle.)

PREPARATION

Pour chocolate flavor syrup into tall glass. (Connoisseurs agree that Fox’s u-bet® is the best.) Add whole milk, then seltzer. This should all be done quickly to preserve the fizz. Stir briskly with fork. This is an excellent refreshing drink for those hot summer days.

TIDBITS

1) This tidbit is scrunched by the picture. A picture of a round dish would not have gone so far down the page. So I would have had more space to write longer and more numerous tidbits.

2) However, every silver cloud has a lining or something like that.

3)Hey, aren’t the bags in vacuum cleaners called linings? Are there such things are silver vacuum-cleaner bags? They’d be quite expensive. Only the super rich could afford them. Maybe bags like these would become status symbols. We might even have to worry about our landfills getting clogged with expensive non-biodegradable silver vacuum bags.

4) Oh wait. Silver is so expensive. People would scour the landscape for silver vacuum-cleaner bags, picking them off the sidewalks if need be. These precious-metal bags would probably never even make to the landfills. Our neighborhoods would become cleaner. Our landfills would have more space for millions and millions of HuggiesTM that we dispose of every day. Everyone wins.

5) Hey, why don’t we use cement and HuggiesTM to make storm walls for all those low-lying sea towns. These coastal dwellers would be safe from storm surges and rising sea levels. Best of all, the sea wall wouldn’t cost anything as the savings from not filling our landfills with HuggiesTM would pay for the sea wall. I have just saved Florida. Yay.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bacon & Chocolate, A Powerful Force

What if the Bacon & Chocolate Party actually influenced this presidential election? Remember the fuss in Florida in 2000? There were several analyses of who should have won that state. One had Al Gore winning by three votes. It’s entirely possible Bacon & Chocolate could get three votes in a state in November

Bacon & Chocolate – For a Tasty and Influential Tomorrow.

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Greek Hamburgers From Forthcoming Cookbook

Greek Entree

GREEK HAMBURGER

INGREDIENTS

3/4 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons feta cheese
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cucumber
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 garlic clove

4 hamburger buns

PREPARATION

Crumble the feta cheese. Mix beef, cheese, oregano, parsley, pepper, salt, egg, and bread crumbs. Make four patties. Cook on grill until meat is no longer pink.

Mince cucumber and garlic clove and add to yogurt and mayonnaise. Mix with whisk to make sauce.

Toast the hamburger buns. Put patties in buns. Top patties with sauce. Yum.

TIDBITS

1) As far as I know, Greek hamburgers might be an invention of Greek Americans.

2) Florida leads America in cucumber production.

3) Cucumbers are 95 percent water.

4) Feta is a bad word in Western Sweden.

5) Garlic gloves hung around the neck are supposed to ward off vampires. We have no vampires in Poway, California, so I don’t wear them.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sandwich Cubano

Cuban Entree

SANDWICH CUBANO

INGREDIENTS

4 French rolls (Cuban bread if you can find it.)
1 pound sliced ham (sweet cured ham if possible)
1 pound sliced roast pork (see note*)
1/2 pound sliced Swiss cheese (baby Swiss if possible)
Dill Sandwich StackersTM Pickles
Yellow mustard
No mayonnaise (This is a Cuban no no.)
Butter

SPECIALTY ITEM

Sandwich maker or press.

PREPARATION

The order of preparation is quite important to aficianados of this dish. I present the following as the way I learned it. Spread butter over inside of bread half. Put on a light coating of mustard next. Top this with two pickle slices, 1/4 pound of roasted pork, 1/4 pound of sliced ham, and 2 ounces of Swiss cheese. Coat the inside of the other half of the French roll with butter and mustard. Assemble the sandwich.

Spray the sandwich maker with no-stick cooking spray. Put your sandwich in the sandwich maker. Cut into two or four pieces if necessary. Cook for about three minutes.

Your sandwich maker might cook faster or slower. (Stick around and stay alert for smoke smells or that billowing cloud issuing from the sandwich maker because you thought you could read another chapter of War and Peace.)

This tastes fantastic and is quite filling. It’s just the thing to eat.

* = Sad to say, many areas of the country do not sell sliced roast pork. You now have three choices: 1) Sneak into Cuba and smuggle out sliced roast pork, 2) marry a Cuban and have your spouse’s family airmail the delicacy in a sealed pouch, or 3) go to the supermarket and buy a package of sliced smoked pork chops. Remember, ask not what your cuisine can do for you, rather ask what you may do for your cuisine.

TIDBITS

1) Tidbit 1) did not survive editing.

2) Apparently the Cuban word for “sandwich” is “sandwich.” Who knew?

3) My older son made this sandwich and took it to school for a 4th grade project on Florida. He received 4 out of 4 on it. That’s my boy.

4) The United States and the Soviet Union almost had a nuclear war over missiles in Cuba. Thank goodness they didn’t. We would have lost the recipe for this tasty sandwich.

5) If you really don’t like to be told what to do and don’t want me to dictate that the order of putting the ingredients in the sandwich, then try this. Reverse the order and serve the sandwich upside down. Your guest will see the ingredients in the usual order and you will have been the rebel you’ve always wanted to be. It’s a win-win situation.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wonder Dog – Part 1 – Originally Published in Community of Voices, 1999

We won the war. We brought the Nazis to their knees, not some namby-pamby foot soldier who probably counted dodging Spam thrown in the mess halls as combat experience. Yes sir, it was me and the airmen of Okeechobee. Young man, I’m gonna tell you our story.
Okeechobee, Florida then was only known for its millions of bugs; huge bugs the size of baseballs. But it was there, in 1944, that the Army set up the 800th Bomber Group, captained by Henry Pizarro.

Well, we were out in the middle of nowhere in a state often forgotten by the rest of the Union. Supplies never did get to us in a regular manner. Sometimes we’d go weeks without any supplies. Sometimes, we got a lot of stuff we didn’t really need. One week they sent us one million scarves, and 22,187 bird feeders stamped “U.S. Army bird feeder, Red-Headed Woodpecker Only.” Antonio Cedeno, Army Head Scratcher First Class, scratched his head and said, “That’s army for you.” Oh, we also received eight hundred tons of papayas. It seemed that although our nation’s scientists were still failing with the general concept of refrigeration, they had miraculously found a way to refrigerate papayas several months ago.

Well, around August, we had run out of all food but papayas for two months, and no one wanted to eat bugs. Hell, the bugs had been biting us so much that some of us figured we’d be cannibals if we’d eat them. So, we approached Lieutenant Kelso, who was in charge of food supplies. Kelso said that he was mighty sick of papaya soup and papaya burgers. He said he’d raise heaven and earth to find some new food.

The next day we heard a terrible ruckus all around us. Every flea-bitten mutt in the flea-bitten state of Florida was barking, yelping, yipping, and scratching his balls. Sergeant Niekro went out to investigate. Apparently, Kelso planned to use these dogs to sniff up some food for us.

Well, I decided to follow the dogs. They headed away from the mess hall as even dogs get tired of papaya biscuits. Those mutts made a bee line toward the swamp where bugs felt particularly secure and ornery. Way in the distance I could make out that huge ominous, gray, metallic building so forbidding that even the chaplain called it “the Hut of Hell.” The Hut of Hell housed our chemical supplies, used oil drums, and various pleasant poisons.

Those dogs just ran to the Hut and barked something fierce. Kelso, opened the door and immediately the dogs keeled over in agony. Kelso doubled over and proceeded to vomit big yellow chunks of papaya loaf. Sure, it was up to me, Robert Carbo, the man with the big sniffer. I dodged a stream of papaya spew from Kelso and went inside.

As God is my witness, I have never seen so many hot dogs in my life. These hot dogs were arranged in huge columns. Each column was twelve feet long by ten feet wide and stretched at least fifty feet up to the ceiling. There were thousands of these majestic columns.

Well, perhaps not majestic, more like tons of decaying, larva infested, grayish-green beef shapes. How long had they been sitting in that metal building in Florida’s fine, humid, 120-degree weather? However, stench worse than Private Aparicio’s pits after a twenty-mile hike, prompted to me continue this thought outside. I wrenched my boots free from some hot-dog ooze and bolted outside.

I carried Kelso all the way back to the infirmary. Unfortunately, our doctor was away in Miami picking up popsicle sticks off the sidewalks as we had run through our last shipments of tongue depressors. Corporal Johnny Conigliaro, a quack in civilian life, prescribed a dose of deadly nightshade, a rather poisonous, purplish flower. Kelso nearly died from this treatment but did not complain, saying, “It’s worth risking death to eat something that’s not yellowish orange.”

A week later Captain Pizarro, arose from his desk and put on his papaya-woven flak jacket and walked to the mess tent. The cook had outdone himself with a gourmet feast. We started off with a snappy papaya fondue and a Waldorf salad where the apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise were substituted with papaya, papaya, papaya, and papaya sauce. For the main course he regaled us with a choice of: barbecued papaya sandwiches on papaya bread with a papaya sauce or chicken cordon bleu, where instead of chicken, ham, gruyere cheese, breading, and butter, he substituted papaya, papaya, curdled papaya juice, papaya crumbs, and melted papaya. For dessert we could choose either the papaya balls or the papaya flavored ice cream made with creamed papaya instead of cream. We washed down this feast with good ol’ papaya juice.

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