Posts Tagged With: historians

Finnish Hot Dog Sauce (Nakkikastike)

Finnish Entree

HOT DOG SAUCE
(Nakkikastike)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound hot dogs or sausages
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons flour
1¾ cups beef broth
¾ cup cream
3 tablespoons ketchup
½ teaspoon pepper

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut hot dogs into circles ½” thick. Dice onion. Add onion and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add hot-dog circles. Stir until well blended. Sauté for 3 minutes or until hot-dog slices brown.

Lower heat to medium. Add flour. Fry until flour turns browns. Mix until well blended. Add beef broth. Stir with whisk until there are no lumps. Bring to boil using medium-high heat. Stir frequently. Add cream, ketchup, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Goes well with mashed potatoes.

TIDBITS

1) Culinary historians tell us this Finnish dish actually came from China some thousands of years ago and that it was originally called Yin Yang. Indeed, culinary philosophers maintain that Yin Yang is a Chinese philosophical concept that describes how apparently opposite forces may actually be complementary and interconnected in the culinary world. Later Chinese philosophers extended this concept to the entire natural world. Now everybody, not just chefs, can have big thinks about how things fit together.

2) Just so you know, it’s extremely windy outside my window.

3) For some 217 years, 9 months, and 26 days, Chinese debated on what were the grand universal twin powers from which flowed all opposite and complementary forces. Then Chef Tai Chi Pei piped up, “The twin universal powers are Hot Dog Sauce and Mashed Potatoes.” All the philosophers agreed at once. It’s just one of things that had been hard to see, but became incredibly obvious once presented. This revolutionary idea made its way to Finland via the Silk Road. Inner-truth seeking Finnish chefs gave culinary shape to this philosophy with this dish. 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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Norwegian Sour Cream Porridge (Rømmegrøt)

Norwegian Breakfast

SOUR CREAM PORRIDGE
(Rømmegrøt)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups sour cream
½ cup flour, wheat flour, or semolina (½ cup more later)
½ cup flour, wheat flour, or semolina
3½ cups warm milk
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
2 tablespoon melted butter

Serves 5. Takes 35 minutes.

* = This was part one to pin down. Outside of Scandinavia, most people would eat it for breakfast. It is mostly eaten in Norway as part of a day-long Christmas feast. It’s usually served with cured meats.

PREPARATION

Add sour cream to pot. Simmer at low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Sprinkle ½ cup flour onto sour cream. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Use shallow spoon to skim off butter fat as it comes to the surface. Reserve butter fat. Add ½ cup flour. Stir constantly.

Slowly whisk in milk. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes or until porridge thickens. Use whisk constantly to prevent lumps. Add salt. Stir enough to blend in salt. Add porridge to serving bowls. Ladle reserved butter fat and melted butter into bowls. Sprinkle bowls with cinnamon sugar.

TIDBITS

1) Just change the cinnamon sugar streaks in the above photo to red and you’ll see a lava flow through white rock. Culinary anthropologists believe this porridge reminds Norwegians of the days when their country was rife with active volcanoes. Indeed, culinary historians, a lively bunch if there has been one, say that constant lava flows made farming impossible. This left plundering foreign lands for precious metals and jewelry the only way to support themselves. Thus, the Vikings were born.

2) You might wonder why, until now, we’ve never heard of Norwegian volcanoes. That’s because Vikings didn’t adopt an alphabet for the entire populace, the Young Fouthrak runes, until 1100 AD. But the Norwegian volcanoes ceased erupting thirteen years earlier. And as our culinary historians are quick to point out, 1087 is the year of the last major Viking raid. Now you know. Volcanoes.

 

– 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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Banitsa (Cheese Pie)

Bulgarian Entree

BANITSA
(Cheese Pie)

INGREDIENTS

¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup whole milk yogurt
½ pound Bulgarian white cheese, sirene, or feta
no-stick spray
½ pound phyllo sheets
1 tablespoon butter

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″-pie pan

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add baking soda, eggs, cup vegetable oil, and yogurt to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Crumble white cheese into bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Spray pie pan with no-stick spray.

Gently unroll phyllo dough. Drizzle 2 tablespoons yogurt/feta mixture onto phyllo sheet. Gently smooth mixture over entire phyllo sheet. Gently roll up the covered sheet into a log. Repeat for each phyllo sheet.

Place a phyllo log seam-side down along edge of pan. Gently shape phyllo log into a spiral. Place end of next phyllo log at the end of first log. Shape this phyllo log so as to continue to spiral started by the first one. Repeat until pie pan is completely filled with phyllo logs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until pie turns golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) In 1946, Bulgaria came under the control of the Soviet Union. Culinary historians note that Russia pretended to let Bulgaria rule through a council known as the Karfeni Glavi. This, of course, translates to “Potato Heads.” So, you can see how little the average Bulgarian though of the council. But by the late 1980s the Soviet Union was teetering on collapse. A few Potato Heads, sensing independence, while not yet ready to challenge Russia directly, started abstaining. But not many. Few wanted to stick his neck out. Then in 1989, Potato Head Iliev, noted Bulgaria’s national dish “Banista” was, in English, an anagram for “abstain.” He’d bring banitsa every time he abstained saying, “I’m hungry.” He’d let his fellow Potato Heads in on his secret. Soon, all the Heads were bringing banitsa and abstaining. Russian rule collapsed in the face of such a united opposition. Yay.

 

Paul De Lancey, 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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Nidi di Rondini

San Marinese

NIDI DI RONDINI

INGREDIENTS

1 12-ounce package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup marinara sauce (⅓ cup more later)
1¼ cups grated mozzarella
½ pound prosciutto or deli-sliced ham
⅓ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

SPECIAL UTENSILS

8″-x-8″ casserole dish
kitchen scissors or scissors
aluminum foil

Serves 5. Takes 1 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. (Do not let noodles stick together. You might need to cook them in batches.) Drain noodles. Spray flat surface. Place lasagna noodles flat on flat surface. (Do not let them touch each other.)

While noodles cook, add butter to pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Gradually add in flour. Stir frequently until well blended. Gradually add milk until the sauce thickens. Stir frequently. Add salt. Stir until blended. This is the bechamel sauce. Remove pan from heat.

Pour ⅔ cup marinara sauce into casserole dish. Smooth with spatula. Spread bechamel sauce evenly over all the noodles. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the bechamel sauce. Place proscuitto strips over the bechamel-mozzarella lasagna noodles. (If necessary, trim or fold prosciutto strips so that they are narrower than the noodles.)

Roll up lasagna noodles so that they form a tight cylinder. Place lasagna cylinders upright and close together in casserole dish. (If necessary, place wadded-up balls of tin foil in casserole dish to keep lasagna cylinders from falling over.) Make four ½” cuts at the top of each lasagna cylinders. Pull the lasagna between the cuts down and out a bit. so that they look like rose petals.

Drizzle ⅓ cup marinara sauce over the lasagna cylinders. Sprinkle cylinders with Parmesan cheese. (Not so much that you can’t see the rose-petal design of the lasagna cylinders.) Bake for 35 minutes or until the tops of the cylinders turn crisp and golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) Nidi di rondini tastes great. Anyone making this entree will be immediately be hailed as an amazing chef and host.

2) If you are up for a Nobel Prize, you would do well to serve this dish to the judges.

3) As of press time, it is not illegal to do this.

4) So, what are you waiting for?

5) Nidi di rondini comes from the great, but tiny country of San Marino.

6) Despite being the size of a rather large postage stamp (24 square miles, 61 square kilometers), the San Marinese have preserved their independence for 1,816 years.

7) The above number is accurate as of the time of writing. Please increase the above number by one for every year after 2021.

8) Anyway, how did this tiny country maintain its independence from many other countries with much bigger armies such as: the Roman Empire, the Papal States, the French Empire under Napoleon, Italy, and Hitler’s Germany?

9) Simple. As culinary historians will tell you, soldiers with red hair make the fiercest warriors in the world. San Marino has always had fighting redheads. The chefs of this happy land commemorates their heroes with these rolled-up lasagna rolls topped with marinara sauce.

10) However, the most famous fighters in the world come from Scotland. Neighboring England failed for centuries to conquer the Scots, The English armies quailed, broke ranks and fled in terror whenever they caught sight of all that Scottish red hair.

11) The only success the English had came from their archers. But, of course, the archers were to far away to see the hair color of the Scottish pikemen.

12) One wonders why the English army never colored their hair red. Then the Scottish warriors would have fled whenever came in contact with the English.

13) What if? What if all the countries of the world made their soldiers die their hair?

14) All armies fear fighting fierce redheads. With all armies comprised of gingers, no army would dare attacking any other.

15) Peace would break out.

16) There you have it. Dye the hair of all combatants red.

17) I see a Nobel Peace Prize in my future, as long as I remember to serve nidi di rondini to the judges.

– 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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Beef Rendang

Indonesian Entree

BEEF RENDANG

INGREDIENTS

4 red chiles
1 inch galangal or ginger root
5 garlic cloves
¾ teaspoon peppercorns
6 shallots
1 inch turmeric root
1 stalk lemongrass
2 pounds beef tenderloin or top round
2 tablespoons oil
1 inch cinnamon stick
½ tablespoon salt
3 kaffir lime leaves or ½ teaspoon lime zest
1 salam leaf or bay leaf
3 13-ounce cans coconut milk

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed red chiles. Add red chile, galangal, garlic cloves, peppercorns, shallots, and turmeric to spice grinder. Grind until these spices become paste. Remove and discard upper ⅔rd of lemongrass stalk. Remove and discard the three outer layers. Dice remaining lemongrass. Cut beef into 1″ cubes.

Add spice paste and oil to work or large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until paste becomes fragrant. Stir constantly. Add all remaining ingredients to wok. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Stir enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the milky part of the liquid is gone, leaving a little bit of coconut oil. (Most of the liquid should be evaporated.) Stir enough to prevent burning. Simmer on low for another 15 minutes or until beef and sauce turn brown. Remove cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and kaffir lime leaves. Goes well with rice.

TIDBITS

1) The dish into the above picture is served on, well, a dish. The dish is round.

2) Why is it not square?

3 )Because you cannot roll something is square

4) Why does it matter if you can roll a dish? After all, if you rolled the above dish before you ate, you lost the food.

5) Clearly, the round shape was designed for something else in mind.

6) What was that?

7) One theory, advanced by culinary, archeologists, is that primitive caveman invented the stone FrisbeeTM.

8) They didn’t call it the Frisbee, of course. It’s named after the Frisbee Pie Company which sold its wares in round pie dishes.

9) Culinary historians believe most prehistoric companies were called Ogg, Inc. because nearly all cavemen were named Ogg. Cavewomen were called Ogg.

10) Therefore, these ancient humans probably named their invention the OggTM.

11) Isn’t surprising early humankind possessed the knowledge to incorporate and trademark things?

12) Alas though, the Ogg proved a dismal failure. If you didn’t catch it, it hit you in the head and that was that.

13) Indeed, culinary historians believe widespread Ogg playing extinguished the Neanderthals.

14) After a much briefer fling with the sport, the Cro Magnons abandoned Ogg tossing.

15) Tossing the Ogg around was supposed to be a fun leisure time activity. But making the circular Ogg took up all their free time. So, what was the point of making Oggs?

16) None, the Cro Magnons concluded. So, they went on to make spears, axes, animal skins, and the like. Humanity went on not quite a talc age, which is a bit below a golden age.

17) Throwing round things became a popular sport in Ancient Greek Olympics. Physically fit from throwing the much lighter and metallic Ogg–by then called the discus–Greeks explored the entire known world.

18) The Romans, inheritors of Greek civilization, conquered the entire Mediterranean and much of northwestern Europe. The Roman built roads to facilitate rapid deployment of legions from crisis point to another. And we all know, the Roman legionnaire loved to throw the discus.

19) The Roman army passed on discuss throwing to the natives wherever they went. The natives became buff as well. So, the Roman conquest proved to be quite the good thing for the locals once everybody got past the initial wholesale slaughter-and-enslavement phase. And ever since then we have lived in a round-thingy-throwing golden age.

20) But it’s sobering to think how the Cro Magnons, the last remaining branch of humankind, came to throwing themselves into extinction.

– 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

Chispi Mayai (French Fry Omelette)

Tanzanian Entree

CHIPSI MAYAI
(French Fry Omelette)

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon fresh coriander*
1 small onion*
3 eggs
⅛ teaspoon pepper*
¼ teaspoon salt*
½ cup vegetable oil (½ tablespoon later)
2 pounds potatoes

SPECIAL UTENSIL

no-stick pan or spray pan or no-stick spray before adding egg mixture.
x-ray vision

* = These ingredients are all optional. You have an unparalleled opportunity to create you own unique chipsi mayai. Go for it. Go for gold.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Dice coriander and onion. Add eggs to mixing bowl. Beat with whisk or fork until well blended. Add coriander, onion, pepper, and salt. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended.

Cut potatoes into French fries. Add ½ cup vegetable oil to pan. Heat oil at high heat until a tiny piece of French fry in the oil starts to dance. Carefully add French fries. (Hot oil is nasty when it splatters.) Fry French fries for 10 minutes until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Remove fries. Drain oil from pan. Add fries and ½ tablespoon oil to a second, unused pan.

Ladle coriander/onion/egg mixture evenly over fries. Sauté for 5 minutes at medium heat or until bottom side is golden brown. (X-ray vision is helpful here.) Spray plate with no-stick spray. Then place plate over pan. Hold plate on pan while flipping pan upside down. The half-cooked omelette will now be upside down. Slide omelette back into pan to cook the other side. Cook for another 3 minutes or until this side too is golden brown.

Goes well with kachumbari (an East African salad), ketchup, tomato sauce, or chili sauce.

TIDBITS

1) You wake up at 3 a.m. to whispering in the kitchen. You sit up in bed. As you do so, the bed frame creaks. The little voices fall quiet. Silence, there is silence. You lie down or perhaps lay down; this is a miserable verb to conjugate. Nervous little laughter emanates from the kitchen. Then more whispering. This time it’s a little more rapid. Does it have a nasty tone? Yes, yes, it does.

2) Post traumatic stress from watching all Friday 13th(TM) makes your heart race. You get out of bed, oh so carefully. Don’t make any noise. Tiptoe to the closet. Get that baseball bat. Go the kitchen. Turn on the light.

3) Dozens of russet potatoes shriek. Their eyes are on you. It’s uncanny how they don’t blink. Is it because of an evolutionary dead end or because they’re tough?

4) They’re wearing potato panty house over themselves. Oh my gosh, your potatoes are going bad. You raise the baseball bat.

5) A potato rolls with amazing speed and strikes your shin. Ow. Another spud rolls on top of that. And then another and another until one has shoved itself into your mouth. You can’t breathe. You drop your bat.

6) In your panic, your stagger to the kitchen-utensil drawer. Your hand flails as you grab for anything to fight off your rogue, murderous tubers.

7) As contrived luck would have it, you latch onto a potato peeler.

8) The potatoes gasp in horror, drop off you and roll to a corner. You julienne the whimpering spuds one by one into majestic, harmless French fries.

9) What to do with all those fries? Why, make this entree, Chipsi Mayai.

10) Indeed, culinary historians believe Chipsi Mayai came about, in Tanzania, because of repeated potato uprisings.

11) Indeed, it is for this very reason that it is illegal to have more than two pounds of potatoes in Tanzanian homes.

12) Don’t try to cheat and say you have two pounds of taters when you actually have three. The phrase “The Tanzanian Potato Police” is a byword for terror.

13) Look at the potatoes below. Are they about to go bad? Don’t take chances. Cook them now.

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.

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Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

American Appetizer

BACON WRAPPED SHRIMP

INGREDIENTS

24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 slices bacon
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSILS

24 toothpicks
baking rack
cookie sheet.

Serves 6. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Set oven to broil and preheat to 400 degrees. Soak toothpicks in water. Slice each bacon strip into two halves crosswise.. Add shrimp, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to mixing bowl. Toss shrimp until they are well coated. Wrap each shrimp with bacon. Secure with soaked toothpick. Repeat for each shrimp.

Spray baking rack with no-stick spray. Place shrimp on baking rack. Place baking rack 3″ from heat. Place cookie sheet under rack to catch drippings from bacon. Broil at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until bacon becomes crispy. Watch carefully, bacon can go burned quickly.

TIDBITS

1) Sir Francis Bacon was a mainstay in the Elizabethan era because he was brilliant as all get out, being an author, statesman (Lord High Chancellor England), scientist, blah, blah, blah. . . and a budding culinary saint! Francis was researching the effect of freezing on meat when he contracted pneumonia and died. This selfless act, was no doubt, the inspiration for the safe modern freezer/refrigerator. It is tantalizing to further speculate that Sir Bacon invented the cut of pig known as bacon. Many culinary historians assert this hypothesis most vigorously, particularly so after they’ve been drinking heavily.

2) At any rate, bacon was a staple of the American culinary scene by the early 18th century. America’s settlers wouldn’t have even considered crossing the land’s great expanses without an adequate supply of bacon. Tasty bacon would go onto grow and stabilize the great American Republic.

3) Unfortunately, by 2017, demand for bacon began to outstrip its supply. The Republic is in danger. Civil unrest will surely follow. Indeed, political discourse is already getting ever more heated and frenzied.

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.

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Grandma Anna’s Spritz Cookies

Swedish Dessert

GRANDMA ANNA’S SPRITZ COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) butter*
⅔ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2½ cups flour
1 tsp almond extract (optional)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater**
cookie gun, aka cookie press
2 cookie pans

* = This was also made with NucoaTM. It’s hard to imagine how fiercely devoted some people were to this margarine.

** = Grandma didn’t use an electric beater. She used a hand-held one. However, those beaters are mighty hard to find these days.

Makes 80 cookies. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 360 degrees.  Add butter to large mixing bowl. Use beater set on high until butter is light and fluffy. Add sugar. Mix with beater until butter and sugar are well blended. Add 1 egg yolk at a time, blending each instance. Gradually add flour, mixing all the time. Add almond extract, if desired, and mix briefly with electric beater.

Grease cookie pan lightly with paper from butter. Choose a disk for the cookie gun. Add dough to cookie gun. (Follow instructions that come with cookie gun.) Use cookie gun to press out dough onto cookie pan. Be creative. Make whatever shape you want. (My grandma favored the letter s.) Bake at 360 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies start to brown. You might have to cook in batches. Gently remove cookies from cookie pans using fork. Gently, gently, as some cookie shapes crumble easier than others.

TIDBITS

1) Why are there so many towns in the western America named after Sweden? Culinary historians hold it is because of the wondrously sturdy wheels the immigrant Swedes used in their covered wagons. While others used wooden spokes in their wagon wheels, the Swedes made theirs from spritz cookie dough. Egg yolks were much stronger back then, making for more durable spokes than ones made from wood. Indeed, chickens were buffer in the 1800s, being able to bench press a 200-pound man.

– 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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