Posts Tagged With: gods

Reigning Cats and Dogs

You can make these gods with Mr. Egyptian Head(tm)

The Ancient Egyptians created all sort of hybrid gods way before we even engaged in genetic splicing. But all we did with that science was to make genetically-modified tomatoes and the like.

Anyway the long-ago Egyptians worshipped the cat god, Bastet She reigned over the home. She was shielding and motherly. She was also violent, but her nurturing side predominated. So I think we should cut her some slack. Bastet–not to be confused with Bastid, as in “That Bastid took my package off the front porch–generally got depicted as entire cat. Sometimes, though, she was modeled as a woman with a cat’s head. It was kinda like a ancient version of Mr. Potato Head(tm).

The ancient Egyptians also bowed down to Anubis. Anubis had a dog’s head plopped down on a man’s body. Anubis reigned over the dead. That seems rather dreary, but mostly only pharaohs and really rich Egyptians got to enter the afterworld. These rulers and elites brought boat loads of wealth and food with them to Anubis Land. So perhaps the realm of the dead really was a happening place after all.

Bastet and Anubis mostly hid themselves in their divine worlds. Occasionally though, the hurly-burly masses got so involved in their daily lives that they forgot to give the cat god, Bastet, and the half-dog god, Anubis, the required sacrifices and devotion. At these times, Bastet and Anubis manifested themselves to neglectful peasants as if to say, “Yah boo, I reign over you.”

The way-back Egyptians called these manifestations as “Reigning Cats and Dogs.” Over time, the more observation Egyptians noted that these two gods mostly appeared when torrents of rain came down. So over time, “Reigning Cats and Dogs” transformed into “Raining cats and dogs.” Now you know.

 

– 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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Gado Gado

Indonesian Appetizer

GADO GADO
(Vegetable Salad)

INGREDIENTS

¾ pound Yukon gold or new potato
3 eggs
½ head Chinese cabbage or Napa cabbage
1¼ cups spinach
1¼ cups bean sprouts (aka mung beans)
½ pound tofu
2 tablespoons peanut oil or sesame oil
½ cucumber
8 prawn crackers*
1 cup peanut sauce or satay sauce

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

* = Some prawn crackers can be served as is. Others need to be deep fried. If so, please follow instructions on package.

PREPARATION

Add enough water to pot to cover potatoes. Bring to boil. Add potatoes. Boil potatoes for 20 minutes using medium-high heat. Remove potatoes and set aside. While potatoes boil, add enough water to 2nd pot to cover eggs. Bring water to boil using high heat. Carefully add eggs. Boil eggs for 6 minutes if soft-boiled eggs are desired or for 12 minutes if you want hard-boiled eggs. Remove eggs from heat and seat aside.

Add enough water to 3rd pot to cover cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts. Bring to boil. While water comes to boil, dice or shred cabbage and spinach. Add spinach and bean sprouts to pot. Let boil for 30 seconds. Remove spinach and beansprouts with slotted spoon and transfer to large mixing bowl. Add cabbage to pot. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove cabbage with slotted spoon and transfer to mixing bowl with spinach and bean sprouts. Add ice cubes and cold water. Let sit for 2 minutes. Remove veggies with slotted spoon and pat dry with paper towel.

Cut tofu into 1″ cubes. Add tofu and oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 15 minutes or until all sides turn golden brown. Stir frequently to ensure even browning. Remove from heat. Cut cucumber into slices ½” thick. Cut potatoes into ½” cubes. Peel eggs and cut each one into 4 slices.

Add cabbage, spinach, and bean sprouts to large serving bowl. Toss veggies with forks. Arrange potato cubes evenly over veggies. Do the same, one ingredient at a time, for the tofu cubes, cucumber slices, egg slices, and prawn crackers. Divide the peanut sauce into 4 small bowls, 1 for each guest. Guests then add peanut sauce as desired to the top of their salad.

TIDBITS

1) Gado Gado is Indonesian.

2) Gado Gado is anagram for A dog, a dog. It’s also an anagram for A god, a god. And even one for O dga, o dga.

3) Dga is, of course, the plural form for dgum.

4) Only the Latin language changes um to a to make a noun plural. The Ancient Romans spoke Latin. These way-back Romans worshiped gods.

5) They only worshiped gods that looked like people. But they were aware of the gods worshiped in other lands. Such as the dga, the dog gods of what is now Olduvai Gorge.

6) This is a long train of thought, so feel free to have coffee and doughnuts.

7) Anyway, Lucy of Olduvai Gorge is the first known human. Dr. Mary Leakey discovered Lucy’s skull on July 17, 1959. Lucy had a pet dog. She called it Dgma. It’s skeleton was discovered 42 years later under a rusty lunch box left behind by the site’s original excavators.

8) Okay, we now have enough information to trace humanity’s history from then to now.

9) Lucy’s tribe, possessing a limited vocabulary, took to calling all dogs Dgma.

10) Over the millennia, Lucy’s and Dgum’s descendants traveled ever northward. Along the way, because there really nothing else to do but walk, these hardy trekkers decided to worship dogs. Prehistoric shrines to Dgma trace the great northward walk.

11) By 1786 BC, the dgma worshipers reached Egypt. Little Osibis, daughter of Ramses II, saw one of the dogs. “Father, would you buy me that dog?” asked Osibis, “I shall call it Annubis.”
“Well okay,” said the ruler of all Egypt, “ but don’t go asking me to make it a god.”
“Ooh, that’s a good idea.” Osibis clapped her hands. “Make it a god or I shall cry.”
And so softy Ramses added Annubis to Egypt’s horde of gods.

12) In 48 BC, Julius Caesar arrived in Egypt, fought a bit, and took the Queen Cleopatra back with him to Rome. Cleo wanted to take all her dogs with her. Caesar said just one.
“Very well,” said Cleopatra, “I shall bring this dgma.”
“No, said Julius, “The singular form of dgma is dgum. The Romans will kill me if I left you butcher their language.”

13) But Cleo never did change the dog’s name to Dgum. This incensed Brutus, an ardent grammarian, so much that he assassinated Caesar. Rome would become an empire and go on to conquer the world.

14) Dog worship did make it to long-ago Indonesia. Those ancient people, all hardy anagramists, changed the chant “O god, o god” to “Gado, gado.” Gado Gado became the name of the food eaten after morning devotions. Then other stuff happened over the centuries and here we are.

 

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

Liboke Ya Mbika (Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Flour)

Congolese Entree
(Democratic Republic of Congo)

LIBOKE YA MBIKA
(Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Flour)

INGREDIENTS

¾ pound boneless chicken parts
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup pumpkin-seed flour* or almond or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon parsley
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ pound fresh banana leaves**

* = Finding pumpkin-seed flour in stores can be difficult. It can be ordered on line.

** = Finding fresh banana leaves is impossible whether you live Fargo, North Dakota or even in my fair city, Poway, California. In this case, buy the frozen banana leaves from specialty markets. If that too is impossible, use tin foil instead. Life can be hard, sorry.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8-quart pot
aluminum foil, about 10 square feet
cookie sheet
sonic obiliterator

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken into ½” cubes. Mince garlic clove and onion. Add olive oil, chicken, garlic, onion, and bay leaf to 1st large pot. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium-high heat or until garlic and onion soften. Stir frequently. Add 2 cups vegetable stock or enough to covered ingredients in pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken. Shred or crumble chicken. Reserve broth with garlic and onion. Discard bay leaf.

While vegetable stock boils, add pumpkin-seed flour, ginger, nutmeg, parsley, and red pepper flakes to mixing bowl. Gradually ladle stock from pot to mixing bowl. Mix with hands. Keep adding water until you a firm but pliable dough. Add chicken. Knead dough once more.

Cut banana leaves into 6″ squares. (Use aluminum foil as a substitute.) Add 1½ tablespoons of the chicken/onion dough to each square. Close banana leaves around dough to make a banana-leaf ball. (If banana leaves don’t close well, wrap banana leaves with foil.)

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Add enough water to pot to cover the banana-leaf balls you will be making. Bring to boil using high heat. Add banana-leaf balls to pot. Let boil using high heat for 45 minutes. (Add water as necessary to cover banana-leaf balls.) Remove banana-leaf balls. Place these balls on cookie sheet. Bake in oven at 225 degrees for 15 minutes to remove moisture from the dough inside the banana leaves.

Serve to appreciative guests. If they give you any guff at all about this magnificent creation of yours, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

TIDBITS

1) As a chef, you stimulate your creative forces by creating one dazzling dish after another.

2) Cooking is also immensely therapeutic. It simply gives you no time to dwell on all the woes in your life. Those moments where you failed at something and those times where strife entered your life all melt away when you assemble your latest culinary masterpiece. You will lift your face to the heavens and thunder, “Yes. Cooking is good. Life is good. Yes, yes, yes.”

3) Then there are those other culinary moments, the time things go wrong, when guests complain, when the red mist descends upon you. You must disintegrate that stew that accidentally got two cups of salt instead of 2 teaspoons. Or even those cases where you want to off uncouth guests who complained you didn’t use pumpkin flour or fresh banana leaves in your Liboke Ya Mbika.

4) But murder is wrong. You’ve known that most of your life. That’s a major reason why you became a cook. All your murderous impulses sublimate themselves in the pounding of the bread dough, in the slicing of the onion, in and the grating of the cheese brick.

5) But yet some guest will carp over the tin foil you used. You yearn to do him in. Of course, the police will find the guest’s’ body. Unless the officer on the spot is also a cook and knows what you went through, it’s best not to leave a body behind

6) This downward spiral explains why all kitchens carry a sonic obliterator. The sonic obliterator, well, completely obliterates the offending oaf. No body. No jail time. Easy peasy.

7) But in your heart of hearts, you really don’t want to obliterate rude guests. No! Simply obliterate that glass of wine they’re holding. That’ll get their attention. I guarantee they’ll stop complaining. Serenity will return to your kitchen. The now quiet guests will tuck into your Liboke Ya Mbika and, lo and behold, notice how absolutely tasty it really is. “Why, this is the food of the gods,” they’ll say. You will become their best friend. They will become your pals. Together, you will solve all the problems of the world. Life is good. Life is good. And we will all owe it to your judicious use of a sonic obliterator. Now you know.

 

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

Almond Sherry Soup from Spain

Spanish Soup

ALMOND SHERRY SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
2½ tablespoons butter
15 saffron threads
¼ pound blanched almonds
2 eggs yolks
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons sherry
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Spanish paprika or paprika
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons slivered almonds

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or food processor

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Melt butter in pan using low-medium heat. Add onion. Simmer at low-medium heat for 8 minutes or until onion softens and turns yellow. Stir frequently. Add saffron. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add blanched almonds to pan. Toast by using medium-high heat until almonds start to brown. Grind toasted almonds until they become a paste. Add almond paste, egg yolks, and minced onion to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until you a well blended almond/egg/onion paste.

Add chicken stock, sherry, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and Spanish paprika to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low-medium and add cream. Gradually add almond/egg/onion paste. Stir until well blended. Simmer at low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. While soup simmers, mince parsley. Garnish soup with parsley and slivered almonds.

TIDBITS

1) Last year, culinary archeologists found this painting in the Rohoño cave near Valencia, Spain. They believe it depicts a caveman giving thanks to the gods for raining down tasty almond sherry soup. (See the soup bowls at the bottom.) Conventional archeologists disagree. Prehistorians are a fractious lot. But you know, this soup is from Spain. So maybe.

 

– 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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bunny’s Feast

Bunny Entree

BUNNY’S FEAST

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot
½ Roma tomato
3 tablespoons raisins.

Serves a bunny family. Takes 5 minutes.

PREPARATION

Break carrot into 2 or 3 pieces. Dice Roma tomato. Do nothing to raisins. Place carrot pieces, diced Roma tomato, and raisins on separate flat surfaces. The separation of ingredients allows the bunnies to create their own three-course meal.

The best time for the bunny feast is just before dusk when it’s dark enough for our furry friends to feel safe and light enough for us to see.

TIDBITS

1) The Chinese dedicate every twelveth year to the rabbit. The Aztecs held that the Centzon Totochtin (say that quickly) are 400 rabbit gods who party all the time. They are the gods of drunks. Ancient Asians believed a rabbit lived on the moon with its friend the moon goddess. Nanabhozo was a Native American creator god who liked to appear as the Great Rabbit.

2) Crusader Rabbit appeared on early television as a force for good. The kindly Velveteen Rabbit appeared in books. Peter Rabbit delighted kids for decades.

3) However, we spurned the good lapins of literature for less savory rabbits. Brer Rabbit and Bugs Bunny were tricksters. To be fair, Bugs Bunny did promote war bonds during World War II.

4) Bunnicula, of literature fame, sucked juice from carrots while the movie, Curse of the Were-Rabbit showed these furry creatures to be other worldly.

5) Rabbits turned deadly in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “That’s no ordinary rabbit.” 1972’s horror flick, Night of the Lepus treated viewers to thousands of mutated rabbits killing and eating the inhabitants of small towns along their Chicago. Spoiler alert, Chicago survives.

6) See? Even the nicest of rabbits can go rather bad without attention. Go to the library with your kids. Check out Peter Rabbit books. Do it today. Civilization hangs in the balance.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pabellón Criollo

Venezuelan Entree

PABELLÓN CRIOLLO

INGREDIENTS – PULLED MEAT

3 garlic cloves (2 more cloves later)
1 medium onion
1 tomato
2 pounds flank steak
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon cumin (¼ teaspoon more later)
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper (¼ teaspoon more later)
3 quarts water (or enough to cover ingredients)

INGREDIENTS – BLACK BEANS

2 garlic cloves
1 small onion
¼ cup olive oil or oil (¼ cup more later)
1 green bell pepper
1 15-ounce-can black beans
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

INGREDIENTS – RICE & PLANTAINS

1⅓ cups rice
2 plantains or bananas
½ cup olive oil or oil

SPECIAL UTENSILS

3-quart pot
4 plates with 3 sections. These are mighty hard to find if you’re looking for them at the last moment.
sonic obliterator

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 50 minutes.

PREPARATION – PULLED MEAT

Dice 3 garlic cloves, medium onion, and tomato. Add diced garlic, onion, tomato, flank steak, bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon cumin, oregano, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat is tender to the fork. Remove and discard bay leaf. Remove meat and place on plate. Pull flank seat apart with forks. Save stock for future soups.

PREPARATION – BLACK BEANS

While flank steak simmers, mince 2 garlic cloves and small onion. Seed and dice green bell pepper. Add garlic, onion, green bell pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add black beans, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

PREPARATION – RICE & PLANTAINS

About 30 minutes before flank steak should be ready to be pulled apart, cook rice according to instructions on package. Peel plantains. Cut plantains into slices 1″ wide diagonally along the length of the plantain. Add plantain and ½ cup oil to pan. Sauté slices for 3 minutes on each at medium heat or until plantain softens and browns.

PREPARATION – FINAL STEP

This step is much easier if you have a plate that is divided into 3 sections. Carefully add enough pulled flank steak to make a pie wedge that takes up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add enough beans next to the flank steak to make a pie wedge taking up ⅓ of the plate. Carefully add (Yes, you are doing things carefully here.) enough rice to take up the remaining ⅓ of the plate. Add ¼ of the plantain slices to the outside of the rice pie-wedge.

Zap, with your sonic obliterator, any guests who fail to appreciate just how much heart and soul went into the preparation of this dish.

TIDBITS

1) This dish, pabellón criollo, is enormously popular, among Venezuelans. So much so, that Venezuelans will bring the ingredients for this dish wherever they travel or migrate.

2) And boy, they sure have migrated. On May 1, 16,870 BC priests revealed to the proto-Venezuelans that their gods would be having a millennium-long jamboree in a land beyond the Great Mother Sea. Of course, everyone knows the best time to petition gods is when they’ve been drinking, eating pulled beef, and dancing and singing up a storm.

3) So, all the proto-Venezuelans took to their rafts and floated and paddled their way down the east coast of South America, suffered ice storms in the Straights of Magellan, endured fresh-water deprivation, and got eaten by gigantic sharks and whales.

4) All of which sucked, especially when compared to jamboreeing with the gods. So once there, the proto-Venezuelans stayed and planted rice. This is how rice came to India, Vietnam, China, and Japan.

5) The proto-Venezuelans were pretty happy. Then the gods’ beer ran out. The deities became surly and hurled thunderbolts and really hard bread rolls at the humans.

6) Life sucked again. Enough to brave the perils of an ocean voyage back home. This is how peoples from Asia settled the Americas, not by the headline hunters who crossed the land bridge from Siberia to Alaska.

Chef Paul

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

Chocolate Haikus

I want chocolate.
Give me all the chocolate
And no one gets hurt.

My sweetheart left me.
But he left the chocolate.
So, it’s all okay.

Oh my chocolate,
Wonderful gift of the gods,
You make the sunrise.

Milk chocolate and
Dark chocolate, yum, yum, yum
You’re the basic food groups.

– 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: Bacon & Chocolate, humor, poems | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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