Posts Tagged With: German

We’re French and You’re Not – Chapter One – Chardonnay Man – Last Part

6 p.m.: We fly over the battlefields of Verdun, where 350,000 of our countrymen died fighting the brutal German invaders. What is this? Jean points out a crowd of German pig-dog tourists. Enraged, we throw bottles, cabbages, and the contents of our chamber pots at them. Ha! Ha! Suddenly, and without warning, our balloon descends. Horrors! I recognize Président Pommefrite and Chancellor Erwtenzup of Germany. They are very filthy and very angry. They shout and shake their fists at us. We also notice French soldiers firing at us. Jean opines that perhaps we should ascend quickly. Stirred to action, I increase the flame. Our balloon fills with hot air and we leave them far below. Jean and I are so upset by the whole incident that we delay dinner by a full hour.

14 November, 10 a.m.: We find ourselves over the town of Amiens. Jean informs me that Jules Verne used to be its mayor. He astounds me with the information that he had been reading Verne lately. So, that’s what he has been doing with his afternoons. I thought he was cheating on his mistress.

Noon: We reach the town of Calais on the English Channel. We commemorate our successful journey across France with a simple meal of French bread, onion soup, salade Niçoise, and shrimp scampi. We examine the looming channel, but are not frightened.

3 p.m.: A great jolt rouses Jean and me from our naps. What has annoyed us? Oh, our basket has smashed to bits the radar of a French destroyer. “Vive la France!” we amiably cheer. But incredibly, the sailors shout angrily back. Jean suggests that we quickly leave those clods. I once again increase the size of the flame and we climb back into the clouds.

The sailors fire their rifles and the ship’s big guns at us. Boom! But they cannot see us as we are hiding in the clouds and have broken their radar dish. We shout our apologies to our countrymen and fellow adventurers. We toss down cases of caviar and our best champagne to make up for our faux pas. However, this noble gesture does not appease them. Strange to say, they are becoming even angrier. The lack of manners in our navy appalls Jean and me.

6 p.m.: We are over Dover, England. Hurrah! The great race is coming to an end. We see a great crowd below us. It cheers us wildly, so ours must be the first balloon. The throng includes the Queen and most of the Royal family. We also notice an enormous number of police and soldiers. No doubt, they are there to protect us from our enthusiastic admirers.

Jean and I drink several toasts to England, to the Queen, and to a successful race. I stand up and stagger towards the lever to lower the flame. However, I trip on Jean and fall with all my weight on the lever. Instead of lowering the flame, I shut it off completely. We fall precipitously and hit the ground with a squish.

We dust ourselves off and march proudly towards the Queen. For some reason she appears to be upset. However, we attribute her emotion to the passion of the moment. We present her with the first Chardonnay bottle of the season.

But, the Queen, she is not thankful. No, she accuses us of murdering her Corgi. What dog, we ask? “The one under your balloon,” she cries.

Before we think to apologize, ill-mannered British policemen clasp handcuffs on us and lead us away. We hear behind us German and French voices arguing vociferously for the right to arrest us. Their argument appears to be escalating into a brawl. We shrug our shoulders.

* * *

“Bah! Monsieur le reporter, the food here in this jail is horrible! But yes, I have been without Dom Perignon for three days! Why are these stupid English treating me this way? Can it be that they do not care that I won the Chardonnay race?

Monsieur, tell my friends to hurry and get me out of here. The Tour d’Artichoke starts next week! Sacre bleu!”

****

I hope you enjoyed this chapter from my book. Please let me know what you thought of it. Thank you.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

We’re French and You’re Not, 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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German Bee Sting Cake (Bienenstich Kuchen)

German Dessert

BEE STING CAKE
(Bienenstich Kuchen)

INGREDIENTS – ALMOND TOPPING

½ cup butter (6 tablespoons more later)
5 tablespoons sugar (3 tablespoons more later)
1 tablespoon honey
1½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream (½ cup more later)
1⅓ cup slivered almonds
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS – CAKE

2¾ teaspoons yeast
2⅔ cups flour
5 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon more later)
3 tablespoons sugar
⅔ cup milk, lukewarm (2 cups more later)
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
parchment paper

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

6 tablespoons vanilla pudding powder
1 cup milk
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (½ teaspoon more later)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
8″ * 12″ baking pan
parchment paper

Serves 16. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – ALMOND TOPPING

Add ½ cup butter to pot. Melt butter using low-medium heat. Stir gently and frequently. Add 5 tablespoons sugar and honey. Stir constantly until sugar melts and liquid is well blended. Add 1½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir with spatula until well blended. Remove from heat. Fold in slivered almonds. Just before cake is ready to be bake, use low heat to make topping lukewarm and spreadable.

PREPARATION – CAKE

Add all cake ingredients except 1 tablespoon butter to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Knead for 15 minutes or until mix becomes a smooth and pliable dough. Remove dough. Grease mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Return dough ball to mixing bowl. Cover with cloth and let rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size. 15 minutes before dough has finished rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover baking pan with parchment paper. Add dough to baking pan. Smooth dough until it is level. Use spatula to spread almond topping over dough. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until cake turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean. Remove from heat and let cool for10 minutes. Grab opposite sides of parchment paper, remove cake, and place on serving plate.

Let cool for another 15 minutes. Cut cake into 16 rectangles, 2″ * 3″. Use serrated knife to cut each rectangle lengthwise into 2 thin layers.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While cake cools, add pudding powder 1 cup milk and ½ cup heavy whipping cream to mixing bowl. (Prepare according to instructions on package.) Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

After filling has chilled, use spatula to carefully spread equal amounts of filling on bottom half of the cake rectangles. (The ones without the slivered-almond topping.) Place cake rectangles with slivered-almond topping on rectangles covered with filling.

A forgotten episode from the Great War

TIDBITS

1) World War I was mostly a static affair as it became incredibly difficult to dislodge the enemy infantry defending their trenches.

2) Then a German beekeeping general thought, why not use bees? After all, everyone flees bees.

3) So, on March 13, 1915 the Germans sent boys and girls carrying this cake to the British lines. The Tommies loved this dessert. So did the bees. The bees dive bombed the British soldiers who fled en masse. The Germans were on the verge of total victory. Then the wind shifted toward the German lines. Countless soldiers on both sides suffered repeated stings. The Great Bee Sting Truce was agreed upon and lasted for two weeks. After that, Bee Sting Cake got banned as a weapon of war.

 

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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Egyptian Roz Bel Laban

Egyptian Dessert

ROZ BEL LABAN

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice
2¼ cups water
3½ cups whole milk
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon orange blossom water or vanilla
½ teaspoon rose water, orange blossom water, or vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Serves 6. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add rice and water to pot, Set heat to low-medium and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. (Always, in this recipe, add water or milk if the liquid in the pot dries up.)

While rice simmers, add milk and sugar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add to pot. Simmer at medium heat for 12 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken. Stir constantly. Add allspice, orange blossom water, and rose water. Simmer at medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture has thickened and rices softens and becomes creamy. Gently spoon rice mixture into individual serving bowls. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour or until pudding sets. Sprinkle cinnamon over each bowl.

TIDBITS

1) Roz Augureau’s sparkling eyes and beautiful face bedazzled men everywhere. So much so that men made rash decisions. In 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II and President Poincare attended a society ball at the same time as Roz. The German and French leaders both professed undying love for her. Neither ruler would clear the field for the belle Roz. Words were said. Poincare slapped Wilhelm. The Kaiser had the choice of weapons. If only he had picked pistols, instead of millions of soldiers as the duelllng weapons, the world would have been spared the horrors of the First World War.

2) But he didn’t and anyway, hindsight is 20/20. However, the French could forgive Roz Augureau for starting the War to End All Wars. Afier all, “L’amour, toujours l’amour.” They could not ignore, however, her effect on French cuisine. Every time the Belle Roz sashayed by restaurants, the besotted chefs made mistakes. It all came to a head in 1915 when the very sight of Roz so charmed the chef making this very dish, that he unwittingly substituted sardine water for vanilla. This atrocity outraged the French nation. What, if anything, was France fighting for if not for the purity of its cuisine? So, France passed a law banning the belle Roz from walking by any kitchen. In honor of this law, Le Monde called this dish, “Roz Belle La Ban.” Later this became, Roz Bel Laban.

 

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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Pączki (Polish Doughnuts)

Polish Dessert

PĄCZKI
(Doughnuts)

INGREDIENTS

1½ tablespoons yeast
1 cup milk, warm
1½ tablespoons water, warm
⅓ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon rum extract or 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
6 cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons flour
1 quart lard or vegetable oil
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup of your favorite jam or jelly

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater (with dough hook, if you have it)
sonic obliterator

Makes 20 doughnuts. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add yeast, milk, and water to large mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until yeast dissolves. Add butter. rum extract, salt, sugar. and vanilla. Stir with whisk until sugar dissolves. Add eggs. Mix with electric beater on medium setting until well blended and mixture thickens. Add 6 cups flour gradually and blend with electric beater set on low. (Use beater’s dough hook if you have one.) Mix until dough is smooth and will not stick to your hands. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.

Dust flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Roll out dough until it is ¾” thick. Cut dough into 3″ wide circles. (A cookie cutter and upside-down glass work well here.) Let rise for 1 hour on until dough circles double in size.

Add lard to large pan. Heat lard using medium-high heat until a tiny bit of dough dances in the lard. Carefully add as many dough circles as possible without having them touch each other. Fry for 1-to-2 minutes or until the bottom of the dough circles turn golden brown. (Please monitor to prevent burning.) Carefully flip dough circles. Fry for another 1-to-2 minutes or until the second side turns golden brown as well. Remove and place on towel-covered plate. Repeat for the following batches. (Please note that frying times tend to go down with successive batches.)

Let doughnuts cool until they can be handled. Add confectioners’ sugar to mixing bowl. Add doughnut. Turn doughnut until covered with confectioners’ sugar. Use sharp knife to cut a 2″ slit in the middle of a doughnut’s side. Use spoon to insert ½ tablespoon jam into doughnut. Use sonic obliterator on anyone who gives you guff in any way. I mean, geezo flip, you’ve been working with hot grease to make them a super yummy dessert. And no jury would ever convict you.

TIDBITS

1) German bombers attacked London during The First World War, 1914-1918, and World War Two, 1939 -1945.

2) The British, understandably, didn’t like this at all, no not one bit. But what to do? Until the advent of the British radar defense system, the RAC, and later the RAF, found it nearly impossible to find and intercept the German bombers. So, the bombing continued unmolested.

3) Then, on May 19th, 1915, Polish immigrant and master baker, Jan Kowalski, made 20,000 pączki (using this very recipe according to culinary historians) to celebrate the wedding of Antoni Adami and Maja Bartosz.

4) Unfortunately, just before the wedding the father of Antoni told a “Your Mama” joke to the Maja’s mom. It was now well received. Maja’s mom told her husband. Words were said. A few fist fights broke out. The Bartoszes cancelled the wedding. Jan the baker didn’t get paid.

5) Jan’s friend, Bazyli Blaszak, owner of Blaszak’s Catapults was also at the wedding. “I know you feel. I have 500 catapults doing nothing. The British army put in a big order for catapults, but at the last moment they decided to go for75 millimeter artillery pieces instead. Wanted to modernize their army, they said.” He spat. “Dranie.”

6) “Well pierdolić,” said Jan. “We might as well use your catapults to fling my pączki as high as they can go into the sky.” So, the two friends flung up one paçzek after another into the heavens.

7) As contrived luck would have it, a squadron of German Gothas dropped by that very moment to bomb London. The squadron cleared the barrage balloons designed to keep Hun bombers away.

8) But they did not pass through Jan’s and Bazyli’s Polish Doughnut barrage unscathed. Pączek after pączek went through the bombers’ wings, shredding them completely. 31 bombers fell from the skies.

9) The British Army noted the failure of the barrage balloons and invested in anti-aircraft guns, a beefed up fighter force, and 500 polish catapults because hey, they worked.

10) The German air force also took note. All future planes would be designed to fly higher than any catapulted doughnut could achieve. Once the spirit of innovation spread through the Luftwaffe, it never really stopped. Their air planes got better and better. And in May, 1940 the German aircraft played a vital role in overrunning France. Aerial combat had gotten real. So next time, make sure you pay your doughnut caterers.

 

– 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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Sauna Baked Eggs

People often talk how it’s so hot that they could fry an egg on the sidewalk or on the hood of a jar. Indeed, I saw a film of a British soldier frying an egg on the hood of his jeep. He was part of the British army fighting the Germans in North Africa in 1940-1942.

But what about baking an egg? I had done research on the Finnish Sauna World Championship. Temperatures inside their saunas reached 240 degrees. I wondered if that would be high enough to bake an egg. So, I made the below photos. I was just being whimsical. Then I found out their is such a thing as Korean Sauna Baked Eggs!

Korean sauna goers would munch on eggs actually baked in the sauna. Who knew? The baking took seven hours, turning the egg-white brown and giving the whole egg a nutty flavor. Nowadays, most people make sauna eggs with a specialized rice cooker or with an instant pot. Now you know. And I’ll have to try making Sauna Baked Eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 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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Butter Chicken

Indian Entree

BUTTER CHICKEN

INGREDIENTS – MARINADE

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves (3 more later)
1 teaspoon chili powder (1 teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon cumin (1 teaspoon more later)
2 teaspoons garam masala (1 teaspoon more later)
½ teaspoon turmeric

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1″ ginger root
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
1 tablespoon butter (5 more tablespoons later)
5 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 cup cream
4 naan loaves or rice

SPECIAL UTENSIL

blender

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 15 minutes.

PREPARATION – MARINADE

Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Mince 2 garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until thoroughly blended and chicken cubes are thoroughly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Add marinated chicken and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 10 minutes or until the chicken cubes brown on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside. Mince 3 garlic cloves and onion. Grate ginger root. Add 1 tablespoon butter, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add 5 tablespoons butter, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, and salt. Simmer at low heat for 1 minute or butter melts and absorbs into the spices. Stir frequently. Add crushed tomatoes. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Empty contents of pan into blender and puree them.

Add puree back to pan. Add cream and chicken cubes. Simmer on low heat for 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. Serve with naan bread.

TIDBITS

1) In 1948, Stalin, the brutal dictator of the Soviet Union decided to force the Western Allies out of Berlin by blockading all rail and road access to the city. He figured that the Allied armed forces and Berlin’s citizens would give up in weeks as they’d have to leave to eat. Then the Soviets could take Berlin without fighting.

2) But by agreement, the Western Allies had access to Berlin via three air corridors. The American and British, by herculean efforts, air lifted millions upon millions of tons of coal to the city. They did the same for foodstuffs, flying in untold tons of: flour, fat, meat, fish, dried potatoes, sugar, powdered milk, yeast dried veggies, salt, and cheese.

3) But no butter.

4) Without butter, it’s impossible to make buttered toast. It’s hopeless to make tasty cookies without butter. Without tasty cookies, the way to live ebbs away. Without cookies, people grow listless and indifferent. President Truman realized that without cookies, the Berliners wouldn’t lift a finger to resist any Russian invasion.

5) But there was no room on the air transports to bring in butter.

6) So Truman in conjunction with German chicken farmers organized the Butter Chicken Brigade, Butterhühnerbrigade in German. They really do have a word for everything.

7) The German chicken handlers loaded their chickens with panniers brimming with tubs of butter. The Soviet soldiers surrounding Berlin couldn’t stop the chickens from running the blockade. Have you ever did to catch a chicken? It isn’t easy.

8) Anyway, Berliners, their resolve stiffened by the now possible cookies, united against the Russians. The Russians knew they could face them down. Soon afterward, Stalin lifted the blockade. The Butter Chickens of Berlin had preserved their city. Indeed, they’d saved the world.

9) Said to say, their only recognition came, strangely, enough from India which developed this dish in honor of the Berlin’s plucky chickens.

 

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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The Wonder Dog – Part 2

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.”

– 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.

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Currywurst

German Entree

CURRYWURST

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil (1 more tablespoon later)
1½ tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound bratwurst, knockwurst, or kielbasa
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Serves 3. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Add onion and 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil to pot. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add curry powder, chili powder, paprika, and salt. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 1 minute. Stir frequently. Add tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir enough to prevent sauce from burning.

While sauce simmers, slice bratwurst into ½” slices. Add bratwurst and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes. Flip and stir bratwurst slices until they are all browned on both sides. Pour sauce over bratwurst slices and serve. Goes well with French fries.

TIDBITS

1) The city state of Ur was founded nearly 6,000 years when social media required flint chisels and stone. Archeologists–woo, spelled it right the first time, have found previous few examples of trolling in wall-platform comments’ sections, probably because they took several days to upload. Even then, the ripostes limited themselves to the likes of “Sez you.” and “So’s, your mother.”

2) So, Urs?, Urps?, Curs?,citizens of Ur generally expressed themselves in the culinary arts. German sausages were quite popular, thousands of years before the creation of the modern Germany. So far, culinary historians, always a fractious bunch, haven’t arrived at a consensus explaining this.

3) However, we know that Ramses II, pharaoh of Ancient Egypt–an inventor of the first condom, it still bears his name, loved Nile sausages. He hated the imports from Ur. “Ugh,” he said, “Those Curs, their sausage is the worst.” It was then only a hop, skip, and jump to the calling the foreign sausage, “Curry Wurst.” Currywurst, however, experienced a renaissance with the advent of refrigeration and air travel between Ur and Berlin. It’s now quite popular in the German capital.

– 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.”

– 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: history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spaghetti Omelette From Cameroon

Cameroonian Breakfast

SPAGHETTI OMELETTE

INGREDIENTSspaghettiomelette

2 eggs
½ cup cooked spaghetti
1 stalk green onion
¼ small onion
1 small tomato
⅛ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Makes 1 omelette. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add eggs to mixing bowl. Beat eggs with whisk until blended. Cut green onion into ¼” slices. Dice onion and tomato. Add spaghetti, green onion, onion, tomato, white pepper, salt, and oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until veggies soften and spaghetti starts getting crispy. Stir occasionally.

Pour beaten eggs over veggies. Cook at medium for 3 minutes or until eggs become hard enough to flip over. Flip egg mixture. Cook at medium heat for 2 minutes or until omelette is done to your desired level of doneness. Goes well inside ½ baguette as a sandwich filler.

Isn’t the very idea of a spaghetti omelette way cool?

TIDBITS

1) China invented spaghetti. They built Great Spaghetti Wall of China in 1155 to keep out the Mongol barbarians. It worked. The wall was too high to scale, too thick to batter through.

2) However, in the summer of 1213, Mongols under Genghis Khan approached the wall. Khan’s engineers studied and studied their obstacle. No use. The frustrated warriors threw tomatoes, one of their more non-lethal weapons, at the wall before turning away to head home. Suddenly hot rain, it was summer, deluged and penetrated the Great Spaghetti Wall for ten minutes. The pasta softened. So did the tomatoes. The Mongol horde, tired of endless yogurt meals, attacked the wall with two-tined forks. The cooked spaghetti was great. and so they ate their way through the wall. The Mongols poured into China and devastated the land.

3) The French built the Maginot Line in the 1930s to keep out the spaghetti-hating German army. Unfortunately, the French didn’t have enough pasta to build a wall along their entire northern border. The Germans, in 1940, simply sent their forces around the wall and defeated France. No nation has tried building a spaghetti wall since.

– 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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