Posts Tagged With: saffron

Iranian Sholeh Zard (Saffron Rice Pudding)

Iranian Dessert

SHOLEH ZARD
(Saffron Rice Pudding)

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice
6 cups water (2 teaspoons more later)
½ teaspoon saffron or turmeric
2 teaspoons water
¼ cup butter
¼ cup rosewater
1¾ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons slivered almonds or pistachios

SPECIAL UTENSILS

colander
3 quart no-stick pot
8 ramekins or dessert cups

Serves 8. Takes 3 hours.

PREPARATION

Wash rice thoroughly in colander. (This removes the starch.) Add 6 cups water to large no-stick pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Add rice. Stir with spoon. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour or until rice become completely tender. Stir just enough to prevent burning.

Add saffron and 2 teaspoons water to small cup. Stir. Add saffron/water, butter, rosewater, and sugar to pot. Simmer at low heat for 40 minutes until mixture becomes a pudding. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Ladle pudding into ramekins. Garnish with cinnamon and slivered almonds or pistachios.

TIDBITS

1) Life is hard, full or minor irritants. Life is very hard, filled with disasters.

2) If there were only same way or some phrase we could utter to make things magically better.

3) There is! It used to be “Abra cadabra” until it passed its Use By Date.

4) Now we must say, “Sholeh Zard.” Okay, I’ll go first. “I want a Mercedes(tm). Sholeh zard!” Wow, a Mercedes just appeared in my driveway. Now, it’s your turn to say the magic words.

 

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: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spanish Shrimp in Crispy Batter (Gambas en Gabardina)

Spanish Appetizer

SHRIMP IN CRISPY BATTER
(Gambas en Gabardina)

INGREDIENTS

1 egg
½ cup water
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon saffron (or ¼ teaspoon safflower)
¾ pound jumbo shrimp (20-25 count, peeled and deveined)
2 cups oil (vegetable or olive)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

deep fryer or skillet with tall edges

Serves 8. Takes 25 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add egg and water to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Add flour and salt. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add baking soda and saffron. Mix batter with whisk until well blended.

Add oil to deep fryer. Heat oil using medium heat. until a little bit of batter starts to dance in the oil. Roll shrimp in batter until they are completely covered. Shake off any excess.

Carefully drop shrimp one at a time into the hot oil. Do not let them touch each other. Let shrimp deep fry for 2 minutes they become crispy and turn golden brown. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon or regular spoon and let dry on plate covered with paper towel. Goes well with parsley and lemon wedges.

TIDBITS

1) Shepherds use sheep dogs to move their flocks of sheep. No other animal does this job as well. Similarly, clover drovers use shrimp to corral their herds of clover. (An unattended clover is prone to wander off anywhere and get into all sorts of mischief.)

2) Four-leaf clovers are more than worth their weight in gold. For these clovers will provide good luck as long as you keep them on your person. (Take that genies, with your paltry three wishes.) So, four-leaf clover drovers employ shrimp in crispy batter. Culinary veterinarians tell us this is because the whole process toughens up the shrimp something considerable, making them more than a match for the wily four-leafers. Just like boot camp toughens up marine recruits.

 

– 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: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Halwa

Omani Dessert

HALWA

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup corn flour or tapioca flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons ghee (2 more tablespoons later)
6 tablespoons chopped almonds or cashews or combination
1¾ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon rose water
8 saffron threads
1¾ cups water
¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (¼ teaspoon more later)
½ tablespoon ghee
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

8″ x 8″ casserole dish

Serves 12. Takes 30 minutes if served warm or 1 hour if served cool.

PREPARATION

Add flour to mixing bowl. Gradually add 1 cup water, blending all the time. Add 2 tablespoons ghee, and almonds to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 3 minutes or until nuts start to brown. Stir frequently. Drain. Set aside.

Add sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, rose water, saffron, and 1¾ cups water to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Boil for 5 minutes until sugar completely dissolves. Stir slowly and just enough to prevent burning. Reduce heat to low. Stir gently and constantly as you add in the flour/water mix. Let simmer until mixture thickens as starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Fold in sautéed almonds and ¾ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

Grease casserole dish with ½ tablespoon ghee. Gently pour the setting mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds. Serve warm into cups or let cool until it sets.

TIDBITS

1) Halwa can remain on the kitchen table. It can also fly up to the ceiling. This is because it can, locally, turn the Earth’s gravitational field on and off. NASA is studying halwa intensively.

 

– 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: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kulfi Ice Cream

Indian Dessert

KULFI ICE CREAM

INGREDIENTS

10 saffron threads
1 tablespoon hot water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
½ cup ground cardamom
⅔ cup chopped pistachios
⅓ cup chopped or slivered almonds

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater.
ramekins, small bowls, or popsicle molds

Serves 8. Takes 25 minutes plus at least 6 hours for freezing..

PREPARATION

Add saffron and hot water to cup. Add heavy whipping cream to large mixing bowl. Whip with electric beater until just get whipped cream or soft peaks start to form. (Do not overdo it or you’ll get butter.) Use spatula to gradually fold condensed milk into whipped cream. Use spatula to gradually fold in saffron with its water, cardamom, pistachios, and almonds. Gently pour into ramekins. Cover ramekins with plastic wrap or lids. Freeze for at least 6 hours on until it sets and becomes ice cream.

TIDBITS

1) Clark KentTM and SupermanTM are never in the same place at the same time. Why? Because they are the same person. Kulfi Ice Cream and the planet Mars are never in the same place at the same time. Why? Because they are one and the same. They certainly look alike. See the photos below.

 

2) But, I hear you say, Mars is millions of miles away in space and my kulfi is right in front of me. How is this possible? Magic. When you eat kulfi, Mars is in your ramekin. When you look at the night sky, Mars will be there. Mars, however, won’t be in the sky if you take your kulfi outside with you. So be careful. You don’t want to mess with the workings of the Solar System.

 

– 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: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spanish Almond Sherry Soup – New Tidbits

Spanish Soup

ALMOND SHERRY SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
2½ tablespoons butter
15 saffron threads
¼ pound blanched or slivered almonds
2 eggs yolks
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons sherry
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Spanish paprika or paprika
½ cup cream
2 teaspoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or food processor

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Melt butter in pan using low-medium heat. Add onion. Simmer at low-medium heat for 8 minutes or until onion softens and turns yellow. Stir frequently. Add saffron. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add blanched almonds to pan. Toast by using medium-high heat until almonds start to brown. Grind toasted almonds until they become a paste. Add almond paste, egg yolks, and minced onion to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until you a well blended almond/egg/onion paste.

Add chicken stock, sherry, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and Spanish paprika to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low-medium and add cream. Gradually add almond/egg/onion paste. Stir until well blended. Simmer at low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. While soup simmers, mince parsley. Garnish soup with slivered almonds and parsley.

TIDBITS

1) There have been documented instances of  the heavens raining fish. This sounds pretty exciting, especially if I needed an expensive fish for a gourmet meal and the nearest supermarket that carries it is an hour away. I would like it even better if the clouds rained Almond Sherry Soup. Well, why not? I’d be out their with buckets, I can tell you. Wear a raincoat.

 

– 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: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Biryani From Pakistan

Pakistani Entree

BIRYANI

INGREDIENTS

2 medium onions
1 pound lamb or chicken
2 green chiles
1 garlic clove
¾” ginger root
1 large tomato
3 cardamom seeds
3 cloves
1½” cinnamon stick
¾ teaspoon garam masala
3 peppercorns
1 teaspoon red chile flakes or ½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
6 tablespoons ghee or butter
1¼ cups basmati rice
2½ cups water
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon saffron or  ¾ teaspoon safflower
¼ cup warm water
½ cup fresh mint leaves

SPECIAL UTENSILS

blender or food processor
mandoline
sonic obliterator

Serves 6. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice onions ⅛” thick using mandoline or knife. Cut lamb into 2″ cubes. Seed and dice green chiles. Use food processor to turn garlic cloves and ginger root into a paste. Puree tomato in blender.

Add green chile, onion, cloves, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, garam masala, peppercorns, red chile flakes, salt, turmeric, and ghee to large pan. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens and browns. Stir frequently. Add garlic/ginger paste. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until garlic/onion paste becomes fragrant. Stir frequently. Add tomato. Cook at medium heat for 3 minutes. Add lamb. Cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until lamb starts to brown. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning.

While lamb simmers, add rice, 2½ cups water, and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil using high heat for 15 minutes or until rice is al dente. Stir occasionally and add water as necessary to avoid burning the rice. Remove bay leaf. Drain and set aside. Add saffron and ¼ cup warm water to small mixing bowl. Stir, Add rice and saffron/water mixture. Cover and simmer at low-medium heat for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick.

While lamb/rice/saffron simmers, dice mint leaves. Garnish dish with mint leaves. Use sonic obliterator on any guest who crosses you in any way at anytime during preparation or serving.

TIDBITS

1) Pakistan is home to the ATM at the highest elevation in the world, 15,397.

2) The highest polo stadium on Earth is also in Pakistan. at 12,140 feet.

3) This means you can leave the stadium after a particularly exciting match and still have to climb up over a half mile to withdraw some cash. So, It really is best to come prepared with enough money for post-game activities.

4) Over half of the world’s hand-sewn soccer balls come from Pakistan. The British rulers of Pakistan, during the time of the Raj, loved to play soccer. But it took forever to ship soccer balls from Britain to Pakistan. The rest of the trip was by train. By the time, the soccer balls got to the soccer pitches, everybody would have gone home months ago. So, the British soccer officials asked the local businesses to make soccer balls. They produced fantastic leather spheres. Now, the British could play soccer whenever they wanted. The local businesses burgeoned. Now Pakistan dominates the hand-sewn market.

5) This is just one consequence of global imperialism.

6) Pakistan’s national anthem has been rated as one the best in the world. Well done, Pakistan.

7) On the other hand, two Pakistani brothers created the world’s first computer virus. Boo.

8) In 2011, Pakistani officials arrested a monkey crossing its border with India. I don’t know the charges. I’d really like to know the charges. No passport?

9) The national fruit is the mango.

9) One of the two national languages of Pakistan is Urdu. Only 7% of the population speak it. The most used non-English language is Punjabi.

10) Okay, suppose you’ve just withdrawn some rupees from the word’s highest-up ATM and you wish to buy some mangos at the local market. How would you say it? You would tell the merchant, “Iha aba kina hai?”

11) There, you have one fewer thing to worry about should you ever travel to Pakistan.

– 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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Balaleet

Qatari Breakfast

BALALEET

INGREDIENTS

¾ pound vermicelli
2 tablespoons butter or ghee (1 more tablespoon later)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water
2 eggs
½ teaspoon saffron (loosely packed)
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
1½ tablespoons pistachios

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Boil water. Break vermicelli noodles in half. Add vermicelli. Continue boiling for 2 minutes. (This will be less than indicated on the package.) Remove vermicelli in a colander. Add 2 tablespoons butter and sugar to 1st pan. Melt using medium heat. Stir constantly. Add cardamom, orange blossom water, and vermicelli to pan. Stir until blended. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

While vermicelli/orange blossom water simmers, add eggs, saffron, and salt to mixing bowl. Beat with whisk. until well blended Add 1 tablespoon butter to 2nd pan. Melt butter using medium heat. Add egg/saffron. Cook until egg mixture is done to your liking on bottom. Flip egg pancake over and again cook until the new bottom is done to your liking. Cut egg pancake into 4″-x-1″ strips.

Add vermicelli to plates. Top with egg strips. Sprinkle with pistachios.

TIDBITS

1) This dish is served on a round plate. Most meals are served on round plates.

2) Round plates have to be stored in cupboards.

3) Cupboards take up a lot of space in kitchens.

4) Why not serve food on square plates? After dinner, the square plates can be placed on the kitchen walls like tiles. Everyone loves beautiful tiles. And plates on the walls don’t need to be put back into cupboards. Fewer cupboards means more space in the kitchen. More space in the kitchens makes chefs happier. Happy chefs plate happy dishes. Happy cooking leads to happy dishes. And now the entire world is a happier place. And don’t we all want that?

– 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, international, obsevations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Almond Sherry Soup from Spain

Spanish Soup

ALMOND SHERRY SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
2½ tablespoons butter
15 saffron threads
¼ pound blanched almonds
2 eggs yolks
3 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons sherry
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Spanish paprika or paprika
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons slivered almonds

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder or food processor

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Mince onion. Melt butter in pan using low-medium heat. Add onion. Simmer at low-medium heat for 8 minutes or until onion softens and turns yellow. Stir frequently. Add saffron. Simmer at low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add blanched almonds to pan. Toast by using medium-high heat until almonds start to brown. Grind toasted almonds until they become a paste. Add almond paste, egg yolks, and minced onion to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until you a well blended almond/egg/onion paste.

Add chicken stock, sherry, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and Spanish paprika to pot. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low-medium and add cream. Gradually add almond/egg/onion paste. Stir until well blended. Simmer at low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. While soup simmers, mince parsley. Garnish soup with parsley and slivered almonds.

TIDBITS

1) Last year, culinary archeologists found this painting in the Rohoño cave near Valencia, Spain. They believe it depicts a caveman giving thanks to the gods for raining down tasty almond sherry soup. (See the soup bowls at the bottom.) Conventional archeologists disagree. Prehistorians are a fractious lot. But you know, this soup is from Spain. So maybe.

 

– 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, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kuwaiti Machboos

Kuwaiti Entree

MACHBOOS

INGREDIENTS

1 green chile
2 garlic cloves
2 inches ginger root
2½ pounds boneless chicken, thighs or breasts
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups basmati rice
1 gram saffron (This is expensive. Get a sonic obliterator to protect it.)
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
2 medium onions
1 large tomato
1 bay leaf
4 inches cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
2 dried lemons

SPECIAL UTENSILS

food processor
sonic obliterator (To protect your saffron.)

Serves 5. Takes 1 hour 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Slice chile in half lengthways. Seed chile. Add garlic cloves and ginger root to food processor. Chop until garlic and ginger becomes paste. Add chicken, cardamom, coriander, paprika, pepper, and turmeric to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until chicken pieces are well coated.

Use sonic obliterator to zap intruder trying to steal your saffron. Add chicken stock, rice, and saffron to pot. Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add almonds and raisins to mixing bowl. Add enough warm water to cover almonds and raisins.

While chicken stock/rice simmers, mince onions and tomato. Add ghee, onion, and tomato to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Cut dried lemons in half. Add coated chicken, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and dried lemon halves. Cook at medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add chile, garlic/ginger paste, and tomato. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir occasionally.

Drain water from almonds and raisins. Remove and discard bay leaf and cinnamon sticks. Remove chicken and set aside. Add rice to plates, then onion/garlic/spices remaining in pan, and then chicken. Garnish with almonds and raisins.

TIDBITS

1) The United States Paranormal Force (USPF) is based out of Casper, Wyoming.

2) This was totally secret until tidbit 1) which kinda let the cat out of the bag. Ok, totally out of the bag. It was all an accident. I was looking for a substitute for goat meat for one of my recipes. My search engine said, “Did you mean ghosts?” No, I did not. But the search engine already had the bit between its teeth, giving me a link to the USPF’s website.

3) How did this happen? Last April, Lieutenant Amos Keeto of the USPF sent an email with the title, “Ghosts or Goats, Better Adjunct to the Potentially Revived Star Wars Defense Initiative?

4) Unfortunately, Keeto clicked on the “Send to All Option” Everyone who had a Yahoo account received this email. Fortunately, the sheer volume of recipients flagged this email as spam and never made it to your inbox. Unfortunately, you could have read it had you been scrutinizing every post in your trash folder before emptying it. Fortunately, none of you do. But the search engines did. And the search algorithms waited and waited until someone, me, asked for goat-meat substitute.

5) Military goats have a long and illustrious heritage. In 1775, a wild goat, apparently a Tory, carried the colors for a Welsh regiment during the British assault on Bunker Hill. Another Welsh goat, Taffy IV, fought in World War I, participating in four major battles. Taffy died in 1915 and was awarded the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

6) Clearly goats, especially Welsh ones, can be awesome instruments or war when properly led. So, the Air Force reasoned how much more fiercesome would flying goats would be dealing death from the sky. “Baa, baa,” would become a byword for terror.

7) However, the USAF eventually concluded that they would never get goats to fly at Mach 1, the speed of sound, much less fly at all.

8) Then in August, 1990, Major Keeto, feverish from drinking buttermilk past its expiration date, had a vision. He saw a friendly ghost change into a fiendish one able to make entire battalions retreat with blood-chilling baas or boos as they often seem to sound like.

9) The newly-formed USPF brass began recruiting local ghosts. At first the ghosts couldn’t do more than 300 miles an hour. But with a year of the training that makes America’s Paranomal Force the envy of the world, the ethereal specters could fly at Mach 1 and terrify the enemy with terrifying boos. Hence, Mach boos or Machboos.. In honor of this achievement, the cadets at Casper, Wyoming renamed their favorite chicken/rice dish to Machboos. Machboos has become a well-liked entree in Kuwait as well. Now you know.

Chef Paul

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

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bad Advice Friday, 4-14-17

Today is once more Bad-Advice Friday. I shall be dispensing bad advice to all comers. The advice will stupendously bad.

PD asks: How do I get the cat to emulate a dog? He never meows anyway.

Dear PD: Male dogs like to lick their balls. Paint your cat’s nuts with liquid catnip. (The cat might resist for a bit.) Then feline instincts will take over and your cat will lick that catnip right off. Once the first step to dogdom is broken, adoption of other doggie traits will surely follow.

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LHH asks: When will my ship come in?

Dear LHH: Sad to say, you can’t count on a ship to dock at your town and have the captain come down the gangway and present you with the keys to the vessel. This is particularly so, if you live miles inland. Anyway, head to the port and buy the first cruise ship that takes your fancy. This will be your ship! Now mind you, cruise ships cost hundreds of millions, so saving is a must. You might find that you don’t have enough saved up. In this case, you’ll have to forgo such things as: lodging, clothes, and food. Indeed, you might to do without everything for decades, but don’t give up.. Stay true to your dream.

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ABG asks: What if I don’t want to get out of the pool?

Dear ABG: Who does? It takes a while to get used to the water and then it’s so cold when you get out. You need help. Simply hire a rodeo cowboy and a pilot with a helicopter. The cowboy lassoes you and the pilot ascends, lifting you out of the pool. You might even worry how the wind is blowing you repeatedly close to your house. But let’s not forget you’re out of the pool. Now it’s time for an after-pool cocktail.

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MA asks: Is there a way to find the Father of All Bombs?

Dear MA: Why yes, there is. First, go to your nearest air force base and ask to be let in. Ask politely or they won’t wave you through. Manners are always important. Should they ask why, tell the truth. You can’t imagine how many times spies, agent provocateurs (quite possibly spelled correctly), and terrorists lie to these guards. Your honesty will be just the fresh air needed to melt their suspicious hearts. Second, head to the shed where they keep the really big bombs. You are looking for the Father of All Big Bombs after all. Take that sledgehammer out of your vehicle and starting banging the heck of the bombs. (Note, while bombs are notoriously temperamental and apt to go off when hit by even the humble hammer, you can’t count on it. Do your research and find the bomb’s “E” spot, or “Explosive spot.) Anyway, hit those bombs as hard as you can with your sledgehammer. The bomb that flings your body the farthest will be the Father of All Bombs.

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PH asks: Mother a weed, father a weed … do you expect the daughter to be a saffron root?

Dear PH: No, no, you can’t, not even if you hire the finest genetic splicers. The best thing to do is glue saffron all over her. (Note, she might complain about that, particularly if she is a teenager.) Anyway, saffron is expensive, about $200 an ounce. Covering her all over with saffron might cost a half-million dollars. If you have that kind of money, your problem is solved. However, even if the most diligent searching for coins under the sofa cushions leaves you short, head to saffron-rich Tibet. Simply fly to India, hike across the Himalayan mountains, avoid the border guards, pick hundreds of pounds of saffron threads from the saffron flowers, carry your prize back across the Himalayas, and fly home.

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PH asks: If a man said to you, ‘A dog carried away your ear’ would you go after the dog or search first for your ear?

Dear PH: Oh my gosh, you’re told a dog carried away your ear and you want to waste precious time searching for it on your head? Do you wish to give the dog time to eat it, develop a taste for human flesh, and start a canine/culinary murder spree? Also, if you can retrieve that ear quickly you can get it sewn back own. Hurry, man, hurry. Chase after the nearest dog you see and pry open its mouth. Don’t let the fact that it’s a doberman or a pit bull scare you off. It’s your ear. If the dog happens not to have your ear in its mouth, apologize to its owner as manners are always important. Then take off after the next dog and so on. Good luck! I look forward to hearing from you.

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JW asks: Why?

Dear JW: I assume you are asking “Why can’t I find my car keys?” as this is by far the most asked why question. The short answer is that your car are not where you’re looking and vice versa. Clearly, you need more copies. I suggest one hundred car keys. Leave them all over your house, your place of work, and any stores you frequent. Be sure to leave details of your car such as make, year, color, and license plate on it. It would be embarrassing to come back to your local burger joint and pick a set of keys from the counter only to get to your cars and find you grabbed a set of keys belonging to someone else. Then your have to go back inside the joint and put those keys down, right in front of everyone. You look around, getting redder and redder. Finally, you find your 83rd set of car keys right where you were eating. By this time, everyone is laughing and you find yourself wishing you could merge your molecules into the wall. Don’t let this happen put your car’s info on every set of car keys. Now you know.

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WK asks: Did it ever say how many seashells Sally sold down by the sea shore?

Dear WK: As I learned the nursery rhyme while in school in Australia, the next line is, “But she shall sell her shells no more.” She’s not selling anymore. All of a sudden, we don’t know her name. She hasn’t shown up at beach since, despite the high demand for her designer sea shells from wealthy tourists. We can only conclude that she is in the witness protection program for testifying about seashore murder she saw. Which is unfortunate, as she is quite rich and is quite the looker. I recommend a door-to-door search across the country for her.

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DZ asks: I can’t stop the damned sports news updates from showing up on my Facebook trending topics, no matter how many times I dismiss them. It’s the only news I actually WANT Facebook to curate for me, and they won’t do it. Help me.

Dear DZ: You language is probably listed as American English with Facebook. America is sports mad. We have sports all year round. You’re not going to be able to avoid sports in your trending topics as long as your FB page is in American English. You will have to switch your page to an obscure language, one that is spoken by very few people. I recommend Chamicuro. Although it is spoken throughout the world, the total numbers of speakers is estimated at eight. How many professional sports teams could those speakers have? Yep, switch your Facebook page to Chamicuro and you’ll never see sports trending again.

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SF asks: If I ask a question = will you answer ?

Dear SF: ˙ǝɔıʌpɐ pɐq ǝʌıƃ oʇ ǝʌol ı ‘ǝsɹnoɔ ɟo ‘sǝʎ

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– 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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