Posts Tagged With: India

Fun Festivals – Wife Carrying Championships

 

The best way to carry the wife

Ronkainen, a legendary Finnish robber of the 1700s, had would-be gang members carry a heavy woman over an obstacle course to prove their strength. The annual wife-carrying championships in Sonkajaarvi, Finland derive from this test. Wife carrying is not an Olympic sport. However, synchronized swimming is.

Couples race around a track well stocked with obstacles such as logs and a deep pool. At one time, the woman in the event had to be the man’s wife, but neighboring women are allowed. The designated wife must weigh 49 kilograms or 108 pounds. You might think a good wife for this race would be as tiny as possible. But no, the winners earn the wife’s weight in beer. The wife must also be at least seventeen-years old. The entry fee as press time was 50 Euros.

Olympians and marathon runners compete alongside, amateurs, and strange couples on their honeymoons. This seems unfair, but in some respects, the Wife Carrying Championship remains a wide-open sport. And oh my gosh, in addition to the regular race, there is a relay race as well. Root heartily for you favorite team.

Add in the karaoke events, you’ll want to return time and time again. And not just to Finland. National championships exist in America, Britain, Germany, India, Hong Kong, and Australia. Surely, there must be a wife-carrying race near you.

Oh no, the 2021 championship was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Middle of next summer, then.

See you there

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel guru

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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Zambian Chicken Stew

Zambian Entree

CHICKEN STEW

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
1 large tomato
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pounds chicken pieces, bone-in, skin-on
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup spinach
⅓ cup peanuts, unsalted
½ teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

Serves 5. Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Dice garlic, onion, and tomato. Add garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons oil to Dutch oven. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic soften. Stir frequently. Remove garlic and onion. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken pieces. Fry chicken pieces for 10 minutes until they turn completely gold brown on both sides. Turn enough to ensure even browning.

Add back garlic and onion Add tomato and chicken stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. While stew simmers, dice spinach and grind peanuts until they form a paste. Add ginger powder, seasoned salt, spinach, and peanut paste. Cover. Simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken pieces become tender. Stir occasionally.

TIDBITS

1) As you can see, the next recipe is Chicken Stew. That stew is from Zimbabwe. Other nations have chicken stew recipes including: America, South Africa, India, and China.

2) Some people say aliens came to prehistoric Earth and gave the recipe for Chicken Stew to cavemen on every continent. Mainstream archeologists discount that theory, noting there are no cave recipes to be found on any cave wall nor even paintings of the necessary ingredients. Culinary archeologists assert that the recipe was spread when Lucien, Lucy of Olduvai Gorge’s brother, told the recipe to all he met. Setting out to China, he found himself in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lucien’s wife then asked for directions and so, the recipe-spreading family continued on its trek.

 

– 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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Fun Festivals – Swamp Soccer World Cup

Love soccer? Lover a shorter game? Love mud?  Head on over to Finland and Scotland.* The last Swamp Soccer World Championship (SCWC)  I could find took place in Finland. It might have even been held in Hyrynsalmi, Finland  At any rate, the SCWC is usually held in Finland in the middle of June (Sorry, you missed it this year.) 200-to-300 teams from all over the world compete. The SCWC which has been organized by the so-called Swamp Barno Jyrki Väänänen** since 1998. There are five different ways to compete: men’s, women’s, mixed, men’s hobby, and Masters of Swamp.

The Soccer World Cup is usually held in Scotland on the last weekend of June, just after the World Championship in Finland.. There are rumors of it being held in China, India. and Turkey.

Six players are on each side. Each half lasts for 12 minutes. There are no offside penalties. This is fantastic for all those who never understood the rule in the first place. Other little rules abound. As of about 2018, no Polish team had ever competed.

For my Italian readers, these four sentences translate as Ami il calcio? Ami un gioco più breve? Ami il fango? Dirigiti verso Finlandia e Scozia.

For my English speaking readers, this translates as Swamp Baron Jyrki Väänänen who got the whole thing started. Yay Jyrki!

Swamp soccer arose from the practice of Finnish cross-country skiers to train in swamps.

Mud soccer is lots of fun. Be sure to register for the next Swamp Soccer madness, whether in Finland, Scotland, or whenever. Let me know how it turns out.

 

– 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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Fun Festivals – Tossing Tomatoes at La Tomatina

The world’s best tomato festival, La Tomatina, is held in Buñol, Spain. The festival starts with the eating of many different tomato-based dishes. Yum! However, dining on the tomato is not the reason for La Tomatina’s extraordinary popularity. The festival hosts the world’s biggest tomato fight. Yippee.

Strangely enough this fun festival grew out of parade where musicians and people dressed up as giants and big heads. The local youth, decided to join the parade, as who would not? I mean giants and big heads. The teens got rambunctious. One of the marchers lost his fake head in the commotion. He became angry and started hitting all the young folks that came near him.

The teens took offense at this battery. As fate would have it, the young ones were next to a vegetable cart. The local youth grabbed tomatoes and other veggies and threw them at the battering marcher. Well, the aim of most people is rather poor and most of the hurled tomatoes missed their target. The people hit by these errant missiles got angry. So, they hurled tomatoes back. And missed. Hitting still others. Soon, the tomato tossing became general, just like all those bar fights in Western movies.

The following year, Buñol’s youth commemorated the event by staging a fake argument that deteriorated into a tomato-throwing free for all. The authorities, not foreseeing the tourist draw this tomato hurling would become, broke up the fight. But the tomato-hurling came back the next year. Now la Tomatina happens every year. Why? Because it’s such great fun. Locals hose down the participants. Authorities hose down the streets. So much citric acid, from the tomatoes, gets everywhere that the washed streets will sparkle.

I want to go to La Tomatina. So let’s go there some time. We’ll arrange a meeting. Stay tuned.

Authorities banned this tomato tossing once. Possibly to honor my birth. Possibly because police traditionally look askance at anything resembling a riot. Anyway, devotees of the festival protested this by carrying a huge tomato in a coffin through the center of town. Buñol’s authorities relented and from then on allowed the La Tomatina Festival to continue. Really! Is that all it takes to make the authorities relent? Just carry a tomato-laden coffin through town. (Writes this down for future reference.)

La Tomatina increases in popularity every year and occurs on the last Wednesday in August. Up to 100,000 people attend. It’s so popular that you must buy tickets to attend. Now, the world has finally taken notice. Similar events take place in Colorado, Nevada, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, and India. La Tomatina has made its way in to movies around the world and even into a Mickey Mouse(tm) episode.

Unfortunately, the festival was not held in 2020 and will not be held this year, because of the Covid pandemic. Let us strongly hope that we can soon, and safely, engage in boisterous fun once again.

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

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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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.

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Prawn Barbecue

Australian Entree

PRAWN BARBECUE

INGREDIENTS

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt or salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ pounds shelled-and-deveined extra-large shrimp* (16-to-20 per pound)
1 lemon (optional)

* = The terms prawn and shrimp are often used interchangeably. However, they are technically different having some unmemorable difference in their shells.

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

outdoor grill
5 skewers

PREPARATION

Mince garlic and parsley. Add garlic, parsley, butter, olive oil, white wine, pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, and shrimp to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until shrimp are well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

10 minutes before marinating is done, heat outdoor grill to medium heat. Thread 6 shrimps onto each skewer. Cut lemon into 5 slices. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes or until it turns pink. Flip skewers over and grill the other side for 2 minutes or until it to is pink. Garnish with lemon slices. Goes well with rice, spinach,  avocado salad, and beer.

TIDBITS

1) Alexander the Great of Macedon invaded the Persian Empire. in 336 BC. This was okay as the previous year was 337 BC, although the people of the time didn’t know this. Alex was a complete foodie. Unfortunately. the menu of his kingdom, Macedon, consisted of 1,223 almost indistinguishable varieties of wheat and olive oil. So when he heard of prawn barbecues to be had in the Persian empire, he invaded. It transpired that the idea of prawn barbecues was story concocted by long suffering Greek chefs to get the ever harping food critic Alexander far away.

2) Alexander’s army thrashed the Persians at the battle of Granicus. Being an relatively young army– about the age of frat boys albeit ones with twenty-foot spears and trained be an unparalleled fighting machine–they repaired to the local tavern to eat and drink. The tavern’s cook, Bessyrus, knowing a little something of Macedonian cuisine offered Alexander and his troops bread drizzled with olive oil. Alexander became enraged, shouted, “I’m sick of bread and olive oil. Where’s the prawn barbecues?” and ran a spear through the tavern’s chef.

3) This still seems a little unfair. The chef knew nothing of the mythical prawn barbecue. In fact, culinary historians remain absolutely amazed that a cook over 2,000 years ago could make enough bread in one hour to feed 50,000 ravenous soldiers. Alexander’s mob headed to the town’s other eatery and asked for prawn barbecues. Fortunately, the synapses in this restaurant’s cook were firing particularly well. He said that there were prawn barbecues in Egypt. And off Alexander’s mob went dispatching another Persian army along the way.

4) Alexander asked the first Egyptian priest/chef he saw for a prawn barbecue. The priest/chef offered bread drizzled with honey. Alexander drew his sword. The quick thinking priest/chef mollified Alexander by declaring him to be a god. Alexander really liked the idea of being a god and strutted around for days saying, “Look at me, I’m a god. Wow, it’s really cool to be a god.” Anyway, Alexander was so smitten by the idea of his divinity, that he plum forgot to behead the priest/chef. The holy Egyptian chef, however, couldn’t help but dwell on his close call. :Hey, Alex,” he said one day, “there’s plenty of prawn barbecues in Persia.” And off Alexander’s army went.

5) The Macedonians utterly crushed the Persian King’s army at Guagamela. The surviving Persian nobles didn’t want Alexander staying around. Alexander was losing his head beheading them. “Hey Alex,” they said, “there’s prawn barbecues aplenty in India.” And off Alexander’s soldiers went.

6) Alexander’s force kicked hiney in India. But the story remained the same. Alexander the Great One didn’t care for the rajahs’ curry bread and offed one baker after another. “Hey, Alex,” the noble bakers said, “there’s oodles of prawn barbecues in Australia.” And off went Alexander.

7) Except this time, the Macedonian spearmen didn’t follow. They were sick of endless marching. Besides, they had discovered pistachios in Persia and really, really liked them. Why massacre entire cities for an alleged gourmet meal when you could munch on delicious, almost addictive pistachios?Alexander gave in. The Macedonian army would conquer no more. But the mutiny by his beloved army broke his heart. He died soon after. Ironically, the noble Indian bakers were right. There were prawn barbecues in Australia.

8) The Australian aborigines of that time loved shrimp (Same as prawns, remember?)  like no one has ever since. They’d eat 100 shrimp at a time. Of course, no one could barbecue 100 shrimp on the tiny skewers of today. Those hardy people fashioned wooden skewers out of trees. Unfortunately, the millions upon millions of Native Australians made so many long skewers that they totally deforested most of Australia. Shrimp barbecues became impossible. The crestfallen aborigines left Australia in outriggers to settle Hawaii.  They left behind petroglyphs of their enormous shrimp skewers.

9) In 1895, Baron de Courbertin saw these shrimp-skewer pictures. You and I would shrug them off, but the young baron’s mind came up with pole vaulting. His active mind would not rest until he found a way to showcase his new athletic event and so the Olympics were born. There you go.

– 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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Matambre, Argentinian Stuffed Flank Steak

Argentinian Entree

MATAMBRE
(stuffed flank steak)

INGREDIENTSMatambre-

2 pounds flank steak (or skirt steak)
2 eggs
2 carrots
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
¼ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon thyme
5 ounces spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups beef stock
1½ cup red wine

Makes 4 plates. Takes 2 hours.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

Dutch oven
kitchen mallet
kitchen twine

PREPARATION

Butterfly steak if more than 1″ thick by slicing it lengthwise from one side to ½” of the other side. Pound the steak to flatten to less than ½” thick and to even out the thickness. Add eggs to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 9 minutes. Remove eggs and let them cool. Peel eggs. Cut each into 4 slice along their lengths. While eggs boil, mince carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. Add carrot, celery, garlic, onion, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens.

Rub pepper and salt into butterflied flank steak. Sprinkle carrot/celery/onion mixture, parsley, and thyme over steak leaving a ½” border along the sides. Layer the spinach over the oniony mixture. Top with egg slices.

Tightly roll up steak into a long roll. Tie steak with kitchen twine. Tie at 1″ intervals. Put 2 tablespoons olive oil in second pan. Add steak roll to Dutch oven. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5-to-8 minutes or until steak is golden brown on all sides. Turn steak roll occasionally to ensure even browning. Add beef stock and red wine. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 1½ hours or until meat is quite tender. Cover Dutch oven if liquid doesn’t completely cover the steak roll. Turn occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Remove beef and place on cutting board. Cut steak roll crosswise into ½” slices. Add slices to plate. Top with beef stock/wine as desired. Goes well with small boiled potatoes such as Yukon gold. This dish is also quite tasty when served cold. Save the leftover beef stock/wine. It makes an excellent base for soup.

TIDBITS

1) Matambre is an anagram for Beam MartTM.

2) Beam Mart is your one-stop place for all sorts of beams.

3) High beams is quite a popular sport. All of the high beams used in the Olympics are manufactured and sold by Beam Mart.

4) All.

5) India and Pakistan once were the favorites to host the Olympics for a particular year. Both tried to outdo each other with building new, state-of-the-art athletic venues and with wining and dining the Olympic committee. The competition between the two countries grew fierce. Tensions escalated rapidly. The two nations rushed infantry and tanks to their common border. Fighter planes and bombers were armed. Military commands took their “Launching Nuclear Weapons For Idiots” off their bookshelves. Generals started to jaywalk. Things looked grim.

6) Beam Mart stepped in. The company, in no-uncertain terms, told India and Pakistan to back off. If they went to war, Beam Mart would stop supplying high beams. No high beams for practicing, no gold medals for the high beams. No gold medals for the high beams, no prestige at all in the international community. Other nations, Liechtenstein included, would laugh at them. Pooh pooh even.

7) The generals wavered.

8) And no high beams for your fancy automobiles, thundered Beam Mart, if you go to war. But we must have something to show our peoples for all our effects, whimpered the military leaders.

9) So, Beam Mart sold them their famous Beam SmilesTM with only a 10% markup. The leaders of Pakistan and India quickly agreed to a comprehensive peace. And the people of both lands smiled and smiled and beamed and beamed.

10) This happy state of affairs didn’t last forever, of course, but things never again got as tense between these two countries ever again. The leaders know firsthand the power of Beam Mart and make sure never ever again to rattle their sabers so vigorously.

11) Of course, the world still has hot spots. In these cases, at least one of the angry nations has no desire to win Olympic gold medals for the high beams. It seems incredible that countries could act that way, but it’s true. There is a limit to corporate diplomacy, even for Beam Mart.

– 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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Zapiekanka, Polish Sandwich

Polish Entree

ZAPIEKANKA

INGREDIENTSZapiekanka-

1 baguette
1/3 onion
1 red bell pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound sliced ham or deli-meat of choice
1 cup grated cheese of choice
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
no-stick spray

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut baguette in half and slice each half open. Cut onion and red bell pepper into thin slices. Add onion, bell pepper, turmeric, pepper, and butter to frying pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

Add onion/bell pepper mixture, ham to baguette pieces. Top pieces with grated cheese. Spray baking tray with no-stick spray. Put tray in oven. Bake at 325 degrees for 5 minutes or until bread is crispy and cheese is melted. Remove tray from oven. Squirt, or spread, ketchup and mayonnaise over each piece.

TIDBITS

1) In 1857, native Indian soldiers, sepoys, in the British army believed the new gunpowder cartridges were greased with cow fat and pig fat. This grease insulted the religious beliefs of the Hindu and Muslim soldiers who had to bite the cartridges before using them. This mistake in greasing by the British sparked a major native rebellion.

2) The rebellion resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, embittered the Indians toward the British, and greatly widened the rift between Hindus and Muslims. This gulf persisted resulting in the bloody religious riots of 1947 and three wars between India and Pakistan. Today, these two countries have nuclear weapons pointed at each other.

3) If only Britain had greased its cartridges with olive oil. Today, we also have vegetable oil. A fragile peace prevails over the world.

– 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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Dulce de Leche

Mexican Dessert

DULCE DE LECHE

INGREDIENTSDulceDeLeche-

1 14-ounce can condensed milk
1 14-ounce can evaporated milk

PREPARATION

Add condensed milk and evaporated milk to pot. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until liquid begins to boil. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes or until liquid thickens and turns toffee color. Stir frequently to avoid burning and boiling over.

Serve by itself or with ice cream, pancakes, cakes, beans, bread, or crackers.. This will keep for months if poured into an airtight, sterilized jar and kept in the refrigerator. But that won’t happen, it’s too delicious.

TIDBITS

1) I had always thought dulce de leche to be Mexican. But no, a swirling controversy exists over its country of origin.

2) Indeed, Argentina once pressed the United Nations to declare dulce de leche an Argentinean culinary creation. Uruguay presented a counter claim and the world edged closer to conflict. The crisis receded when delegates from both countries partook of dulce de leche. This wondrous dessert is simply too delectable and filling to leave room for acrimonious debate and world slumbered its way back to peace.

3) Argentineans claim a maid was so distracted by attending to delegates to a peace conference that she forgot about the sweetened milk on the stove. She returned to find a caramel paste which everyone loved. A peace treaty was soon signed. I’m telling you; culinary diplomacy is the surest way to lasting, international peace

4) Legend has dulce de leche being used as medicine in India about 5,000 years ago. Some people even now use dulce de leche as an alternative medicine. Is there nothing this dessert can’t do?

5) One of Napoleon’s cooks accidentally made dulce de leche for his troops. Napoleon himself had a dessert named after him. Sure, he tried to conquered all of Europe, but we all have our bad points, don’t we? It’s time to move on and remember the desserts the French Emperor gave us and use them to build a lasting peace just like the Argentineans and Uruguyans.

– 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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Chicken Tikka

Indian entree

CHICKEN TIKKA

INGREDIENTSChickenTikka-

4 chicken breasts
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup chicken tikka masala
2 limes
1 teaspoon cilantro

SPECIAL ITEMS

skewers
grill

Serves 4. Takes 10 minutes preparation, overnight to marinate, and 30 minutes to cook.

PREPARATION

Slice chicken into 2″ squares. Put yogurt, lime juice, and chicken tikka masala in mixing bowl. Mix with fork. Add chicken squares to bowl. Thoroughly coat chicken squares with yogurt. Cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator overnight.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Cut limes into wedges.

Put coated chicken squares on skewers. Grill for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and browned on all sides. Turn frequently. Remove chicken squares from skewers and place on plate. Sprinkle chicken squares with cilantro and garnish with lime wedges.

TIDBITS

1) Most jokes that are both popular and long lasting employ simple and universal themes. Such is the case with the ever popular “Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side,” which involves the humble chicken and the surprise ending.

2) Well, it was a surprise ending when printed in The Knickerbocker in 1847.

3) The Chicken Crossing the Road joke became a staple of vaudeville shows during the late nineteenth century.

4) Potter’s American Monthly printed the first known, at least to me, variation of this joke. Here it is. “Why should not a chicken cross the road?” “It would be a fowl proceeding.” Yes, it took apparently a half century before someone altered the joke. But the comedic floodgates had been opened. Variations of this amusing jest appeared with greater and greater rapidity. Here are some of them:

5) Why did the punk rocker cross the road?ChickenCrossRoad-
He had a chicken stapled to his forehead.

6) Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip?
To get to the same side.

7) Why did the dinosaur cross the road?
Because chickens weren’t around yet.

8) Why did the duck cross the road?
To prove it’s no chicken.

9) Why did the chicken simultaneously cross and not cross the road?
It was Schrodinger’s chicken.

10) Why did the Roman chicken cross the road?
It was afraid someone would Caesar!

11) Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in the mud and cross the road again?
Because it was a dirty double-crosser.

12) Why did George’s W. Bush think about the chicken crossing the road?
We don’t care why the chicken crossed the road. We just need to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us.

13) Why Barack Obama’s chicken cross the road?
It wanted CHANGE!

14) Why did Captain Kirk’s chicken cross the road?
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

15) Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get away from Colonel Sanders.

16) Why did the chicken only cross the road halfway?
To lay it on the line.

17) Why did Ancient Egyptians mummify chickens when they died?
To help them get to the other side.

18) Why did the turtle cross the road?
To get to the shell station.

19) Why did the chicken cross the road?
It was a part of a chicken conga line.

 

– 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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