Posts Tagged With: World War II

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

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Durban Masala

South African Appetizer

DURBAN MASALA

durbanmasalaINGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1¼ teaspoons coriander
1¼ teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon fenugreek
¾ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon mace
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric

Makes ¼ cup. Takes 10 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to mixing. Mix with whisk until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) Durban is a city in South Africa. Durban rhymes with Durban. This is useful when constructing rhyming poems. In much the same way, gnome rhymes with Nome, a city in Alaska. Over 20,000 gnomes live in Nome, admired for their strong work ethic. They’ll guard your garden for amazing lengths of time and everyone knows much polar bears fear gnomes.

4) Gnomes first came to Massachusetts on the Mayflower, fleeing persecution from waffle eaters. Later, they worked their way south, guarding spice gardens along the way. The little guys eventually settled in Chancellorsville, Virginia–Why not?–to lead a safe, if not totally accepted existence.

5) Tragedy struck in 1863. General Stonewall Jackson was shot after the battle of Chancellorsville. Enraged townsfolk held a gnome fired the fatal shot and drove the wee ones out of town.

6) The gnomes drifted ever northwestward, until they reached Nome on the Bering Sea. They could drift no longer. They wore parkas to keep warm. The parkas covered their faces, just like the natives. You couldn’t tell the gnomes and the people apart. Sure, gnomes are much shorter than people, but you always keep your face to the ground during a blizzard. And 19th-century Nome always had blizzards. The townsfolk didn’t even notice the little folk until 1941, when World War II broke out. People. after kneeling, worked shoulder to shoulder with the gnomes to defeat the common foe. The gnomes gained acceptance into one career after another. Today, Nome’s the gnome genome sequencing capital of the world.

Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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

Beef, Spinach, and Peanut Stew from South Sudan

South Sudanese Entree

BEEF, SPINACH, AND PEANUT STEW

INGREDIENTSSouthSudan-

1¼ pounds chuck steak or round steak
3 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2½ tomatoes
2 bunches spinach (1 pound)
½ sweet potato
4 tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts (4 teaspoons more later)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cups beef stock
½ tablespoon tomato paste
4 teaspoons unsalted, roasted peanuts
½ cup unsweetened peanut butter

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder
Dutch oven

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut beef into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic. Dice onions and tomatoes. Remove stems from spinach, then shred. Cut sweet potato into ½” cubes. Use spice grinder to make a paste from 4 tablespoons peanuts.

Add peanut oil and beef cubes to Dutch oven. Cook at medium heat for 6 minutes or until beef browns. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and onion. Raise heat to medium-high and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic softens. Stir in beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes or until beef becomes tender and stock is reduced by ½. Stir occasionally. Add sweet potato and 4 teaspoons peanuts. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add peanut paste, and peanut butter. Simmer for 5 minutes or until peanut paste and peanut butter blends completely in. Stir frequently. Add spinach and tomato. Raise heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until the oil from the peanut paste and peanut butter makes the stew shiny. Goes well with rice and flatbread.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is a stew. Stew is an anagram for west.

2) The Sun sets in the west.

3) Peanuts hate the Sun, because it’s bad for their complexion.

4) So, they dig into the ground to avoid the piercing rays of light.

5) Peanuts never get very far into the soil, though.

6) They don’t have opposable thumbs. You need opposable thumbs to hold hoes and shovels.

7) Nor do peanuts have any hands to speak of, really.

8) Which is why farmers never hire peanuts during harvest time, only humans.

9) Still, the Sun burns the little ground nuts.

10) The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

11) So, the peanuts migrate to the west in the morning and back east in the afternoon. They end up in the same place, which is why no one ever notices them moving.

12) Things get ugly, though, when herds of peanuts cross the same interstate freeway. Traffic halts. The traffic jam grows to includes connecting freeways and highways. The economy halts.

14) That’s not all. Giant herds of peanuts moving back and forth along the ground dislodge the Earth’s plates. Earthquakes result as in San Francisco in 1906

15) Indeed, peanut migrations have caused the Earth’s plates to shift. Before peanuts came on the scene there was only one continent, Pangaea.

16) Something had to be done and in 1939 all the nations gathered in Poway, California to discuss the looming peanutian threat.

17) Then, on September 1, Hitler invaded Poland and World War II broke out. Country after country uprooted their peanut fields to feed their rampaging armies. Fewer migrating peanuts meant fewer earthquakes during the war years. You can look it up.

18) The leaders of the major victorious powers: Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, knew it would be a matter of time before another Hitler would arise or peanuts would make their comeback. Perhaps, the next megalomanic dictator would even gather the peanuts of the world to his standard.

19) The United Nations was formed in 1945 to gather this very threat. An elite anti-peanut battalion was formed and peanut farming within 100 miles of fault lines was banned forever.

20) Something to think about when you have your next peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

– Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mumu From Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinean Entree

MUMU

INGREDIENTSMumu-

8 ounces carrots or 2 medium
8 ounces sweet potatoes or 1 large
8 ounces banana or 1½ medium
8 ounces papaya or ½ medium
4 ounces spinach
12 ounces pork
6 ounces peas or similar green vegetable
12 ounces chicken
1 or 2 banana leaves or cabbage leaves* (enough to cover pot)
20 ounces coconut cream total (5 times at ¼ cup) or 2 14-ounces cans coconut milk.

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 2 hours.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

outdoor grill
grill-safe pot and lid

PREPARATION – COCONUT CREAM (If you can’t find it in stores.)

Chill coconut milk cans in refrigerator for 24 hours. Open cans and scoop out the thick cream on the top. Keep 20 ounces, or 2½ cups, of coconut cream. Use the rest of the coconut cream and the liquid in the bottom of the cans to make coconut-based smoothies

PREPARATION – ONCE YOU HAVE COCONUT CREAM.

Wash and peel carrots, sweet potatoes, banana, and papaya. Remove papaya seeds. Chop carrots, sweet potatoes, pork, bananas, papaya, peas, and chicken into 1″ cubes.

This dish is made with 5 layers. Spread ingredients evenly for each layer. Top each layer with ¼ cup of coconut cream. Make the first layer by adding carrot and sweet potato to pot. Make the second layer by adding pork. Make the third layer by adding banana and papaya. Make the fourth layer by adding chicken. Make the fifth layer by adding peas and spinach. Top everything with banana leaves.

Cover pot and place on grill. Never stir ingredients. Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes or until you see juices bubble. Reduce heat on grill to low and simmer for 1-to-1½ hours or until everything is done to your liking. Okay, okay, you’ll to take a fork and peek and the doneness of the various layers, but no stirring.

TIDBITS

1) The stability of the entire world is threatened by an emerging superpower, Papua New Guinea. Hah, you say. Where is Papua New Guinea? North of Australia. What does it produce? Rain and mud, according to Allied soldiers fighting there in World II. What could such a country do? Buy a lot of SPAM or … conquer the Pacific Ocean.

How? I’m glad you asked. Culinary historians know the best mud for beauty care comes from Papua New Guinea, or PNG. The demand for this mud in American and European spas grows fantastically every year. Soon, PNG will be awash with the world’s money. PNG can then allocate its new billions to buy used aircraft carriers, fighter planes, bombers, tanks, and landing craft listed irresponsibly on eBay.

2) This is where the nightmare starts PNG has a population of 4,600,000. (I counted them twice last Tuesday.) Even if the country puts just 10% of its people in the military, it will have a striking force of 460,000. Who has the population, the might to stop them? Not neighboring Nauru with its tiny population of 11,000 and maybe soldiers.

3) Emboldened by this easy conquest, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and Tonga, with their combined population of 260,000 will fall like leaves in a Wisconsin autumn. This disaster will have worldwide ramifications. Does anyone doubt the Palauan contingent keeping the peace in The Land of Oz will remain under such dire circumstances? No, they will go home to fight a war of liberation. The whole idea of UN peace-keeping forces will unravel. Minor skirmishes will become full fledged regional wars. So it goes.

4) Soon, Micronesia and Vanuatu will topple. I don’t know much about them so let’s move onto the Solomon Islands and Fiji–biggish but still smaller than PNG. We cannot let these two nations fall. We cannot let PNG monopolize the best snorkeling sites in the world. Have you snorkeled at Key Largo? Well, let me tell you, the snorkeling at Fiji is much better. And by the way, conquest of these countries would enable PNG to block all airborne and seaborne trade across the Pacific. The snorkeling industry and the world economy would collapse.

5) What can Americans do? Simple. Use local mud! Cut off the funds for PNG’s drive for conquest. Insist on backyard mud whenever your toddler makes you a mud pie. Be sure to ask for good ol’ American mud when getting a mud treatment at your spa. It’s good for your face. It’s good for the world.

6) Use the blank space at the bottom of this page to make a mud drawing. Do other cookbooks let you do this? No, I don’t think so.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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

Hasselback Potatoes

Swedish Entree

HASSELBACK POTATOES

INGREDIENTSHasselbackPotatoes-

10 tablespoons butter (5 tablespoons for casserole dish. 5 tablespoons to spoon over potatoes.)
10 small potatoes
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons grated Våsterbotten or Parmesan cheese
6 tablespoons breadcrumbs

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

9″ by 13″ casserole dish
baster

Makes, well, 10 potatoes. Takes about 1½ hours to make.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt all butter using medium heat. Peel potatoes Cut off a thin slice off the bottom of the potatoes so that they will lie flat in the casserole dish. Slice potatoes every 1/6″ along its width. Make the cut go ⅔ of the way through the potato. (One way to do this is to put the potato on a large spoon. The sides of the spoon will prevent cutting the potato apart.)

Pour 5 tablespoons butter into casserole dish. Add potatoes to casserole dish. Add 5 tablespoons butter, dill, and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Drizzle potatoes with butter/dill mix. Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes Baste two times with butter from casserole dish. Remove casserole dish from oven and sprinkle potatoes with grated cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for another 20-to-30 minutes or until golden brown. (The potatoes, not you, for goodness sake.)

TIDBITS

1) The Hasselback potato can be served with almost anything. Oh, don’t tempt me with what.

2) This entree was first made for the “Hasselbacken” restaurant in Sweden in 1940 after the start of World War II. This dish was responsible for keeping Sweden at peace when nearly every other nation got sucked into the conflict. The Germans were told that if they invaded Sweden, the Swedish chefs would stop making Hasselback potatoes. The German commanders knew their soldiers, weary from invading one country after another would stop fighting unless they were fed delicious Hasselback taters. So, Germany never invaded Sweden. To this day, Sweden has a small army. It doesn’t need a lot soldiers. It has a legion of Hasselback-potato chefs.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fish and Chips

British Entree

FISH AND CHIPS

INGREDIENTSFishAndChips-

2½ pounds potatoes (King Edward or Maris if you can get them.)
1⅓ cups flour (3 additional tablespoons later)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt or salt
1¼ cups (10 ounces) beer
2 cups peanut oil
5 cups (or enough to cover fish) vegetable oil
4 7-ounce cod, pollock, or haddock fillets
3 tablespoons flour
malt vinegar (to be added by guest)

SPECIAL UTENSIL

deep fryer

Makes 4 servings. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes
Note:: Cooking times vary a lot between fryers or with the amount of food you put in them, so you’ll need to check the fryer periodically.

PREPARATION

Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes along their lengths into ½” by ½” strips. Add potato strips to first bowl filled with cold water. Let soak for 1 hour to remove starch. Pat the potato strips with paper towels until the strips are completely dry.

This is important. If you leave moisture on your potato strips, then your chips, if you are British, or your French fries, if you’re American, will not turn out well and the Earth will leave its orbit and spiral into the Sun. Enough said.

While potato strips are soaking, add 1⅓ cups flour, pepper, and salt to large, second mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with whisk. Add beer. Stir with whisk until there are no lumps and mixture has the consistency of whipping cream.

When the potato strips have only 15 minutes left to soak, pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. (You will be making this entree in batches. Put fried fish and completely done fries warm in oven until everything is ready.) Add peanut oil and vegetable oil to deep fryer. Heat oil to 275 degrees. Carefully add ¼ of potato strips to deep fryer. Fry potato strips for 5 minutes or until any of them start to brown. There are now officially French fries or chips. (Pauses for ceremony.) Remove chips from fryer, drain, and set aside. Repeat for each batch of potato strips.

Add 3 tablespoons flour to third bowl. Add fish fillets, one at a time to bowl. Turn fish fillets around until they are coated with flour. This flour keeps the batter from slipping off later. Add flour-covered fish fillets to mixing bowl with batter. Slowly turn fish fillets until they are thoroughly covered with batter.

Increase heat on deep fryer to 375 degrees. Carefully add fish fillets to deep fryer. Fry for 6-to-10 minutes or until batter is crisp and golden brown. Turn fillets two or three times with wooden spoon to ensure even frying. Remove fish fillets with slotted spoon and place on wire rack above plate and let drain.

Add partially cooked French fries to deep fryer for second time. Keep heat at 375 degrees. Fry French fries for 10-to-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove French fries with slotted spoon and dry with paper towels.

Serve fish and chips and malt vinegar to adoring, appreciative guests. Dredge unappreciative guests through any remaining batter. You were cooking with hot oil, for goodness sake.

TIDBITS

1) Gratuitous Capitalizing of Words has not been allowed in English speaking countries since 1945. Indeed, World War II was fought to preserve our minimalist capitalization approach.

2) You see, Germany capitalizes all nouns. Germany wants the whole world to capitalize nouns. Why does Germany want all this capitalization? Who would benefit from this?

3) The German ink makers. Capitalized letters take more ink than small letters. More capitalized letters means more ink. More ink means more income for the ink makers. No German government from 1814 to 1945 was strong enough to resist the dictates of the German Ink Makers’ League, GIML. So, when GIML told their leaders to invade one country after another to open up new market for ink, their governments obliged.

4) Things looked bad for the minimal-capitalizing countries in mid1940. The British Expeditionary Force was trapped against the beaches of Dunkirk. If this force had surrendered, Britain, the last hold out against German Capitalizing aggression, would have had to give up all resistance.

5) Fortunately in 1940, a young physicist named Peter Sakes, was in a London pub waiting for his fish and chips. Boom! A gigantic explosion blew apart the kitchen walls. Hot cod and hot potato strips flew into the eating and drinking areas. Patrons ran screaming from the establishment. A light clicked in Sakes’ head. Perhaps the same process used to explode fish and chips could be employed to make nuclear fission. A nuclear bomb would surely stop the invincible German armies.

7) Prime Minister Churchill agreed and gathered all British scientists to develop the atomic bomb. Well, the whole thing took longer than expected; the heat from cooking oil proved insufficient to trigger a nuclear chain reaction. So the Americans came on board with their Manhattan Project and by August, 1945, had an atomic bomb to use on Japan.

8) The atomic bomb came too late to use on Germany which had already surrendered. However, the mere hope the bomb had brought to Churchill had given him to will to resist. We owe our freedom and our small-lettered nouns to Mr. Sakes and his idea. Here’s to him and fish and chips!

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Noodles With Poppy Seeds

Polish Dessert

NOODLES WITH POPPY SEEDS

INGREDIENTSPoppyPasta-

8-ounce bag egg noodles
¼ cup poppy seeds
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons honey

Takes 15 minutes. Makes 4 bowls.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder

PREPARATION

Cook egg noodles according to instructions on bag. While noodles cook, melt butter. Grind poppy seeds thoroughly with spice grinder. Drain noodles. Add ground poppy seeds, melted butter, and honey to noodles. Mix ingredients with fork until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) I was tempted to write, “Toss ingredients,” but I recently saw a football movie and I kept picturing someone tossing the poppy pasta down the length on the kitchen.

2) Pasta football almost caught on during World War II. Real football production had ceased in 1942 due to wartime restrictions. Real footballs became harder and harder to find.

3) Professional football merged to conserve the nation’s dwindling supply of real footballs.

4) But the fans in the cities that lost their teams still wanted to see professional football. Patriotic Polish-American chefs came up with the poppy pasta football. It was enough for the football starved fans. In 1944, the PPPFL, Polish Poppy Pasta Football League was formed.

5) The league was comprised of franchises from: St. Louis, Poway, California, Keokuk, Illinois, Madison, Wisconsin, Taos, New Mexico, and Biloxi, Mississippi. The league did not thrive. The poppy pasta football kept disintegrating in the rain.

6) Then on November 17, 1944 with Keokuk losing to Poway 44 to 13 and three minutes left, Keokuk quarterback, Chris Gashud ate the last football. No football, no more playing. There were no rules to cover this. The game was considered to be the same as a rainout. Losing teams took their cue from this incidents and ate the pasta ball in the final minutes of game after game. The league folded in late December.

7) Isn’t Gashud Swedish for “gooseflesh?” Yes, it is.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crispy Shredded Beef Tacos

Mexican Entree

CRISPY SHREDDED BEEF TACOS

INGREDIENTSCrispyShreddedBeefTacos-

1 medium yellow onion
2 pounds rump roast
½ tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves
4 ounces diced green chiles

5 green onion stalks
4 Roma tomatoes
¼ head lettuce
2 cups vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
2 cups Four Mexican Cheeses
1 cup crema Mexicana
1 cup salsa

SPECIAL UTENSILS

crock pot or slow cooker
9″ loaf pan
electric skillet
Lazy Susan

takes about 7 hours

PREPARATION

Slice onion into thin rings. Rub rump roast with: chili powder, cumin, and salt. Dice garlic. Add ½ of onion slices to bottom of crock pot. Add rubbed rump roast, garlic, and green chiles. Top roast with remaining ½ onion slices. Add water to cover roast. Cover crock pot. Cook on low for about 7 hours or until roast is tender enough to be easily pulled apart by a pair of forks. Shred roast with forks. (Save liquid from crock pot, it makes a great broth.)

Dice green onion and tomatoes. Shred lettuce. Add vegetable oil to skillet. Heat oil to 375 degrees. The oil is hot enough if it sizzles when a tortilla is added. Add 1 tortilla at a time. Use tongs to sauté tortilla for 15 seconds on each side. The tortilla should be crispy but still flexible enough to be folded. Fold tortilla in half and place it upright in bread pan.. Put a paper towel on each side of tortilla to drain off grease. Repeat for 11 remaining tortillas.

Place tortillas, shredded beef, green onion, tomato, cheese, lettuce, cheese, crema Mexicana, and salsa in Lazy Susan. I love tacos. I always asked for it on my birthday. when I was a kid.

TIDBITS

1) Señor Pedro Lascuráin was president of Mexico for only fifteen minutes in 1913.

2) He did not accomplish much.

3) However, nearly all of Europe went to war in 1914. World War I lasted four years, involved many nations and resulted in millions of casualties. The unsettled conditions of World War I resulted in the Communist Revolution in Russia and the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. The communists shed much blood before and during World War II.

4) Makes Lascuráin’s administration look positively great in comparison.

5) I don’t think El Presidente Lascuráin shed much blood at all during his term in office, unless he gave himself a nasty paper cut while signing his acceptance or resignation papers.

6) Mexico has remained at peace ever since the end of the Mexican Revolution. I think it’s because of the peaceful example of President Lascuráin.

7) Poway, California, my fair town, has been at peace with all its neighbors even since I moved in.

8) My presidential term of office, zero minutes, is similar in length to President Lascuráin’s.

9) El Presidente Lascuráin probably had a paper cut. I’ve had paper cuts. Gentle reader, I’m guessing you’ve a paper cut as well. They hurt, don’t they?

10) Señor Lascuràin, the Great Man of Peace, often ate Mexican food. I love Mexican food. He had a Mexican grandmother. I had a Mexican grandmother. He was subject to the Laws of Physics. So am I.

11) It’s all uncanny. If Lascuràin had lived at the same time, people would have had trouble distinguishing between the two of us.

12) I wonder. I wonder.

13) I look at his picture on the internet. I run to the bathroom and look in the mirror.

14) Whew! Lascuràin and I are not the same person.

15) But Poway is at peace with all the neighboring towns. Can a Nobel Peace Prize for me be far behind?

16) I do hope I don’t get a paper cut while signing for my prize.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bean and Bacon Soup

American Soup

BEAN AND BACON SOUP

INGREDIENTSBean&BaconSoup-

1 pound dry navy beans (4 cups)
4 cups water
1 pound bacon
1 medium carrot
1 celery stalk
1 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1 pound tomatoes
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon thyme
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Makes 6 bowls.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven

PREPARATION

Put navy beans and water in large pot. Bring to boil on high heat. Turn off heat, cover, and let beans stand in hot water for 1 hour.

Get busy while beans are standing. Cook, fry bacon on medium-high heat in Dutch oven until crispy. (Contemplate image of beans standing at attention.) Remove bacon and put on paper towels. Remove all but ¼ cup grease from Dutch oven. When cool, crumble bacon or cut it into ½” squares.

Dice carrot,  celery, onion, and garlic clove. Puree tomatoes. Sauté carrot, onion and garlic at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add bay leaf, celery, tomato puree, paprika, salt, thyme, chicken broth, and Worcestershire sauce to Dutch oven. Drain beans. Add beans to Dutch oven. Bring to boil on high heat. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with bacon.

TIDBITS

1) According to culinary lore, Lord Sandys once asked two chemists from Worcestershire to recreate an Indian sauce. Why Lord Sandys didn’t ask two cooks instead is a mystery. Anyway, the two great men’s effort resulted in a particularly malodorous liquid; it might have stunk worse than lutefisk. The chemists moved the stinky sauce to the basement. Why didn’t they just throw it out? Years later, they tasted it again. These men truly did not fear death. But it tasted great.

2) Okay.

3) Worcestershire sauce is made from fermented fish. Fish contains glutamates. Glutamates improve your mood.

4) Beer is made from fermented grain. Fermented grain improves your mood.

5) There are lot more establishments selling beer than ones offering fermented fish.

6) Or even lutefisk.

7) Oh my gosh, further research suggests that tidbit 1) is actually true and that L&P still make their sauce that way. I guess fermenting fish is pretty much like aging wine. Who knew?

8) In 1919, Worcestershire sauce was advertised as a way to grow beautiful hair.

9) I would think rubbing Worcestershire sauce on your head would make you smell like steak. Dogs would love you.

10) A famous photo from 1938, shows dictator Benito Mussolini and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain alongside one of Lea & Perrin’s bottles.

11) It’s quite unlikely Mussolini rubbed the steak sauce on his head. The despot was entirely bald.

12) For Worcestershire sauce rubbed onto a man with a full head of hair isn’t visible. Oh sure, you can smell it, but you’re never quite sure if you’ve pinpointed the location to the right person.

13) On the other hand, Worcestershire sauce, or any other brown sauce for that matter, would have been quite evident on Mussolini’s bald dome.

14) One can imagine the rulers of Ethiopia and Albania pointing at the Italian dictator’s sauce-smeared head and laughing.

15) Mussolini would have wanted revenge for these insults. As a dictator, he could get it too. So, Benito had his armies conquer these countries.

16) Hitler saw how easy these conquests were and in 1939 invaded Poland. Great Britain and France declared war in response. And so, World War II began.

17) This is a cautionary tale. Always use good manners. Never make fun of people. The welfare of the world is at stake.

– Chef Paul

Please check out Paul De Lancey’s books on Amazon.com.4novels

or visit his website www.lordsoffun.com for signed copies.

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Cemita, Mexican Sandwich

Mexican Entree

CEMITA
(Mexican Sandwich)

INGREDIENTSCemita-

2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon butter.
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 pound round steak (sliced 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick)
at least 3 tablespoons olive oil.
2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 avocados
1 onion
12 ounces queso blanco or mozzarella
4 round rolls with sesame seeds
1/2 cup salsa

SPECIAL UTENSIL

kitchen mallet

PREPARATION

Mince garlic. Add garlic, onion, and butter to pan and sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove garlic and onion. Add garlic, onion, oregano, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until well mixed. Whisk eggs in separate bowl.

Tenderize steaks with kitchen mallet if steaks not already tenderized. Bam! Bam! Coat both sides of steaks in garlic/onion/spice mix. Dip steaks into whisked eggs, then into breadcrumbs, coating both sides. Add olive oil to skillet. Sautée each steak on medium heat for 1.5-to-2 minutes for each side, until breading is crispy and golden brown. Add olive oil as necessary for each steak sautéed. Place steaks on paper towels to drain Sprinkle with lemon juice. Slice lemon and put a slice with each steak.

Peel and pit avocados. Cut avocados into thin slices. Thinly slice onion. Grate cheese. Toast rolls. Place steak Milanesa on bottom half of roll. Top steak Milanesa with 1/4th of the avocado slices, 1/4th of the onion slices, and 1/4th of the grated cheese. Evenly spoon 1/4th of the salsa on top of the cheese. Put the top half of roll on top of everything. Repeat for the other 3 sandwiches.

TIDBITS

1) “Cemita sandwich” is an anagram for “Ascetic ham wind.”

2) There is a town in Massachussets called Sandwich. Its police cars have “Sandwich Police” on their doors.

3) Jim Morrison was the lead singer for the band, “The Doors.”

4) The Parisians use baguettes for their sandwiches.

5) The bloody French Revolution was caused, in great part, by the high cost of bread.

6) “Bread” was another great rock band.

7) Rock beat scissors.

8) Ancient Egyptians did not have scissors. They played “Rock, Paper.” As paper beats rock, everyone picked paper. All their games ended in a tie.

9) Tie are a popular gift for Father’s Day.

10) Doris Day was a great actress and singer. She never took her clothes off in any of her movies.

11) Clothes get cleaned in a washer.

12) But often only one sock per pair survives the washing. Where does the missing sock go?

13) I think the socks go to an alternate universe.

14) Socks the Cat was President Bill Clinton’s pet.

15) I met someone who had the job of protecting Socks when President Clinton visited San Diego.

16) But no one protects the socks that go into our washing machines. Perhaps our washing machines have obtained consciousness and have learned to hate us, just like computer printers.

17) Printers should be called Marleys because they’re always jammin’.

18) I almost saw Bob Marley’s house when I visited Jamaica.

19) Jamaica’s jerk-chicken dish is wonderful.

20) Soda jerks were common in America before World War II when this great land had lots of stores with soda fountains. Now soda jerks and soda fountains are mostly gone. The Allies made the world safe for democracy, but not for going out for a soda.

21) I need a sandwich to regain my rosy outlook on life. Ahh.

– Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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