Posts Tagged With: painter

What the Way People Cut Their PBJ Sandwich Says About Them

Life is scary. So scary that we develop ways of coping with our daily world. Some ways are good, like looking both ways when you cross a road. Some responses to problems or fears are a bit extreme, like burning down your house to kill a spider. Sorry, but that’s true; you’ll just get another spider in your next house, if you can afford it. How do you know what type of person are you? How do you know what sort of carbon-based life form is sitting next to you on the bus? You need to know if he is an axe murderer or not? How can you find out? Like right now.

Fret not, I know how to psychoanalyze the person in question. Look at his PBJ (peanut butter and jelly) sandwich. No matter how demented the fellow, he cannot hide his personality when cutting apart his PBJ. Just can’t. Anyway, here are the six basic PBJ sandwiches.

The Uncut PBJ – Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. This PBJ eater shuns complexity. He’s easy going. He shrugs off adversity and generally turns out to be a rather pleasant fellow. Or it could be he doesn’t trust himself with knives.

 

 

The Vertically-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater can be counted to do what the majority of the people around are doing. This is great when the two of you are attending a garden party. It’s deadly, though, when you are in the midst of full-scale urban combat. In this case, the PBJ eater will kill you. And what are you doing at Battle of Stalingrad, anyway?

 

The Diagonally-Cut PBJ  – This PBJ eater will generally do what the majority does. But he can also think for himself. If all his neighbors are rioting, he’s likely to absent himself from the chaos. He’s apt to be a problem solver. This places him in high demand. He might even become the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

 

 

The Horizontally-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater is fundamentally decent sort. She just wants to do things her way. Sometimes she acts differently just for the sake of doing things differently. She can’t, however, abide being forced to do what the authorities tell her to do, particularly if she knows them to be wrong. Consequently, she is the primary fomenter of rebellions.

 

The Double-Diagonally-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater is brilliant, but may also be erratic. He’s likely to be an impressionist painter. If he’s stable, he’ll be like Monet. If he’s erratic, then he’ll act like Van Gogh. Watch out for your ear. This PBJ may also show a scientific bent. If he’s stable, he’ll design a rocket that takes astronauts to Mars. If not, he’ll try to breed 60-foot tall rabbits.

 

The Squiggly-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater is totally demented. If we’re lucky, she’ll merely rob, maim, and murder. If we are not, she’ll design and manufacture printers.

 

 

There you have it. And remember, this method is infallible.

 

– 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.

Categories: observations, proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

John Wallis and Infinity

Sure, Greek philosophers, and other smarty pants after them, talked up a storm now and then about the concept of infinity. But none of it wrote down a symbol for it. So they all got forgotten, except for Socrates. And as we all know, Socrates was forced to take hemlock for not coming up with a symbol for infinity. The ancient Athenians took their proto-calculus discussions seriously.

One day, British mathematician and doughnut lover, John Wallis, was sitting at his table looking at two alluring pink doughnuts. His next door neighbor, Carl La Fong sat across from John gazing longingly at the pink delights. The great British painter, John Hoskins, happened to be there. This is his painting, “Two Pink Doughnuts.” It hangs in the Tate Museum in London, England.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“May I have one of your pink doughnuts?” asked La Fong.

“No, you may not,” said Wallis, “I love pink doughnuts beyond all measure.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut if you had three?” asked La Fong.

“No, I would not. I would eat all three. I would eat them just with me.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut if you had four?”

Wallis shook is head. “No, I would not. I would eat all four. I would eat them by the door.”

“Would you, could you, give me one pink doughnut, if you had an infinite number of pink doughnuts?”

“No, I would not. I would eat an infinite number of doughnuts.” Wallis scratched his head. “Say, what would the symbol for infinity look like?”

“Like this, you greedy man.” La Fong squished the two doughnuts.

And, lo and behold, John Hoskins painted the squished doughnuts. The wildly popular painting is on display at the British Science Museum in London. It’s called, “Infinity.” Here it is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so due to Wallis, La Fong, and Hoskins, we now have the symbol for infinity. Sir Isaac Newton used it to develop calculus. Now you know.

 

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

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: history, proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicken Banh Mi

Vietnamese Entree

CHICKEN BANH MI

INGREDIENTSChickenBanhMi-

4 8″ baguettes (not overly cripsy)
3 medium carrots
¼ pound daikon
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup rice vinegar
2 Thai red chiles or jalapeños
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil                                                                           Not a Van Gogh painting
½ cup aioli sauce (see recipe) or mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sriracha
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 cucumber
no-stick spray

SPECIAL UTENSIL

cookie sheet

Makes 4 banh mi sandwiches. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.

PREPARATION

Split baguettes in half along their lengths. Grate, or julienne, carrots and daikon. Add sugar and rice vinegar to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove and let cool. Add carrot and daikon to pot. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While carrots and daikon marinate, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mince Thai red chiles. Cut chicken breasts into 1″-wide strips. Add Thai red chiles, lime juice, garlic salt, pepper, and chicken to large mixing bowl. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes. While chicken marinates, add aioli sauce and sriracha to small mixing bowl. Blend together with whisk. Dice cilantro. Slice cucumber into thin circles.

Coat chicken breasts with vegetable oil. Spray cookie sheet with no-stick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Add baguette halves to oven. Turn chicken over. Bake chicken and baguettes for 10 minutes or chicken is no longer pink inside and baguettes are lightly toasted.

Spread aioli/sriracha sauce on baguette half. Add an equal layer of cucumber circles to each baguette. Add an equal of chicken strips to each baguette, followed by a layer of mixed carrot and daikon. Sprinkle each baguette with diced cilantro.

TIDBITS

1) Bright, vibrant colors emanate from chicken banh mi. See above photo.

2) The artist Van Gogh (1856-1893) is famous for his bright, vibrant paintings such as Sunflower and starry night. His character is depicted in the well-loved Doctor Who episode, “Vincent and the Doctor,” where he saves the universe. Well done, Vincent.

3) Food always inspired Vincent. His first famous painting is “The Potato Eaters” (1885), known by everyone who has known of it. It was typical of an artistic style called brown gravy, where the only colors on a painter’s palette were: beige, light brown, ecru (remember that for crossword puzzles), brown, dark brown, and chocolate brown.

4) However, Vincent’s magnificent obsession with food developed earlier, certainly after birth and before death.

5) He wrote, during this period of life, wrote many letters to his brother. Food provided the dominant, recurring theme of these epistles.

6) In his letter of September 17, 1875, Vincent worries his brother, Theo, isn’t eating properly. He admonishes his brother to eat lots of bread. Just twelve day later, Vincent tells Theo to eat more bread. On August 18, 1877, the great artist tells his sibling to eat bread as it deters people from suicide. He cites Dickens as his source for this bit of knowledge.

7) Clearly, Vincent did not belong to the gluten-free school of painting.

8) Vincent did take a brief walk on the wild side, when he favored oatmeal over bread. (See his letters of November 9 and November 15, 1875.) Culinary-art historians still debate the reason for this. The dominant view seems to be that his illnesses had been flaring up more than usual. Others maintain that Vincent had simply gone off feed.

9) Then? I don’t know. I cleverly managed to print out only the first nine of Vincent’s twenty-five food-and-drink letters to his brother.

10) Then my friggin’ printer jammed. By the time the cussing had stopped and the printer actually was willing to work again, the mood for research had passed. Hey, don’t judge me.

11) One of Van Gogh’s few non-vegetarian paintings is “Prawns and Mussels” (1886). Everybody loves shrimp and Vincent was no exception. His one true love, however, was potatoes as his many spud painting testify. He did have brief flings with: citrus, cabbage-red and green, onions, grapes, apples, and even quinces!! His one true love, however, was potatoes as his many spud paintings testify.

12) In 2010, the Doctor and Amy Pond visit Vincent with their TARDIS. The Doctor tells Vincent that he shall become the greatest painter of all time. Vincent abandons his bread mania and paints many famous non-culinary paintings. Vincent dies within a year.

13) The great artist would probably have lived long if he had only stayed with still lifes of potatoes. Something to think about for aspiring artists.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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

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