Posts Tagged With: Kentucky

Chicken Angolana

Angolan Entree

CHICKEN ANGOLANA

INGREDIENTS

2 boneless chicken breasts
2 boneless chicken thighs
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion
1 bay leaf
1½ tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
1 12-ounce can beer
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ tablespoons palm oil
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons vinegar

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts and chicken thighs into 1″ cubes. Dice garlic clove and onion. Put all ingredients in pot. Simmer at low-medium heat for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to low and stir for another 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

TIDBITS

1) Chickens d’Angola look fierce.

2) They do everything as a flock. Indeed traveling as flock on the ground–Oh, I so want to use the word herd–is the only activity that stimulates to urge to mate.

3) There you have it; chickens d’Angola are fierce and engage in mobile, group sex.

4) Which, are of course, the two requirements for a successful play.

5) Indeed, in 1932, the great playwright Bertold Brecht wrote the satirical play, Chicken Angolana.

6) Unfortunately, chickens d’Angolana are black and Himmler, had just issued black uniforms to his evil SS. He felt that the black chickens were a metaphor for the SS, took offense, and banned the play.

7) Indeed, Himmler hounded Brecht until the great playwright left Germany. Bertold’s brilliant play remained shelved for decades. Even now, productions of Chicken Angolana can only be found in neighborhood theaters in Berlin and, strangely enough, in Paducah, Kentucky.

– 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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Shrimp And Grits

American Entree

SHRIMP AND GRITS

INGREDIENTSshrimpandgrits

1 cup chicken broth
¾ cup milk
2½ cups water
1 cup grits
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1¾ cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove
4 stalks green onions
5 bacon strips
1½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1½ tablespoons lemon juice

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add chicken broth, milk, and water to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir frequently. Add grits gradually, stirring with whisk until no lumps exist. Add pepper and salt. Reduce heat to warm. Simmer to 10-to-20 minutes or until grits become tender and all the water has been absorbed. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and add butter and Cheddar cheese. Blend in cheese and butter with fork. Cover.

While liquid boils and grits become tender, mince garlic and dice green onions. Chop bacon into ½” squares. Add bacon squares to pan. Cook at medium-high heat for 3-to-5 minutes or until bacon becomes crispy, turning them over at least 1 time. Remove bacon and place on paper towel. Keep bacon grease in pan.

Add shrimp to pan. Sauté shrimp for 3 minutes at medium heat or until they start to turn pink or orange. (Don’t overcook shrimp. It will get mushy.) Add lemon juice. garlic, and green onion. Stir quickly until shrimp is well coated with garlic and green onion. Remove from heat.

Ladle grits into bowls. Top with shrimp and garlic/green onion/lemon juice. Sprinkle with bacon squares.

TIDBITS

1) It seems hard to believe now, but shrimp portraits were once quite popular in America during the late nineteenth century.

2) Darned difficult. I mean, why?

3) Okay, to understand phenomenon, one simply must read, Dr. Amos Keeto’s enthralling work, “Amazing Fads of the Gilded Age,” Garlic Press, Paducah, Kentucky, 1933.

4) According to Dr. Keeto, horse racing was incredibly popular in the 1890s. People with too much money, having bought up anything of any value in America, turned to gambling. They wouldn’t bet on baseball. Ordinary folk did that.

5) So the filthy rich, so called because oil from their wells constantly spurted onto their clothes, would clean up and go the race tracks to wager on horses, the sport of kings.

6) Everything went well. The had fun playing the horses. They lost vast sums, of course, but they had vast sum to lose. The race course owners became quite wealthy as well. They purchased gigantic mansions and went on railroad buying sprees. The Race Track magnate, Silas Brunswick, even bought BrusselsSproutsTM for $250,000 after it came out with the BS PadTM.

7) The BS Pad, a precursor to iPhonesTM, tablets, and the such, consisted of two tin cans tied together with a string, an abacus, and a sketch pad. Improvements have been made since then. Nevertheless, it was all new back then and the sexy BS was all the rage

8) But the craze stopped a scant year later when all of a sudden shouting became socially acceptable once more.

9) Then horse racing died out. On May 5, 1897, the swiftest horses gathered for the prestigious Mississippi Derby in Biloxi. Society’s elite bet over a million on the horses. The favorites were Southern Boil and Sandstorm.

10) People still debate what happened. As the horses turned the corner to enter the final stretch, an enormous fog rolled into. When the fog had lifted, all of the horses were gone. Everyone.

11) Where had they gone? Some speculated that the horses had gone to the same parallel universe that orphan socks go to when placed in a dryer. Some folks dispute this, noting electric dryers weren’t invented back then. The proponents counter, “Where you there, na, na, na, na, poo, poo?”

12) Some folks say that a mare in heat passed by the track and that time and the stallions merely left the race to chase after her. Still others maintain mass spontaneous combustion claimed all the horses, ignoring the fact that no explosions were ever heard. I mean, really.

13) We’ll never know what happened to the race horses. The race-track owner claiming that since no horse crossed the finished line, paid off none of the bets. This defiant act angered the wealthy bettors. Horse racing rapidly fell out of favor.

14) Fortunately, the crowd spied a cocktail of shrimp–you know, like a pod of whales–swimming off shore, and fast! An energetic entrepreneur, his name is lost to history, improvised a shrimp race course. By heavens, the event was fun. Shrimp racing became the most popular social event of the 1890s.

15) Breeding shrimp for speed became a lucrative business. Wealthy owners hired artists to paint their prize shrimps. These artists loved to eat grits. Hence, shrimp and grits. There you go.

cookbookhunksChef Paul

 

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

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Spotlight on Keith Stewart, Author of “Bernadette Peters Hates Me”

Excerpt from Bernadette Peters Hates Me

 

Free Range BirdBernadettepetershatesmefinalcover

I am obsessed with food, and not in the way that immediately comes to mind when a fat man types those words. I am constantly reading labels and trying to find organic products on my quest to be a healthy person. My normal diet is mostly vegetarian, and I have even considered going vegan (ok, I have read about the vegan lifestyle). I am a member of a CSA—community supported agriculture—farm, which basically means I get large baskets of fresh, locally grown, organic fruit and vegetables each week without having to actually tend a farm.

Regardless of how much I support local farms, I still have to go the grocery store each week for a lot of my food, and even then, I still try to buy organic products. Living in the Appalachian Mountains in a rural Kentucky town seriously hinders this effort. You don’t find much locally grown baby bok choy in the produce aisle at the Sav-A-Lot or the Piggly Wiggly.

As a result, not only do I have to leave the local farms and mom-and-pop grocery stores behind, but I also have to shop at the giant mega-grocery stores. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good outing to Sam’s Club or Costco and buying huge bulk items, usually large pallets of dog food to feed our normal sized Dudley and the horse-who-thinks-he-is-a-dog, Duke. Plus, there is a certain comfort in knowing that I will have enough olive oil to supply my entire cul-de-sac or that I will not run out of toilet paper should my entire household get stricken with a nasty stomach virus.

My main concern about these high-ceilinged superstores can be boiled down into two words: trapped birds. I am deathly afraid of these trapped birds. You all have noticed them. They are always there, lurking. You are minding your own business, trying to decide on which flavor of Hamburger Helper to buy when suddenly it does a fly by. You know the stupid bird is scared to death. He probably just flew into the Walmart supercenter to grab one of those bird-seed concoctions molded into the shape of a bell for dinner when he lost his bearings. He can’t find his way out of the store, and he is now in panic mode. The saying “bird brain” was invented for a reason: they have small ones, and they don’t use what they have that well.

Why be scared of such a tiny bird? Why be so bitter towards a poor, struggling animal? Perhaps I am overreacting, you say? I beg to differ. A couple of years ago, I was accosted by an angry, terrified bird in a Kroger MegaGrand Store. I honestly can say I will never be the same, and neither will that dumb bird. Here’s how it went down:

I ran into the grocery after work to pick up a few items. For convenience, I stopped at the store that was closer to work, so it was not my home Kroger. All the produce was placed in completely different places, and I walked around aimlessly trying to find the organic section, in particular, the celery. I was standing in front of a large display of carefully pyramided cantaloupe when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something dark and ominous. It was a bird, maybe a sparrow, flying at what appeared to be the speed of a fully engrossed Indy car. I stood there and thought to myself, “Huh, that bird looks like it’s flying directly toward me.” The next thing I know I feel something repeatedly beating me about the head and ear, and I hear the FLAP FLAP FLAP of bird wings. “OH GOD! HELP ME!” I yelled, flailing both arms up in the air trying to fight off the crazed bird. I was feeling around for a celery stalk to use as a sword, and in my panic, I jumped back directly into the large display of cantaloupe. At this point, the bird had tired of terrorizing me and had flown away to target its next victim over in the dairy section, but I was still flailing my arms, rolling in the floor with about fifty cantaloupes.

 

After I was sure I was bird-free, I looked around at the scene. Gasping and out of breath, I was on my knees surrounded by a sea of cantaloupe, some still whole but most cracked open and oozing. My hair was tousled, my shirt had come untucked, and I was clutching my organic celery sword as if my life depended on it. The lady who had been restocking the iceberg lettuce rushed over to me while all the other shoppers in the produce section stared as if I’d just decided to do a back flip into the cantaloupe for no reason at all, like I was some sort of freakish, produce trouble maker. “Sir, are you ok?!” the lady asked. I couldn’t respond. I was incredibly embarrassed and just wanted to get out of the store.

I tried to maintain some level of grace, and finally told the woman, “Someone ought to do something about that bird.” She looked around either trying to see the bird or to look for security. Regardless, I could tell she did not believe I had been attacked. “Did you not see it?” I asked incredulously.

“Um, yes sir, yes,” she said as she helped me to my feet.

I made my way to the check-out getting madder with each step. That stupid bird had totally punked me right there in the produce section. He had done it so quickly and stealth-like that no one else had apparently even seen it. Stupid bird. Everyone just thought I was a big goober who had attacked the fresh fruit. Argh, that bird! I knew he was somewhere in the rafters of the store looking at me and laughing. I decided to gather what was left of my dignity and pay for my celery (no cantaloupe) and go home. Thank goodness this was not my home Kroger store.

The entire time my items were being scanned and bagged, the clerk kept looking at my shirt. I thought she had a look on her face that said, “I really want to laugh right now, but I will wait until you leave.” I assumed she had seen the incident, so I just ignored her. When I looked down to swipe my debit card, I noticed it. That bird—that vile, evil bird—had pooped all over my maroon button down. The stark white mess went from my shoulder, down my arm, and glared like it would glow-in-the dark against the color of my shirt. I looked up immediately and scanned the ceiling. I think I said something like, “You people need to get your bird problem under control,” to the clerk and then marched out the door, horrified.

So heed my warning, when you see a bird trapped inside a large store, be very careful. Know that it is stupid. Know that it is vicious. Know that it is ticked off because it’s too dumb to find the exit, and it’s looking to make someone pay. You do not want to end up being on the security camera blooper reel at the Kroger Employee Christmas Party. I have been there, and it ain’t pretty.

Bio

keithphoto

Keith Stewart’s strange adventures usually occur near his Appalachian hometown of Hyden, Kentucky, although he can be just as easily found wandering the streets of nearby Lexington at any given moment. Before he shed his corporate identity, he worked as a certified public accountant for a multi-national company. He now enjoys less stressful work with much less pay, blogs at www.astrongmanscupoftea.com, and is as happy as a clam with his husband Andy, and their two dogs, Duke and Dudley. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and been published in several anthologies, Kudzu, and Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel. He is contributor for HumorOutcasts.com and the GoodMedProject.com.

 

Bernadette Peters Hates Me is available on Amazon.

 

****************

 

Paul De Lancey
www.pauldelancey.com
www.lordsoffun.com

 

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Spotlight on Stacey Roberts, author of “Trailer Trash with a Girl’s Name”

Stacey Roberts

Chapter Two: A Bastard’s Thanksgiving…With a Side of Gravy

Uncle George was a bastard. I knew this because my mother always called him one, and she was specific with titles. My Uncle Stuart was a drinker, her business partner was a schmuck, and my father was a son of a bitch. Her business partner was never a son of a bitch, and my father was never a drinker, even when he drank. I could never aspire to be a schmuck, no matter how hard I tried. Uncle George was pigeonholed: once a bastard, always a bastard.

I even asked my mother: “Why can’t Daddy be a bastard?”

Mom: “Because he’s a son of a bitch.” Done. She was the FDA of human frailty – whatever was wrong with you, she knew it, and gave you a label.

Me: “So what am I?”

Mom: “You’re just like your father.”

Me: “So I’m a son of a bitch?”

Mom: “Go to bed.”

Uncle George the Bastard wasn’t a dictionary definition bastard – his parents were married – they were Irish Catholic and probably promised to each other at age five. He was the other kind of bastard, the colloquial kind, who despised bitches, niggers, spics, dogs, cats, kids, hebes, and my grandma.

He spoke only after long silences and thought good parenting was striking any misbehaving kid with whatever he could lay his hands on. You didn’t pee in his pool and you didn’t sit in his chair. You didn’t think for one second that your favorite TV show could possibly preempt whatever he was watching. You rode in the back seat of whatever he drove and when he told you to go fetch that thing over there and bring it back to him, you didn’t ask him, “Which thing over where?” unless you wanted to wake up sixty seconds later on the ground; you brought over all you could carry as fast as you could.

He had been a police sergeant when my father was on the force, back in the 1950’s, a decade and a half before they each met and married Jewish sisters. Uncle George the Bastard was the one who packed up my father’s shit when my mother threw him out of the house.

My mother had called her sister in a rage.

Mom: “Sis, that son of a bitch. Send George over here to pack up his shit and put it out on the curb. Sssssssssssssssss.”

She added a long hissing sibilant to the end of her words so you knew she was mad or making a point.

At this point, my Aunt Maxine (Sissy to everyone) did not do a number of things: She did not ask what Fred had done this time. She did not protest that George and Fred had been best friends since the Second World War. She did not say that George was busy eating, watching TV, beating one of his kids, degrading my grandmother, or complaining about Gerald Ford. She put down her quilting and pressed the phone to her breast.

Aunt Sissy (looking at Uncle George the Bastard): “George. Carol wants you to put Fred’s shit out on the curb.”

He looked back at her, his watery Irish blue eyes cold, falling into one of his deadly silences like an archer pulling back the drawstring on a bow. Sissy stared at him with coal black eyes and an implacable face only two generations removed from icy Polish farmland.

Aunt Sissy: “George. Just go now.”

I don’t know how Uncle George the Bastard felt about siding with family over his best friend, but he must have gone. My father’s shit did indeed hit the curb in 1976. I watched from the window, my mother standing behind me, her arms folded, her lips pursed.

Me: “Mom, what’s Uncle George doing?”

Mom: “Putting your father’s shit out on the curb. That son of a bitch.”

Me: “Why is his shit going out to the curb?”

Mom: “Because I’m not having it in this house anymore.”

My mother never answered the question being asked – she made it sound like we were out of room to store things or that my father’s golf clubs and underpants were toxic and slowly killing us all.

I asked “why the curb” because the back porch was closer, which would have made the job easier on Uncle George the Bastard. Apparently the use of the curb was part of some kind of 1970’s divorce ritual as stringent as leaning left at Passover or the wine-to-bread ratio of a Catholic mass. There was a system:

Step 1: Put the offender’s belongings on the curb.

Step 2: Change the locks.

Step 3: Leave a note:

Fred,

Your shit is on the curb.

You’re a real son of a bitch.

Carol

Step 4: Reassure the children.

Mom: “Layner, I’ve put your father’s shit on the curb.”

Step 5: Turn the children against the missing parent.

Layne the Favorite: “That son of a bitch.”

As a practical matter, it meant my father had to drive up our long driveway, go to the back porch, try his key, curse, read the note, hurl more expletives, drive back down to the street, collect his shit, swear eternal vengeance upon my mother, and depart.

Our street was a busy two lane road, so he had to park along the curb with his emergency flashers on so cars would detour around him while he packed up his shit. I’m sure more than one man driving by that scene felt some sympathy for him:

Anonymous New Jersey Man: “Oh, hell. His shit’s on the curb. That poor son of a bitch.”

***

Uncle George the Bastard was the king of Thanksgiving in 1980. He had retired after twenty years on the force and moved his family from Cranford, New Jersey, a mile from my house, to a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, which was four hours away. That year was the first Thanksgiving we spent with them. Not sure why we couldn’t do it when the drive didn’t require pee stops, but I wasn’t in charge of anything at all until the early nineties, and then for maybe three days before I got married.

That Thanksgiving was the first time I ever had gravy. Can a good gravy change your life? This one did. Jews should reconsider gravy. We don’t use it for anything. It’s made from meat drippings and a thickening agent. It’s something you would normally throw away that instead gets resurrected and used. If we Jews had put gravy on trial before we pitched it out, it would be Jesus. In the genteel cold war between our religion and that of the Goyim, gravy is Easter.  It is nowhere close to what God had in mind when He freed us from slavery in Egypt to wander the desert, eat flat crackers, and wait a dozen centuries for the Cossacks to storm down from the hills and pee in our wells.

My mother can’t cook, and knows God is okay with that. If He thought His Chosen could prepare food properly, why all the dietary restrictions? Instead of saying, “Undercooked pork can kill you, so do it right,” He ordered, “No pork.” It implies a lack of confidence in our culinary talents. He could have said, “Cook two cubits of pork over a dry fire for five minutes.” Whatever a cubit is.

So, no pork. My mother is food obsessed, and believes herself to be a great Talmudic scholar in pursuit of the Lord’s plan. At my wedding, she ruled that there must be a kosher meal. The wedding planner offered fish. My mother agreed. All fish is kosher, she informed me, so we were good.

During my first Thanksgiving on the farm, I noticed my cousins passing around a weird porcelain boat.

Me: “What’s that?”

Cousin David: “Gravy.”

Me: “What do you put it on?”

Cousin David: (dreamily) “Everything.”

I took the gravy boat.

Mom (catching my eye): “SSSSSSSSSSStace. Don’t eat that crap.”

Me: “But it has its own special dish!”

We Jews love that sort of thing. Passover has its own segmented dish. Wine goes in special cups at Bar Mitzvahs. This gravy boat must have been a relic of one of the lost tribes of Israel, so I brought it back into the fold, covering turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn, and cranberry sauce with it.

My brother, Layne the Favorite, obediently choked his food down dry. I was so covered in gravy I needed a bath when I was done. I asked my Aunt Sissy, who I now believed to be the world’s best cook, what was in her spectacular stuffing, which was so unlike any I had ever had.

Her face got bright red.

Aunt Sissy (through clenched teeth): “Nothing special.”

My mother, who never ate stuffing, looked at me wide-eyed.

Mom: “SSSSSStace. It’s stuffing. It’s bread. What’s wrong with you?”

My aunt hustled me from the table to scrub the gravy from my hair and shoes.

Aunt Sissy (whispering): “There’s pork sausage in the stuffing. If your mother knew she would just kill me. Or give me a title. Sissy the Corrupter. Something like that. You know how she is.”

Me: “It’s got a nice ring to it. I think I’ve got gravy in my belly button.”

Aunt Sissy: “I’m not gonna risk it over a side dish.” She wiped away a glob of gravy from the back of my left knee.

Me (also whispering and horrified): “But Grandma eats the stuffing. She loves it.” Grandma was very religious.

Aunt Sissy: “Grandma eats lobster too.”

Everything I knew about the book of Exodus hit me like a brick made from Nile river mud.

Me: “Lobster’s not kosher…”

Aunt Sissy: (shrugging) “Nope. How did you get gravy in your ears?”

Me: “You ARE a corrupter! Can you teach my mother to cook?”

Aunt Sissy: “No. No one can.”

Aunt Sissy: “Why are you crying? It’s just a little spilled gravy.”

 

About the AuthorStaceyPic

Stacey Roberts was born in a smoky hospital in New Jersey in 1971. Nine years later, he and his family moved into a Winnebago and traveled across the country. After several near-death experiences, they settled first in California and then Florida.

He attended college at Florida State University and University of Miami, where he received his B.A. in English Literature instead of Finance, which was a great disappointment to his mother.

He went on to get a Master’s degree in Early Modern European History at the University of Cincinnati, to which his mother said, “SSSStace. History? What do you need that for? What is wrong with you?”

His mother was right. He didn’t need it for anything, except to make arcane references about the Roman Empire or Henry VIII that no one else understands.

He founded a computer consulting firm outside of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1994, and resides in Northern Kentucky with his two brilliant daughters and their less than brilliant yellow dog Sophie.

TRAILER TRASH, WITH A GIRL’S NAME is his first novel.

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