Posts Tagged With: Lutheran

Bananas With Split Peas

Rwandan Entree

BANANAS WITH SPLIT PEAS

INGREDIENTS

1¾ cups dried split peas
4 cups water or enough to cover split peas
4 ripe bananas¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons palm oil or peanut oil
1 medium onion

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add split peas and water to large pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until peas soften. Stir occasionally.
Peel bananas. Place entire bananas on top of mushy peas. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep peas from burning. (Stir gently so that bananas don’t break into pieces.)

While bananas and peas simmer, use mandoline to cut onion into slices ⅛” thick. Add onion, palm oil, and onion to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens and browns. Add cayenne pepper and salt. Ladle onion and oil over bananas. Stir gently until oil blends in with the peas.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe calls for a medium onion. Onion mediums help us, the living, communicate with those who have gone to the Great Beyond.

2) This differs from musicians communicating to the great Beyoncé. They do that by cell phone.

3) Anyway, the most commonly question asked of the dearly departed was, “Our are missing socks over there with you?” The answer was always, “Yes. you’ll soon see them again.”

4) Unfortunately, people asked that question so often that the onion mediums became unable to channel any other questions between our world and the next. So, frustrated truth seekers took to eating the mediums. The onions proved to be tasty. This is why they are in so many recipes. But do try to cook with medium onions, they’ll leave you more than enlightened than will the other sizes.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

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 apocaly

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Chicken Chipotle

Mexican Entree

CHICKEN CHIPOTLE

 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 chicken breasts
1 cup crema Mexicana
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh parsley or oregano
2 limes

SPECIAL UTENSIL

mandoline

Serves 6.  Takes 50 minutes.

PREPARATION

Use mandoline or knife to slice onion as thinly as possible. Add onion and oil to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove onion. Add chicken breasts. Sauté at medium heat for 15 or until browned on both sides. Flip chicken breasts once. While chicken sautés, add crema Mexicana, chipotle powder, pepper, and salt to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly.

Ladle crema Mexican/chipotle sauce over chicken breasts. Simmer at low heat for 15 minutes. Flip chicken breasts once. Stir occasionally. Ladle chicken stock over breasts. Simmer at low heat for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally

While chicken simmers, dice parsley and slice limes into quarters. Add sautéed onion to serving dish. Place chicken breasts on onion. Ladle crema Mexicana/chipotle powder sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley and lime quarters. Goes well with rice and warm corn tortillas.

TIDBITS

1) A conga line is a fun way to dance. A mango line has people dancing while slicing mangoes. This idea proved to be dangerous as mango bits on the floor made people slip and fall. The dancing stopped. Knives were replaced by mangolines. Then a typo in the influential cookbook, Latin Cooking, by Auntie Matter, changed mangolines forever into mandolines.

2) Chefs soon discovered that mandolines sliced onions better than mangoes. Within a week of Latin Cooking’s publication, the timid Juan Chipotle created Chicken Chipotle. Life is good.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

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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Paul’s K-IT-CHEN

Gentle Readers,

Today’s blog is short and sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Paul De Lancey

 

 

(Please click on my name and submit scruff questions to my Facebook page and simply make a comment to this post. I look
forward to hearing from you.)

 

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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Phosphate

American Dessert

PHOSPHATE

INGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon acid phosphate*
2½ tablespoons syrup (your choice, cherry was the most popular)
1¼ cups carbonated water
ice cubes as desired

Makes 1 glass. Takes 5 minutes.

* = You really need acid phosphate to make an authentic phosphate. Its closest substitute is citric acid which imparts a citric taste to all syrups. You will probably have to order your acid phosphate on line. The path to culinary nirvana is strewn with obstacles.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to glass. Stir until well blended. Add ice cubes as desired.

TIDBITS

1) Why did George Washington chop down the cherry tree?

2) He needed cherries to make cherry phosphates.

3) Why didn’t he just pick the cherries from the tree?

4) Culinary historians have been debating this for decades. Two reasons have gained currency. First, chopping down cherry trees is good aerobic exercise while mere cherry picking is not. Second, tree chopping builds strong muscles while cherry picking wouldn’t even strengthen a grasshopper.

5) And young George really wanted to win the International He Man Buff Body Competition of 1745. He needed to make his mother happy and proud of him, as his listed birth dates of February 11, 1731 and February 22, 1732 suggest a difficult childbirth.

6) Anyway, George fessed up to his tree chopping. This gained him a reputation for honesty. Mr. Washington even became general of the Continental Army and won the American Revolution.

7) Double Birth George was chosen to become the new American nation’s first president as his cherry-tree honesty was one more example than all the other politicians could provide. Besides, he was buffer. Now, his face is on the quarter and on the dollar bill. Yay, George.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

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

Categories: cuisine, history, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Picadillo

Cuban Entree

PICADILLO

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
3 Roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
12 pimiento (aka pimento) stuffed olives
¼ cup raisins
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Serves 6. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Seed and mince bell pepper. Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion and tomato. Add bell pepper, garlic, onion, olive oil, cumin, oregano, pepper, and salt to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add ground beef, wine, tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add olives and raisins. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or until raisins plump. Stir occasionally. Garnish with parsley.

TIDBITS

1) The first soup bowls didn’t have a bottom. Scalding-hot soup ladled into them went straight through to the would-be diner’s lap. This is why birth rates were so low until the Renaissance. Then in 1466 a young busboy, Leonardo Da Vinci, weary of cleaning up soup spills, invented soup bowls with bottoms. Suddenly, he had free time to invent and paint. Other busboys such as Michelangelo used this expanded off hours to paint and sculpt. The Renaissance was born.

2) Unfortunately, with creative energies diverted to the arts, bowl design stagnated. Soup-eating armies found little time for campaigning as they took forever to be served. Indeed, General Lee’s peanut-eating army consistently stole a march on their soup-slurping Northern counterparts. Then in 1863, busboy, George Meade discovered he could toss the soup bowls like a FrisbeeTM, if he made the bowls round. (Yes, it does take practice to this without spilling the soup.) President Lincoln, realized an army that could serve soup suddenly could keep up with the Rebels. He made Meade general. Three days, the round-bowl eating bluecoats defeated the gray coats at Gettysburg. The Union would be preserved, slavery would be abolished, and we are eating out of round bowls.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

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

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hermit Cookies

American Dessert

HERMIT COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup butter (1 more tablespoon later)
1¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon clove
¼ teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup raisins
1 tablespoon butter

SPECIAL UTENSILS

3 cookie sheets

Makes 96 (8 dozen) cookies. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add ¾ cup butter to large mixing bowl.  Use high setting on electric beater until butter becomes creamy. Add sugar. Use high setting until butter and sugar are thoroughly blended. Add eggs and milk. Use high setting on beater until ingredients are well blended. Add flour, baking, powder, cinnamon, clove, mace, and nutmeg to 2nd mixing bowl. Mix ingredients with whisk or fork. Gradually add flour/spice mix to mixing bowl with butter. Use medium setting on electric beater dough is well blended. Dice raisins. Add raisins. Blend in raisins with electric beater set on medium.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon butter or spray with no-stick spray. Use a teaspoon to drop rounded balls 2″ apart onto cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until cookies start to brown. (Keep an eye on the cookies. Cooking times vary with the placement and the thickness of the cookie sheet and with the oven itself.)

TIDBITS

1) The name “hermit cookies” comes from the hermit crab and the hermits of Cinco Rios, Jamaica. These hermits loved cookies, as who does not? Anyway, these reclusive holy men noticed male hermit crabs carrying spicy cookies back to their homes. It was a simple matter to set up a trade where the monks received the cookies in return for painting hermit-crabs’ shells in festive colors. Every one knows that female hermit crabs go gaga for brightly colored shells. However, we still aren’t sure how the hermit crabs knew that the hermits liked spicy cookies nor where the crustaceans got these hermit cookies, but there you go.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

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

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Wonder Dog

This story was based on two sources. First, my dad who served his country in World War II  did his basic training in Louisiana, He said soldiers would throw snowballs at the platoon ahead of them as they marched off to the mess hall. He must have told me this story when I was quite young as snowballs during a Louisianan summer didn’t bother me. Or perhaps I misremembered  the story. Second, someone, decades ago, told me how a resourceful officer came across some abandoned hot dogs in a shed food and in a moment of admirable economy served the dodgy franks to the men on the base. The rest of the story is my imagination.

* * * * * * * * * *

We won the war. We brought the Nazis to their knees, not some namby-pamby foot soldier who probably counted dodging Spam thrown in the mess halls as combat experience. Yes sir, it was me and the airmen of Okeechobee. Young man, I’m gonna tell you our story.

Okeechobee, Florida then was only known for its millions of bugs; huge bugs the size of baseballs. But it was there, in 1944, that the Army set up the 800th Bomber Group, captained by Henry Pizarro.

Well, we were out in the middle of nowhere in a state often forgotten by the rest of the Union. Supplies never did get to us in a regular manner. Sometimes we’d go weeks without any supplies. Sometimes, we got a lot of stuff we didn’t really need. One week they sent us one million scarves, and 22,187 bird feeders stamped “U.S. Army bird feeder, Red-Headed Woodpecker Only.” Antonio Cedeno, Army Head Scratcher First Class, scratched his head and said, “That’s army for you.” Oh, we also received eight hundred tons of papayas. It seemed that although our nation’s scientists were still failing with the general concept of refrigeration, they had miraculously found a way to refrigerate papayas several months ago.

Well, around August, we had run out of all food but papayas for two months, and no one wanted to eat bugs. Hell, the bugs had been biting us so much that some of us figured we’d be cannibals if we’d eat them. So, we approached Lieutenant Kelso, who was in charge of food supplies. Kelso said that he was mighty sick of papaya soup and papaya burgers. He said he’d raise heaven and earth to find some new food.

The next day we heard a terrible ruckus all around us. Every flea-bitten mutt in the flea-bitten state of Florida was barking, yelping, yipping, and scratching his balls. Sergeant Niekro went out to investigate. Apparently, Kelso planned to use these dogs to sniff up some food for us.

Well, I decided to follow the dogs. They headed away from the mess hall as even dogs get tired of papaya biscuits. Those mutts made a bee line toward the swamp where bugs felt particularly secure and ornery. Way in the distance I could make out that huge ominous, gray, metallic building so forbidding that even the chaplain called it “the Hut of Hell.” The Hut of Hell housed our chemical supplies, used oil drums, and various pleasant poisons.

Those dogs just ran to the Hut and barked something fierce. Kelso, opened the door and immediately the dogs keeled over in agony. Kelso doubled over and proceeded to vomit big yellow chunks of papaya loaf. Sure, it was up to me, Robert Carbo, the man with the big sniffer. I dodged a stream of papaya spew from Kelso and went inside.

As God is my witness, I have never seen so many hot dogs in my life. These hot dogs were arranged in huge columns. Each column was twelve feet long by ten feet wide and stretched at least fifty feet up to the ceiling. There were thousands of these majestic columns.

Well, perhaps not majestic, more like tons of decaying, larva infested, grayish-green beef shapes. How long had they been sitting in that metal building in Florida’s fine, humid, 120-degree weather? However, stench worse than Private Aparicio’s pits after a twenty-mile hike, prompted to me continue this thought outside. I wrenched my boots free from some hot-dog ooze and bolted outside.

I carried Kelso all the way back to the infirmary. Unfortunately, our doctor was away in Miami picking up popsicle sticks off the sidewalks as we had run through our last shipments of tongue depressors. Corporal Johnny Conigliaro, a quack in civilian life, prescribed a dose of deadly nightshade, a rather poisonous, purplish flower. Kelso nearly died from this treatment but did not complain, saying, “It’s worth risking death to eat something that’s not yellowish orange.”

A week later Captain Pizarro, arose from his desk and put on his papaya-woven flak jacket and walked to the mess tent. The cook had outdone himself with a gourmet feast. We started off with a snappy papaya fondue and a Waldorf salad where the apples, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise were substituted with papaya, papaya, papaya, and papaya sauce. For the main course he regaled us with a choice of: barbecued papaya sandwiches on papaya bread with a papaya sauce or chicken cordon bleu, where instead of chicken, ham, gruyere cheese, breading, and butter, he substituted papaya, papaya, curdled papaya juice, papaya crumbs, and melted papaya. For dessert we could choose either the papaya balls or the papaya flavored ice cream made with creamed papaya instead of cream. We washed down this feast with good ol’ papaya juice.

Captain Pizarro surveyed the yellow-orange expanse and announced that we were going to eat those hot dogs or die. Pale-faced Lieutenant Kelso staggered to his feet to voice his support before pitching forward into a huge bowl of papaya-bisque soup. Corporal Conigliaro timidly suggested that eating rotting hot dogs might kill us, or worse, give us diarrhea. Sergeant Gagliano put both of his powerful hands on Conigliaro and volunteered the Corporal for the honor of tasting the hot dogs.

Conigliaro said that although he was aware of the immense honor, he was reasonably sure that army regs stated that a certified medical doctor had to test all suspect foods. He was only an unregistered quack and so, respectfully declined.

It appeared that some stupid health regulation written by some desk-bound, pencil pusher in the Pentagon was going to deny us this wondrous, alternate source of food. However, our Sarge immediately volunteered Private Romero, a veterinarian, to taste the frankfurters.

Bilko accepted the assignment but said that he was such a good vet that he could determine the quality of the franks just by looking at them. He headed straight to the Hut of Hell, stopping only at the infirmary to put on a gas mask. Moments later he returned, ashen and trembling, stating that they were safe to eat. Though I did hear him mumble as he headed back to his tent hot dogs should not display internal movement. The other airmen just heard our cook announce hot dogs for tomorrow’s lunch.

Around eleven o’clock cookie started boiling the franks. Fortunately, a strong wind from the south blew the fumes away from the camp toward the town of Lake Harbor. About that time in an unrelated incident, Bert Taylor, a tea tester from that town, suddenly pulled his own head off and died.

We all lined up at the mess tent to eat our hot dogs in shifts of one hundred which was also the number of gas masks on hand. Well, the first shift manfully ate their hot dogs and immediately fell to the floor suffering from violent convulsions. Then Private Owchinko’s stomach burst open flinging his guts all over the mess hall. Soon, everyone’s guts erupted just like cooking popcorn. Owchinko turned his hideously contorted face toward me and said, “Dang, at least it wasn’t papaya.” He then died with a look of complete serenity on his face; well, at least as serene as one could get with an exploded stomach.

We carried the men outside and buried them properly. We put on all their tombstones, “He wouldn’t eat papaya.” Since bullets were scarce at our base, we gave our departed comrades ten hot-dog salutes. Most of these franks exploded in air giving off the same noise as rifle shots. However, some didn’t explode until they hit the ground. One hot dog, in particular, landed on a latrine and exploded, scattering its contents for hundreds of yards. Private Franco noted that the smells of the latrine improved the smell of the hot dog. However, Captain Pizarro displayed true genius when he stated these franks could be terrible weapons of war.

We drifted along in papaya hell until we received orders to fly over to Europe. The Germans had just broken through our lines in a massive offensive now known as the Battle of the Bulge. Disaster loomed and every airman was needed. We armed our bombers with our hot dogs, which now had been rotting for an additional four months in the hot, humid Hut of Hell.

Our 800th Bomber Group arrived just as the Germans seemed poised to overrun the heroic defenders of Bastogne. None of our infantry or armored divisions could get to them in time. None of the other bomber groups could get off the ground due to bad weather. However, we could and we did.

We bombed the hell out of those Nazis. A Tiger tank can take a direct hit from a Sherman tank just twenty yards away and drive away only mildly annoyed, but just one hit from our franks just ripped those tanks to bits. Down they fell, ton after ton of freedom franks. The foul, poisonous vapors from the exploding dogs suffocated the supporting German infantry. Our hot dogs created a huge hole in the German lines into which poured General Patton’s troops. Patton, that glory hog, claimed full credit for the American victory at Bastogne.

However, we knew better and so did many others. In fact, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain praised us saying, “This was their finest meat product.”

Doctor Paul De Lancey

(Please click on my name and submit Bad Advice questions to my Facebook page and simply make a comment to this post. I look
forward to hearing from you.)

 

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

Categories: history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Potica (Nut Roll)

Slovenian Dessert

POTICA
(Nut Roll)

INGREDIENTS – YEAST

¼ cup warm milk (1 more cup later)
2 tablespoons yeast
4 teaspoons sugar (¾ more cup later)

INGREDIENTS – DOUGH

½ cup butter (6 more tablespoons later)
6 tablespoons sugar (6 more tablespoons later)
3 egg yolks (reserve 3 egg whites)
1 cup warm milk
¾ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract (½ more tablespoon later)
4 cups flour (3 additional tablespoons later)
1 tablespoon butter (5 additional tablespoons later)

INGREDIENTS – NUT FILLING

1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
5 tablespoons butter
½ cup honey
5 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 cups minced walnuts
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup heavy cream
3 egg whites

INGREDIENT – FINAL

3 tablespoons flour

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
3 9″-x-5″ loaf pans
about 4  mixing bowls depending how much cleaning you do along the way
sonic obliterator

Serves 8. Takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – YEAST

Add ¼ cup warm milk and yeast to a small mixing bowl. Stir until yeast dissolves. Add 4 teaspoons sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Lit sit for 15 minutes or until mixture doubles in size.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

While yeast rises, add ½ cup butter, 6 tablespoons sugar, and egg yolks to a large, mixing bowl. Use high setting on electric beater until butter becomes creamy. Add 1 cup warm milk to small pot. Cook on medium-high heat until milk is almost ready to boil. Stir constantly. Add yeast mix, hot milk, salt, and 4 teaspoons vanilla extract to bowl with creamy butter. Mix with whisk or fork until thoroughly blended. Add 4 cups flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing with wooden spoon, or until dough is a ball and no longer sticky.

Grease another mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Add dough ball to this mixing bowl. Turn dough until it is well coated. Cover and let rise for 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – NUT FILLING

While dough rises, cinnamon, ground cloves, 5 tablespoons butter, honey, 5 tablespoons milk, and 6 tablespoons sugar to small pot. Cook on medium heat until butter melts and ingredients blend. Stir constantly. Add lemon zest, and walnuts to another mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Add walnuts to mixing bowl. Pour butter/honey/milk mixture and ½ tablespoon vanilla extract over minced walnuts. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Fold in heavy cream with spoon. Add egg whites to cup. Beat with whisk. Fold in egg whites into butter/honey/milk/walnut /heavy cream mixture. Let cool until dough has finished rising.

PREPARATION – FINAL

Dust large flat surface with 3 tablespoons flour. Roll out dough onto dustedt surface until it is 24″ long, 18″ wide, and ¼” thick. Ladle cooled nut filing evenly over dough. Start with 18″ side and gently roll up the dough to form a 24″ long dough long. Cut 24″-long loaf into 3 8″-long loves. Put loaves in loaf pans. Cover pans and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or loaves turn golden brown and toothpick stuck in center comes out clean. Use sonic obliterator on impatient guests

TIDBITS

1) The Sonic obliterator is an essential item for the serious home chef. It gets rid of door-to-door salesmen who interrupt you right when you take the chicken Florentine dish out of the oven, causing you to drop the casserole dish which shatters into a million pieces. Also, zap oafs who complain that dinner is taking too long. You don’t need that negativity in your kitchen.

2) Be advised that although owning a sonic obliterator is not illegal as of press time., obliterating someone might be. One never knows with law enforcement. So to be safe, please ask your local police officers in advance.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

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

Categories: cuisine, international, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bad Advice Friday +1, 8-05-17

I am ready. I am able to dispense with stupendously bad advice only one date late because:

1) I had a spasm of productivity.
2) I am holding an ice-cold root beer.
3) I am caught up with laundry.

So, I shall once more be dispensing stupendously bad advice.

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

CC asks: How can I sing if I’ve lost my voice?

Dear CC: You need to buy an iLarynxTM. Download songs to your iLarynx. Then carefully open your throat with a sharp, sterilized knife. Note, I cannot stress this enough, this self surgery is dangerous without proper sterilization. After the iLarynx is safely and comfortably placed in your throat, sew up with a thin thread. The color of the thread should match the color of your skin. I would also like to recommend purchasing the thread before performing the surgery. You only have maybe ten minutes before you lose consciousness due to loss of blood. It’s doubtful you’d be able to get to the store and back in time, especially if there’s some oaf with thirty items in the ten-items-or fewer line who also insists paying with exact change.

If you forgot to download songs to your iLarynx before surgery, may I recommend downloading songs via Wifi? If you don’t have Wifi, I suggest getting the service. Making a small hole in your throat to attach a cable from your computer seems like a false economy.

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

RAS asks: I’m going on the Atkins diet. Should I put my dalmatian dog Trotsky in charge of the shopping because he likes protein and fat?

Dear RAS: Absolutely, as there apparently little evidence that the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet does anything useful at all. It would probably be safer to follow Claude Akins’ diet. Unfortunately while a superb, forceful actor, Mr. Akins never got around to publishing a cookbook. So, by default, you’ll have to follow the example of your dog and who doesn’t like dogs? Also, there is an elegant simplicity in a dog’s diet of meat which you don’t even have to cook if you don’t want to. (A side benefit of not cooking is saving money on a stove.) And don’t forget dog biscuits. Dog biscuits are so hard that they naturally grind away any plaque on your teeth. No plaque, no dental visits and who likes to go to the dentist?

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MA asks: Should I look under a toadstool for some grub?

Dear MA: It’s a lot better to look under toadstools for grub than at the toadstool itself as toadstools are often poisonous. Mushrooms look a lot like toadstools, but are not directly poisonous. Mushrooms are, however, yucky and icky beyond belief. Indeed mushrooms are quite possibly the fungus of the Devil. Do not, do not, eat mushrooms. If you do, your soul becomes his and you will go to Hell for all eternity. Enough said.

So you should instead look under the toadstool for sustenance, but what would you find there? A few twigs perhaps. A roly poly, if your lucky and are a meat eater. However, rolly pollys are best eaten at a sushi restaurant, where its taste is only displayed to its greatest advantage by a trained chef. And do you have a rolly polly sushi bar near you? I think not.

Far better than a rolly polly is the magnificent taco. The taco is God’s food and possesses magical, healing properties. Go get yourself a taco and be satisfied, healthy, and virtuous. Perhaps there’s a taco shop right around the block from you. If you live in northern Greenland, you’re screwed.

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JL asks: What should I do to earn some quick cash? *GULP*

Dear JL: You are so close to having a great idea. Everybody loves Seven ElevenTM’s Big GulpTM. Indeed soft drink sizes keep going up and up. One soda cup at a convenience, a hard word to spell, got so big that you had to hold onto two ropes to carry it. Clearly there is a big interest in drinking big sodas. However, most people are unable to drink that much soda. But we would pay big interest in watching people try.

So simply form your own Big Soda Drinking League (BSDL.) Collect corporate sponsorships. Let their money come rolling in. In the meantime, before the season starts, go into training by drinking ever and ever larger amounts of soda in one sitting. Go for the gold. Excelsior! That or pole dancing.

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TLH asks: Should I adapt Paul De Lancey recipes to be vegetarian friendly?

Dear TLH: Absolutely, any recipe by Paul De Lancey is fantastic. The easiest way to make his recipes vegetarian friendly is start with a recipe that’s already vegetarian. This is the sort of thing that seems obvious only after someone says it.

Alternatively, go to the store and buy vegetarian substitutes for various meats. Some of these substitutes are good, some are okay, and some taste like soap. They are, however, uniformly expensive. How expensive? You’ll have to take up robbing banks. Be careful, though, about serving vegetarian substitutes to law enforcement. They’ll take it as a sign of you living way beyond your means and start investigating you.

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

Doctor Paul De Lancey

(Please click on my name and submit Bad Advice questions to my Facebook page and simply make a comment to this post. I look
forward to hearing from you.)

 

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

Categories: bad advice, bad advice Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Looking for Toilets, My Travels Through Europe: Venice

VENICE

Doge’s Palace has a public toilet.

See Venice while you can for many parts of it are sinking into the sea. It’s kinda like California slipping into the ocean at the rate of a half inch a year. But there are differences as well.

California has earthquakes, fires, has water shortages, is a hot bed of information technology, has a huge agricultural sector, gives free water at restaurants (if you ask for it) and lets you use restrooms at all sorts of places such as restaurants, supermarkets, and just about any sort of business where the public comes in.

Venice has no shortage of water. It’s everywhere sometimes it floods the main square that tourists infest, which is exciting if you’re wearing designer shoes.

Venice was founded in the fifth century when Attila the Hun was rampaging through Italy, sacking cities, slaughtering the populace, destroying the Roman Empire, and otherwise being rather unpleasant. Anyway, the citizens of Aquileia, a thriving city, saw no future in being massacred and high tailed to the nearby swamp. They reckoned the Huns, a tribe that grew up in east-central Europe, wouldn’t want to slog through the swamp just to extinguish a bunch a people whom they had no real quarrel with. The Aquileians were right and before you knew it, they were sinking pillars in the marsh to provide support for the buildings they were going to put up.

These swamp people called their new city, Venice after Venn diagrams, they were astoundingly into the theory of logic, and ice, a rare commodity in a Mediterranean* seaport in the Dark Ages. Anyway, the Venetians minded their own business for centuries. In disgraceful contrast, the other nations and city states, generally went around for centuries impaling each other with lances and other weapons.

All of a sudden a Venetian woke up and decide to make galleys. These were ships powered by men using oars. Think of fishing in a tiny lake. You used a rowboat. Only the Venetians galley were huge multi-decked rowboats requiring hundreds of oarsmen. Just as you want to protect your fishing spot and perhaps wanted the lake to yourself, the Venetians wanted the Mediterranean to themselves and used their galleys to sink the other nations ships.

However, instead of catching fish, the Venetians transported spices from the Middle East to the rest of Europe. The Europe of the Middle Ages and Renaissance had really no refrigerators to speak of. Thus, their food other rotted and stank, more than lutefisk even. So, the Middle Age diners really appreciated a good spice to cover up the bad food. And so the Venetians thrived.

Until suddenly, the Ottoman Empire conquered the Near East and shut off access to the spices. Moreover, Western Europe developed large sailing vessels that could whoop the pants off the Venetian galleys in combat and could travel long distances across the open sea. Venice went into a centuries long decline. You would have thought they could have used that declining time to come up with anything, like reclining chairs and public restrooms, but no.

Venice lost its independence to Austria in 1806. However, the conquered city still had lots and lots of pasta and fish. This made going to restaurants lots of fun. About this time, Signor Scampi added chairs to his pizzeria. What a great idea. People loved being able to seat down for supper. More and more chefs provided chairs for their customers. The trend toward chairs in Venetian restaurants continues to this very day.

Venice was a republic of sorts, although if you didn’t like the current governor–doges they called them–you were denounced, tried, convicted, and imprisoned or executed in one day. Movers and shakers you bet. People were so afraid of appearing unhappy, that they sported smiles all day long. Hence, the expression, “As smiley as a Venetian.”

My family and I as we got off the water taxi that took us from the port to St. Mark’s square. We headed to our first event, a gondola ride. We took our time, enjoying the architecture. Inevitably with a family of four, some of us had to pee. Where were the public toilets? Where was Waldo? Where was Ameila Earhardt? Actually, we found Ms. Amelia, but the need for the toilets remained unabated. Indeed the pressure mounted. We did find a fancy hotel near the gondola ride. After making our donations, we went outside to find the place where we would show our vouchers. According to the maps, the gondola extravaganza was supposed to be only ten yards away.

As the crow flies. As the drunken crow flies. We crossed a bridge and went to the gondola kiosk. The sphinxes periodically manning the booth ignored us. We recrossed the bridge in search of a caring employee. Nothing. We crossed back to the booth. Nothing. We ended up going over that bridge six times before we found an employee who put a round orange sticker on our shirts. We were good to go.

We got in line. We had a good position even though the gondola guys had sold hundreds of tickets for our time slot. Actually this wasn’t true due to a cultural misunderstanding. In America, people generally stand behind the last person in line. In Venice and in the airport coming back, standing in line meant standing to the side of people in line, generally near the front. Soon a vast semi-circle sea of people stood around the gondolas pressing ever forward as if  trying to get into a Who concert.

Eventually we got on a gondola and began our bumper-to-bumper (prow-to-bow on a gondola?) tour of the back canals of Venice. Many power boats made deliveries on alcohol to the back entrances of various bars. Cool, actually.

After the ride, I had the clever idea of finding where our evening Vivaldi concert would be. Although the venue had St. Mark’s as part of its address, our consensus was to use GPS. GPS resolutely marched us to and around tiny alleys away from St. Marks. We came to an epiphany; GPS sucks in narrow alleys.

We did find a small pizzeria where authentic Chinese waitresses provided efficient and cheerful service. This restaurant might have had a restroom. We’ll never know. None of us felt brave enough to pass a shrieking toddler to look. Oh how, weak and naive we were.

But we were smart and experienced enough now to head back to St. Mark’s Square to find Saint Mark’s Cathedral. (By the way, twenty-four years earlier I had the good fortune to visit this square during the Carnival season. I saw many wonderful acts, many in Italian and some in English. I also did the Hokey Pokey with a bunch of Americans. My contribution was, “You put your left ear in. You put your left ear out…)

Anyway the biggest tourist attraction in Venice is St. Mark’s Cathedral, named after St. Mark. My family went there for a full mass on Saturday evening. Mass was in Italian, but the choir was from Britain and sang in English, which was cool. But no restroom. During mass, touring around the cathedral is forbidden. So is flash photography, at least in theory. Sitting is forbidden during the tourist hours. So, you can’t sit in a pew and look at spectacular mosaic in the ceiling. And there’s no public restroom inside.

After mass, we went outside to find our concert. My gosh, it was literally twenty yards away. There was a big sign saying, “Vivaldi Concert tonight.” Fuck you, GPS.

The concert was fantastic. We were in the second row, only fifteen feet away from the musicians. The concert hall had seats for only about forty people. The energy and the skill of the musicians, well oh my gosh they were great. And they played Vivaldi’s the Four Seasons, one of my favorites. (I had listened to Vivaldi’s Two Seasons a couple decades earlier from a slow-arriving herd of Parisian violinists. No comparison, these Venetian folks were the real McCoys.)

And the concert venue had a public toilet. Sure I had to clamber up a two-foot high step, but I had been toughened, and so it proved no obstacle at all.)

A great concert, two public toilet, and mass at one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, the day had been good.

Next day we stampeded the doge’s palace in St. Mark’s square. The doges had  lived there. It’s also where the nobility conducted the affairs of state. Venice was by the standards of its times, a rabid democracy. At first, nearly all the men could vote. Then sometime during the Middle Ages, the nobility in an admirable display of voter suppression struck all but a few thousand men from the voting rolls. The criminal justice system occurred in this building as well. With a strong Protestant work ethic, this Catholic government (the Reformation wouldn’t occur for centuries) heard, convicted, and sentenced people with assembly line efficiency.

Which they needed to do as they apparently had and still have, thank goodness, one public restroom. Would you want to spend hours uncovering quilt when you needed to pee. How did I know of this restroom? Twenty-four years earlier, I had toured the doge’s palace with a reasonably empty bladder. Only after leaving the palace did I look at my tour guide. It said, “Don’t forget to visit the public restroom at the palace. People restrooms are scarcer than hens’ teeth in St. Mark’s Square.” The tour book was right. A few hours later, I found myself wandering the Square saying, “A toilet! My American ExpressTM travellers checks for a toilet.” So this time I was able to comfortably whiz away while surrounded by centuries of history.

We then took our self-guided tour of St. Mark’s Cathedral. For love of God, Montressor, book your tickets in advance. Plate tectonics moves faster than lines at the Cathedral’s kiosks. The cathedral was as beautiful as it had been the previous day.

Our ticket to the doge palace gave our free entry to the city’s art museum. Let me tell you the energy spent railroading enemies of the state to their death did not diminish in the slightest the output of the land’s magnificent artists. Lots of busts of Napoleon, which was exciting for me as I am a direct descendant of his and it was nice to speculate how all this art and city could have been mine if only he had won the Battle of Waterloo.

Then tragedy struck. The men’s bathroom in the museum was, was . . . oh the humanity, was blocked of for cleaning. Well fuck. So we went outside to look for a public bathroom. We saw a sign for one. We did! We did!

We didn’t find it. We looked for hours. In desperation, we went into a restaurant. Number Two Son approached the proprietor*. The conversation remains burned in my brain.

“Do you have a restroom?” asked Number Two Son.

“Yes,” said the evil proprietor.

“May we use it?”

“No.”

“How about if we eat dinner here?”

“No.”

So we head back to the water-taxis with my bladder full as Boulder Dam after a rainy season. And there it was, Harry’s Bar! My gosh, the famous Harry’s Bar. Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, Orson Welles, Aristotle Onassis, and other luminaries used to get drunk here and it was quite all right. And carpaccio was invented here. Contessa Amalia Nania Mocenigo was told that for her health she had to give up cooked meat. The clever bar owner sliced sirloin steak as thin as possible drizzled a sauce made of mayonnaise, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, and a soupçon of milk. A place fit for an exclamation point!

I went in to whizz. I asked to use the restroom. They answered politely and pointed the way. I expressed my gratitude after I came out. I said how excited I was to be at Harry’s Bar. They smiled and thanked me. We went back to our ship. A palace, an art museum, culinary history, and two public restrooms. Life was good.

* = Mediterranean is hard to spell. So is proprietor.

Paul De Lancey, Intrepid Explorer

 

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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