Posts Tagged With: mice

Pad Thai

Thai Entree

PAD THAI

INGREDIENTS

½ pad Thai noodles or rice stick noodles
8 cups water
2½ tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
2 tablespoons tamarind sauce, tamarind puree, or Worcestershire sauce
10 ounces chicken breasts
3 ounces firm tofu
3 garlic cloves
3½ tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
¼ cup fresh garlic chives or green onions, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ pound bean sprouts
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
2 limes

SPECIAL UTENSIL

colander

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Add noodles to mixing bowl. Add hot water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Pour water over noodles. Lit sit for 3 minutes. Stir a few times to separate noodles. Drain noodles in colander. Rinse noodles with cold water. (This prevents sticking.)

While water boils, add fish sauce, sugar, and tamarind sauce to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk or fork until sugar dissolves. This is the pad Thai sauce. Cut chicken and tofu into ½” cubes. Mince garlic cloves. Add vegetable oil, chicken, and tofu to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 6 minutes or until tofu starts to brown. Remove tofu and set aside.

Add garlic to and eggs to pan. Lightly scramble eggs and cook at medium heat for 3 minutes. Add garlic chives, red pepper flakes, rinsed noodles, and tofu. Stir fry at medium heat for 5 minutes. Add bean sprouts and pad Thai sauce. Stir fry for 2 minutes or until noodles are slightly chewy or al dente. Add 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts. Stir fry at medium heat for 1 minute. Cut each lime into 6 wedges. Garnish with lime wedges and 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts.

TIDBITS

1) It is well established that Thai chefs love alliteration and tongue twisters. Here are some of their favorites.

2) Tired Thais tie tidy tie dyed Thai ties.

3) Wired Thais wipe white wine while wining.

4) Tough Thais tug Pad Thai through the glue.

5) Pied Piper Thais buy Pad Thai pods.

6) Pad pods put pitted prunes nigh the moody Moon.

7) Tied Thais tried Thai tried dying flying limes.

8) High Thai thighs hide eyes.

9) Thai eyes espy small-fries fry fries.

10) My Thais buy My pies.

11) Dry Thais cry, “fly by.”

12) My Thais sigh bye.

13) Tired Thais buy squires wide wires. Why?

14) Rad, mad mod Pads pad pom poms.

15) Thai guy mice try rice thrice.

16) Fie! Thai mice, not nice.

17) Sci-fi Thai mice, splice rice twice.

18) Shy Thai poodles doodle oodles of puddles.

19) “Pish, fish sauce,” says cross boss Ross.

20) Choking chicken chickens quicken to thicken Bruce’s juices.

21) Wait, crate late mate’s great slate plate freight.

22) See? She’s nuts for free, wee peanuts.

23) I wrote at quite a pace and now I’m out of space.

 

– 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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Elephants Graveyard – Part 1

“The Elephants’ Graveyard is right there in Biloxi.”

The cabby’s assertion startled me.

“Biloxi, Mississippi? Are you sure about that? It seems hard to believe.”

“It’s true all right. You have my word as a cabby.”

“Come now, I don’t see any elephants here.”

“We’re not in Biloxi, friend. We haven’t left the airport. We gotta go east to Biloxi to see any elephants. The FAA don’t let no elephants into Gulfport. Dangerous to landing planes, you know.”

The meter ran as he talked and I was anxious to make my meeting, but I couldn’t resist saying,

“But the government is shut down again. Who will keep the elephants out of Gulfport now?”

“Damn!” The cabby slammed on the brakes to stop the cab, which wasn’t hard to do as we weren’t moving. He jumped out of the car. “Ow!” Chastened and little more cautious he opened the door and then got out. He retrieved a massive weapon out of the trunk and made his way back to the cab.

“Here, take this,” he growled as he hurled the gun at me. Minutes later when the ringing in my ears subsided I replied,

“How is it that I never read about it, anywhere?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I guess the local reporters just got used to ’em, and just never wrote ’em up.”

“But surely, the migration of elephants to Mississippi would have made front-page news?”

“You’re wrong, friend. The elephants came here in 1862, right in the middle of the war. Folks round were just too preoccupied with the fighting to notice them right off. But soon enough, General Lee enrolled them into his army. The ‘phants, as some call them, were in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. We would have won the battle, but them Yankees let loose thousands of mice. Those mice scared the ‘phants, who turned around and stampeded the Rebel men. That’s how we lost the war.”

“Fascinating, but why did they choose here of all places?”

“For the peanuts.”

“But they don’t grow peanuts in Mississippi, they grow peanuts in Georgia as you well know.”

“Well, those ‘phants didn’t know nothing about that, did they? You’re not as smart as you looked, Mister. I’m fixing to take you there, right now.”

“But, I simply must be at a meeting in Long Beach, to the West!”

He ignored my feeble protests, gunned the engine, and soon we hurtled eastward at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. Soon the fair gulf regaled us with its shimmering beauty.

Thalassa! Thalassa!”, I shouted to the cabby, “That’s Greek for the ‘The Sea.’ The Sea.”

“Yea, whatever. Look, there’s Peanuts Pavilion. Right next to that is the Planter’s dock and peanut refinery.”

“Ooh, that looks quite interesting. May we stop and investigate?”

“No.” He stomped on the gas pedal as way of protest and soon we were pushing the edge of the envelope at 25. “We’re looking for ‘phants. You gotta problem with that?”

“No,” I meekly replied. Since I was at the cabby’s mercy, I resolved to endure the best I could and would resolutely scan the horizon for the noble beasts whenever I wasn’t following the soaring meter.

Soon we crossed the border into Biloxi and immediately the clouds parted to reveal glorious, golden shafts of sunlight. I could almost swear I could hear angels singing melodious hymns of joy. The cabby belched.

Soon, the traffic in our lane slowed and eventually stopped at Eisenhower Drive, while in the lane to the bookstore, traffic ground to a halt. All the while, the meter merrily climbed. We noticed state troopers inspecting the cars, talking to all, waving some on, and pulling over others. Soon, one made his way to the cabby’s Honda Accord.

“Transporting any illegal elephants with you?”

“No,” the cabby explained at length as he handed over his license.

The trooper examined the license and then carefully pointed his flashlight inside the cab. Eventually, he seemed satisfied by our serene demeanor and waved us on. Whoosh, aided by a tail wind, we again darted eastward, leaving even the most vigorous pedestrians far behind. I turned to watch the Miss-Elephant-Rider-of-the-Mississippi-Gulf-Coast contest taking place on the beach; so did the cabby.

Crash! After shaking off the shattered glass, I looked up to behold a most angry pachyderm. Instinctively, I knew the elephant’s name to be Felix.

“What ho, Felix! How’s it hanging?” I bantered cheerfully to the gray skinned beast breathing in my face. Evidently, this was not proper elephantine etiquette as Felix trumpeted loudly as he crushed the front of the cab with one mighty stamp.

“Damn,” gushed the rattled cabby and then moments later, “I’m ruined.”

“My goodness, it’s not as bad as all that,” I opined. “Aren’t you covered by AAA insurance? I have it and it explicitly states that they will replace any one car crushed by a rampaging elephant.”

“Yep, but that won’t do me no good. That ‘phant will just hunt me down and crush every car I drive.”

“Surely, you are blowing a little tiff by that elephant all out of proportion.”

“No, I’m not. An elephant never forgets.”

The cabby remained inconsolable, and so, I waited quietly for AAA to bring the new cab. I then spied the smashed meter, and so, waited contentedly for the new car.

– 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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Spotlight on Leslie Handler, Author of “Rats, Mice and Other Things You Can’t Take to the Bank”

 

About the Book

Part memoir, part essay collection, Rats, Mice, and Other Things You Can’t Take to the Bank is written with both wit and charm. It will take you on a ride from finding a mouse in the house to the mortgage crisis, from a smile to a chuckle and from a few tears to the feeling of being wrapped in a blanket sipping a warm cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s day. Handler offers a rich, touching, heartfelt and reflective read that will leave the reader with an indelible uplifting spirit.

Excerpt from Rats, Mice and Other Things You Can’t Take to the Bank

Games, games, games

The boys I dated were mostly affluent.  In high school I had a double date with one of Ross Perot’s daughters, Nancy.  Actually, it was a triple date. The three girls were to meet at my house to make a picnic dinner.  The guys were to pick us up to take us to Shakespeare in the park.  Nancy showed up two hours late.  We had already made the fried chicken and the dessert, all that was left was the potato salad when Nancy arrived.  The boys were to be there in forty-five minutes, so my other girlfriend and I left my mom in the kitchen with Nancy while we went upstairs to spruce up.  Mom showed Nancy the bowl of potatoes and other ingredients and gave her a pot and other necessary utensils and told her she’d be back in a few minutes.  By the time my mom returned, Nancy had cut up a bowl full of raw potatoes filled with mayo and spices.  So much for rich girls knowing how to cook.  But then again, I’m not sure why I expected anything less since the first time I met her she asked to borrow a quarter for the cafeteria soda machine.  She never did pay that quarter back.

As for the boys, they picked us up on time, we had a lovely picnic, sans potato salad, and I don’t recall really ever interacting much with Nancy for the rest of high school.  She was a lovely girl.  I guess you could just say, we ran in different crowds.

I had lots of exciting dates in those years.  At the time, I wanted to pursue going into the hotel business, so I got myself a job at the finest hotel in town and spent a summer getting to know everyone from the housekeeping staff to the head maître ‘d of the finest restaurant there, to the general manager.  One of my dates, decided he would impress me by taking me to dinner there.  Apparently, he dined there often and thought he’d impress me when the waiters all knew him by name, but by the time he was taken to our table, he found himself alone. When he turned to see where I was, he found me hugging and kissing all the wait staff and calling them all by first names.  After I watched my date pick his jaw up off the floor, we managed to have a lovely evening with no need to further attempt to impress one another.  I dated this boy on and off for several years before I met my husband.  He was fun, and treated me well, but I never did feel much substance there.  He used to pick me up in a different car every time we went out.  There was the Trans Am, the Mercedes, and the Porsche to name a few.  My mom said that when he picked me up in the Rolls Royce, that would just have to be the last date because as she put it, “where do you go from there?” You know? She was right. That was our last date.

But I had other great dates with lots of other guys throughout high school and college.  My favorite dates though, were dates with my dad.  He always wanted to have special time with me.  I’d get all dressed up and we’d go out on the town.  Sometimes he’d take me to a show, sometimes to lunch, sometimes even to dinner.  But going out with dad always meant special time and to this day brings cherished memories.

Mom was the softy.  Dad was the disciplinarian.  Both gave me and my older brother nothing but love and support for our entire lives.

In this first chapter, I tell you all about these stories and even more stories about my growing up. Like so many children, one of the things I begged for was a family pet.  At one point, my folks went out and bought a boxer puppy….this from two people who knew nothing about raising a small animal let alone a boxer.  They blinked and “Happy” the dog, became an untrained, crazed, lunatic beast who hung himself by his own chain over the back yard fence.  The good news is that Happy lived to tell the tale, and kept his tail as well.  The next day, I was told he ran away.  Years later dad tried a Mynah bird.  Between the screeching and the feces throwing, that one didn’t work out too well either.  Eventually, I received an untrained Bichon Frise of unknown age who became one of the loves of my life and the bane of my mother’s existence.  His name was Pierre, but mom called him the carpenter dog because he did odd jobs around the house: a little pee here, a little food dumping there.  But for me, from then on, I was a dog lover.

You’ll hear more stories about my animal adventures throughout my life. You’ll also hear about one of my family’s earliest challenges regarding my loving brother and my first lessons in hate, love, and the power they each have.

Finally, I leave you with this early memory.  It’s one of my favorites and it explains why rats have been in my life.

I could smell the chlorine filling my nostrils as I quenched my thirst from the water flowing from the garden hose.  I could see those waves of heat floating in the Texas air on a hundred degree summer’s day.  We’d hook the sprinkler up to the hose and run bare foot through the water and the soft iridescent grass that could never be too green in the southwestern sultriness. When we were finally cool enough, we’d wrap ourselves in the thickness of terrycloth towels, dry off, and head inside for a read-a-thon in the air conditioned coolness of our home.

In the winter months, there was nothing more enticing than a pile of pillows and blankets placed before a roaring wood-burning fire.  But even the smell of the smoke escaping up the chimney with the remnants of roasted marshmallows trailing its sugary aroma right behind wasn’t as good as what was to come.  The best part, was the sweet smell of the drying hair of my two little girls fresh from the tub-all squeaky clean with the scent of youth.  I can remember the little hairs inside my nose would vibrate and tickle when we would crack open that first book of the day.  I would suck up those freshly printed pages with a deep inhale offering up that first book to the noses of my girls.  They too could sniff the words right off their pages and into their hearts. The flicker of the fire light would illuminate the beautiful faces of my girls as we began the first adventure of the day into the world of books.  At their youngest, there was Chick-a-Chick-a-Boom-Boom, Are You My Mother?, and any Berenstain Bears books.  As they got older it became Goosebumps, Ella Enchanted, and eventually Harry Potter.

A Handler read-a-thon, whether in the heat of the summer, or the frigid days of winter, was our time, our special time, time to cherish each other away from the stresses of daily life.  It was our escape, our escape together.  In those days, aside from relieving ourselves of full bladders or empty tummies, there was only one thing that would get us to break away from our reading, and that, was a good board game.

One such board game was a game called “Oh Rats.” Each player received his own puzzle.  He had to take the puzzle apart and then take a turn spinning a board that showed one puzzle piece.  If he didn’t yet have that puzzle piece, he could use it to add towards the completion of his puzzle. If he already had it, he would shout out “oh rats,” and it would be the next players turn.  The winner, was the first person to complete his puzzle.  I loved this game.  I loved it because it taught the girls their shapes and colors, but I mostly loved it because it taught them about the frustrations in life of not always getting what you want, and being able to just chalk it up to an exclamation of “oh rats.”  To this day, when something doesn’t quite go my way, I can just shout out “oh rats” and know that it’s ok.  There will always be another game, and there will always be more rats in the world.  Finding the right balance and getting your puzzle all put together, well that makes all the difference.

With that, I hope you enjoy the following essays about my special family, how we think about dogs in our house, and if I left something out, “oh rats,” I’ll have to wait until my next book to explain it.

Bio

Leslie is a 2015 Society of Newspaper Columnists award winner. She’s an international syndicated columnist with Senior Wire News Service and a frequent contributor to WHYY and CityWide Stories. She freelances for The Philadelphia Inquirer, ZestNow, and Boomercafe, as well as blogs for HuffPost. Her first book will be published Spring, 2018. Leslie currently lives smack dab between Philadelphia and New York City with husband Marty, dogs Maggie, Hazel, and Ginger, a collection of fish, said husband’s cockatoo who she’s been trying to roast for dinner for the last 33 years, and a few occasional uninvited guests. You may follow her blog and read published essays at: LeslieGoesBoom.com.

 

 

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Paul De Lancey
www.pauldelancey.com

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