Selected Recipe Photos

Selected Recipe Photos
Selected recipe photos across from upper left to lower right: China – Congee, Japan – Miso Soup, England – Pot Pie, Egypt – Koshari, Russia – Kombucha Tea, Incan Empire – Ceviche, Thailand – Pad Thai, Ancient Greece – Feta Cheese Pie, Ancient Israel – Raw Honey, Mali – Millet Porridge, Medieval Europe – Buttered Beer, Scandinavia – Meusli, USA Fictional Futuristic Post-Apocalyptic – Kabobs, India – Lassi, The Medieval Byzantine Empire – Yellow Fish Soup, Mongolian Empire -- Süütei Tsai and Chanasan Makh, Scandinavia – Dutch Pea Soup, India - Dosas, Medieval Byzantine Empire -- Muscat Grapes, Post-Apocalyptic Video Game – Fried Cola.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Third Week Preview



Nameste (I bow to your form or the spirit in me respects the spirit in you). With a population of 1 billion, India is the largest democracy in the world. It is also a land of more than 1600 languages. The official first language is Hindi, and the second official language is English, but there is a local langauge for just about every village, every collection of clans, and every nook and cranny, in every region. As for food, what is traditional in one region of India is different from what is traditional in another. But, many Indians, all over India, are vegetarians.

Even though there are about 1,000 Indian restaurants in the US, and even about 10,000 Indian restaurants in Great Britain, not much of what is eaten in India can be bought already made from a Walmart in the US, except chai tea and a few frozen dinners. Many Indian food items can't even be replaced with suitable substitutes, and not many Indian recipes are quick and easy to make, but there are a few. In order to cook Indian food, you must be prepared to use some out-of-the-ordinary spices, otherwise, it won't be Indian food. In other words you must be prepared to shop for spices in other places than Walmart, or you can't cook Indian food.

Many types of food have a spectacular health quality, such as some Japanese, Scandinavian, and Russian foods help people stay healthy even when they become very old. Some Incan foods give young people more strength and endurance. Well, many Indian foods have the spectacular health quality of helping keep the brain extremely healthy. This is because many Indian foods include some kind of fermented grain. Fermented grains are easier for the digestive system to eat, so they don't require blood to temporarily drain from the brain in order to get the food digested. So the brain gets all of the nutrition it needs more often. So, I guess that is one of the reasons why so many engineers and mathematicians come from India. Fermented grain foods often can't be bought in many areas in the US. They are also usually difficult to make, and errors can cause food poisoning. So I have not included any of them here. I thought it would just be good for you to know what is so spectacular about Indian food.

Like China, India is not just a place to find interesting and spectacular foods. India has become the home to the largest oil refinery in the world; the Reliance Petroleum Refinery in Jamnagar, Gujart, India. It produces approximately 1,240,000 barrels a day. The largest refinery in the US is the BP Texas City Refinery, in Texas City, Texas. It produces approximately 475,000 barrels a day. India is also home to the world's largest movie making industry, located in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Maharashtra, India and nicknamed Bollywood.

Breakfast --Lassi and Peanut Chutney and Rice or Dosas
Lunch -- Almond Milk and Palak Paneer (Spinach and Cheese), and Rice
Evening Breakfast -- Tea and Banana Chips
Dinner – Chai Tea, Curry, and Homemade Ras Malai (Sweet Cheese Dumplings)

Medieval Byzantine Empire
Link to the Map of the Byzantine Empire
The capital of Byzantine, Constantinople, was located at modern day Istanbul, Turkey

Yeia sas. (Health to You) or Salve. (Be Well). (I'm having a little trouble with these greetings because I don't know the difference between pre-medieval Greek, medieval Greek, and classical Greek, so I just used the classical version). The fledgling quiet, but ambitious, ancient Greek colony of Byzantium established a sound economy for itself by importing seafood, especially salted bonito. Bonito was like salted fish chitterlings (fish guts) from the bonito fish. But Byzantium morphed into a stunning and rich superpower when Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium. They were probably more similar to the United States than any other ancient empire; the envy of all their medieval neighbors. And, they were, for the most part, the medieval Southeastern Europe, or the medieval Balkans.

The Balkans or Southeastern Europe is no longer the most famous part of the world, but during the Medieval times, this region (along with various other countries around the Mediterranean and Black Seas) was the place to where everyone with an unrealized dream wanted to immigrate. They were what has come to be known as the the Byzantine Empire. As the Byzantine Empire, they was a magical place of ambitious inventors and immigrants from all over the world all bustling together, seeking to fulfill their dreams of prosperity. It was its own synergistic hybrid mixture of Roman and Greek culture. If the Greeks were inventors, the Byzantine people were much more so. If Roman was rich, in part from their trade routes, than Byzantine became even much more rich when it inherited the Rome's spot in these trade routes.

From food to thrones they were always inventing something new, importing something new, or exporting something new. They didn't write and theorize about food as much as the Greeks did; instead they were busy inventing new foods, importing new foods, and exporting new ingredients. In spite of the fact that history didn't preserve any impressive Byzantine cookbooks, like the impressive Greek Cookbook, Hedypatheia by Archestratus, records show that they invented flavored carbonated water beverages (soda pop), it seems they invented salad, and they were probably the first to cook with nutmeg, chamomile, and Valerian.

They had the most advanced farming equipment of their time. Visiting a Byzantine farm was like visiting the future of farming for all of their neighboring countries. They also invented the most technically advanced military weapons of their time. They were the first to invent a precursor to the gun, Greek Fire. It was a weapon that could kill many enemy soldiers at once from a long range, more effectively than arrows. They invented this because, even though they had a highly discipline and fierce military, they hated the bloody messiness of up close combat. They were the only ones in ancient to to provide a throne for their king that moved way up and then back down to the floor, so that it would appear that he had magical powers.

Since the Byzantine were a peace-loving people, who hated the mess of war, their strategy for keeping their enemies away included amazing them into believing that they had magical or superior powers. And they had a lot to protect because they controlled most of the precious stones, ivory, silk, grains, spices, Asian vegetables, tea, and sugar from Asia to Europe and Africa; salt from Africa to the Middle East, Europe and India; and precious metal, nuts, perfumes, glass, and other expensive goods from Africa, Europe, and India to Asia. Controlling these imports and exports made them a country of great economic might. Their amaze-the-enemy strategy worked for about 1050 years until, (long story short,) the Ottoman Empire, a not-so-easily-amazed people, led by a new war-loving leader, (Sultan Mehmed I), broke his father's treaties and conquered Byzantium, in 1453.

Byzantine food is basically new versions of Greek food with out-of-the-ordinary spices, (some of them even still considered exotic by today's standards) and new kinds of seafood. But, the Byzantines ate more meat than the Greeks, since they were rich enough to afford it. However, they ate less meat than the non-Byzantine Romans. The focused on eating pork, poultry, and wild game, and saved the cows for plowing the fields. Their favorite sea food was botargo (fish eggs, similar to caviar). They also loved sweets, and their masses could afford sugar. They probably ate more sweets than any nation before them.

The Byzantine ate a morning meal, a midday meal, and an evening meal; like the Romans (skipping the Greek late afternoon snack). The midday and evening meals were larger than the morning meal. They ate their midday food and evening food in a specific order, but it is not clear to me if they ate the salad right before the sweets or right after the sweets, so I am just not going to try to put the meal in the correct Byzantine order. They observed numerous fast days, and often switched from wine, meat, cheese, and fried foods to soda pop and fish, instead of eating nothing at all on fast days. Sometimes they also gave up fish on fast days.

As with Indian food, if you really want to cook Byzantine food, you must be prepared to buy some unusual spices, that won't be available at Walmart. You may have to go to a health food store of spice specialty shop.

Breakfast – Muscat Grape Juice Spiced with Aniseed (instead of muscat wine), Dried fruit, Bacon, Black-eyed Peas with Honey and Vinegar, and Fine Mastic Biscuits
Lunch – Muscat Grape Juice Spiced with Mastic, Chicken and Olives, Salad with Yogurt and Dill Dressing, and Grouta (Wheat pudding with Carob Chips, or Raisins, and Honey)
Lenten Dinner – Grape Soda Pop Spiced with Chamomile, Sweet and Sour Yellow Fish Soup, Black eyed Peas with Honey and Vinegar

Medieval Mongol Empire aka The Greater Mongol State
Link to the Map of the Mongol Empire by User:Astrokey44

Сайн байна уу? Sain Bain uu? (How are you?) The Mongolians were nomadic shepherds, so their food is food on the go. Mongolian cooking doesn't involve complicated and time-consuming procedures. Many of their modern recipes are the same as they were centuries ago, during their medieval age. About 30% of its people, still live a nomadic lifestyle. Forget about the Mongolian Barbecue you've had before. It has nothing at all to do with how the Mongolians ever really ate. Its simply some romanticized version of what really happened. Its actually of Japanese origin. In Mongolian history, there was no large metal wok, there was no Mongolian stir-fry. There was and is a tradition of bowling stews using fire hot stones in the stew. But that practice is somewhat frowned on by the rest of the world, so I won't discuss it more right now... Comment if you would like to discuss it.

Nomadic Mongolian prefer fatty stews boiled in milk, and very little vegetables or spices; no time to grow them. These nomads live in a very cold climate where temperatures reach -40 Degrees, and are always exercising, so they tolerate this kind of diet. Modern Mongolian food is often lower in fat with vegetables added.

Like Mali, Mongolia was once one of the most powerful empires of all times. In fact, only England at its height rivaled their power. Because their most revered leader, Genghis Khan, loved prosperity and knowledge, he quickly unified more than 100 tribes into a nation. In war, he defeated his rivals, but many tribes voluntarily joined his dream to gain riches and knowledge through unity. As one nation they quit kidnapping each others wives, and quit carrying out endless vendettas, in order to gain riches, and knowledge from surrounding countries. So, between 1206 A.D. or C.E. and 1368 A. D. or C.E. they fiercely controlled most of Asia; all of China, parts of Russia, most of Eastern Europe, and Iran.

They were not salt, iron, copper, gold miners, and farmers like Malians. They were not inventors and exporters of the delicacy of Bonito fish guts like the Byzantines. They were not inventors, philosophers, and refined Olympic competitors, like the Greeks. They were they aggressive consumers of classic culture, like the conquering Romans. They were not inventors, mathematicians, builders, miners, farmers, and guardians of Ma'at (balance in all things in life), like the Egyptians. Neither were they wool exporters, punctual and sophisticated bankers, and then factory innovators like the conquering English. They were simply shepherds, nomadic and somewhat noble, but often very savage, who loved to learn about new things. Their empire protected the amazing Silk Road trade route. The Silk Road was Marco Polo's trade route.

The Mongol Empire controlled the Asian part of the trade that was controlled by the Byzantine Empire. They supplied the Byzantine Empire with precious stones, ivory, silk, grains, spices, Asian vegetables, tea, and sugar from India and Asia. I think they provided salt from Africa to India. They provided India and Asia with nuts, perfumes, glass, and other expensive goods from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India. Now, they are a comparatively poor country with about 20% of its population living in dire poverty, an established middle class, and a wealthy class. As in Mali, there is no McDonald's in Mongolia. There is a BD'd Mongolian Grill. Yes, even though its not really Mongolian.

How did they lose their wealth and fierce power? Well, the Bubonic Plague started in their region in the early 1300's. It devastated them. Unseasonal weather killed a few of their important Russian leaders, descendants of their most revered leader Genghis Khan, and about that same time, another one of their most important rulers died, their ruler of Iran. Since their methods for succession from one ruler to another was still not very sophisticated, chaos broke out along with all the disease, and they never recovered. Also, about the same time, China's native-ruled Ming Dynasty overthrew the Mongolian-ruled Yuan Dynasty. The Ming Dynasty subsequently shut China's doors to trade and learning about other nations and committed itself to a future of national seclusion, hoping that they would never again be ruled by anyone like the Mongols. With China closed all the Silk Road had to offer was disease; no more exotic and wonderful exports from Chinese inventors; no more imports to China from Africa, Arabia, and the Byzantines. So, after 162 years it was over.

Breakfast – Kefir and Arvain Guril aka Исгэлэн Тараг (fried and malted barley flour porridge and sweet cream)
Lunch – Süütei Tsai aka Сүүтэй Цай (salted tea with milk) and Chanasan Makh aka Чанасан Мах (Lamb Chops, liver and stuff, and Carrots)
Dinner – Budaatai Huurga aka Будаатай Хуурга (any kind of meat and rice boiled in Süütei Tsai)

Guten Tag. (Good Day). Who hasn't heard of Germany? But did you know that of the countries with the most inventors that hold patents, Germany is one of the highest? Did you know that Albert Einstein was from Germany?
From 1995-2007 Europe, Korea, and China have vied for the spot of #3 most patents. Since 2001, Korea overtook Europe in 2004, and China in 2007. As far as I know, the European nations counted are Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, but anyway, the Germans by far hold more patents than the other European countries.

The traditional German diet is in flux. So no one yet knows what the new traditional German diet will be, but the old traditional German diet was more like the Ancient Roman diet than any other diet. Lots of meat (deli meat and cold cuts this time), and almost the same thing for breakfast as for dinner. Sunday breakfast buffets are quite popular in Germany.

Breakfast – Coffee or Tea, Dark, Medium, or Light Rye Bread, Cold Cuts or Deli Meats, and Cheese or Marmalade or Honey, and Eggs.

Lunch – Ginger Ale, Hot Dogs and Sauerkraut, Potatoes and Asparagus with Hollandiase Sauce, and Spaghettieis for Dessert
Dinner – Ginger Ale, Pumpernickel Bread, Sausages and Cheese, and Broccoli.

Buenos Dias. (Good Day). Spanish food is not as much like Mexican food as one might think. While Mexico was once owned by the Spanish Empire, Spain was once owned by the Roman Empire. So while you might find bread soaked in something or the other from a Spanish recipe (reminiscent of Greco/Roman food), you won't find that from a Mexican recipe. And while you might eat a tamale from Mexico, I don't think you'll eat one from Spain, unless its a Mexican import. But you will find tortillas in both types of recipes. Spain went down in Roman history for its famous hams. Then it went on to become an empire in it's own right, for a while. Who hasn't heard of the great Spanish Armada?

Breakfast – Grape Juice and Migas (Sorta like a Breakfast Stuffing or Dressing)
Lunch – Grape Juice, Ensalada Murciana (Onion, Olive, and Salsa Tuna Salad)
Dinner – Grape Juice, Paella (Unmixed Spanish Stir-fry), and Peladillas (Sugared Almonds)

South Africa
Hallo. (Hello). South African is home to the oldest homo sapien fossils in the world. As a result the Khoi-san peoples are believed to be one of the oldest race of humans in the world. It is believed that, even if they came from other races that came before them, all modern races came from them. Former President Nelson Mandela is a Khoi-san. Most present day South Africans are the results of the intermarrying of war-loving Bantu tribes and the peace-loving Khoi-san peoples. Plus, many South Africans are descendants of the Dutch that settled there 1652, and various other peoples who settled there later. As a result, their food is multi-cultural.

Breakfast-- Coffee or Decaf Coffee and Patupap (Corn Meal Porridge)
Lunch – Pineapple Sherbert (Pineapple Smoothie)
Dinner-- Grape Juice, Ginger Ale, or Red Tea, Bunny Chow, and Fruit

America – Modern Day
Hello Again. These are recipes from a very popular video game.

As we know traditional US foods include things like orange juice, bacon, and eggs for breakfast, soda pop, a sandwich, and a piece of fruit for lunch, hot dogs for football games, and meat loaf, green beans, and mashed potatoes with apple pie ala mode for dinner. You can find these types of meals served at every US hosptial. But, the US is in a food crisis and the solution is acquiring new traditional foods.

Due to our new lack of exercise, because playing baseball and basket ball all afternoon has been replaced with playing video games for even longer, our traditional foods are no longer working. Twenty percent of our young adults are unfit for military duty, due to this lack of exercise, and we are already seeing more of our 40 something people die of heart attack and stroke than our 70 something people. The problem of switching is two-fold, one, many of the healthier foods that we need are not sold at Wal-mart, but at Whole Foods, and, two, many of us are unaware of what recipes use these healthier foods.

To make it simple, we need more foods with Omega 3 oils, and more nutrient dense vegetables and fruits. These oil feeds the brain and prevents heart attack and stroke, even when the exercise level is lower. These vegetables basically keep the doctor away. We can get some of the foods we need from Wal-mart like, fish, cereals made with flax seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, Omega 3 eggs, yogurt, kefir, lentils, split peas, all natural peanut butter, garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), brown rice, whole grain pasta, olives, red bell peppers, green hot chili peppers, broccoli, garlic, onions, beets, avocados, egg plant, spinach, kale, sesame seeds, fresh ginger, extra virgin olive oil, green tea, raisins, dates, apples, Truvia, sometimes spaghetti squash, canned shiitake mushrooms and even smoothies made with spirulina. But we still can't get foods like, miso paste, fresh shiitake mushrooms, kelp, all natural chicken livers, raw honey, kombucha tea, fava beans, meusli, millet for human consumption, whole grain couscous, fermented rice cakes, grass-fed meats, hummus, foods made with stevia, non-GMO canola oil, non-GMO cottage cheese, and spirulia cakes for hurricane and flood emergencies.

Many of these foods are available at Whole Foods. But, it seems that the US shopper/gamer hates shopping at more than one grocery store. They want to get everything at one store. And while it is easy to get many of these latter foods at Whole Foods, it is difficult to do all of your shopping there. Whole Foods does provide some online shopping to a few customers, it seems that the average shopper/gamer simply doesn't have access to this service.

An example of new traditional foods would be a smoothie made with stevia for breakfast, a soda pop made with stevia, a sandwich made with fish or grass-fed meat, miso soup, and a piece of fruit for lunch, and kombucha tea with a veggie loaf made with a little red, white, and blue corn, millet and red quinoa flour, sesame seeds, kale juice, olive paste, walnuts, onions, and topped with low fat cheese, an olive oil whole grain white sauce instead of gravy, mashed garlic hummus (moussed mashed garbanzo beans and garlic), green beans, and whole grain apple pie ala mode made with stevia for dinner. Such foods can fill the tummy, delight the palate, comfort, provide a lot of nutrition, not leave you ready to eat again in an hour, but add fewer calories than our more traditional meals.

Do you have any ideas for new traditional US foods?

Well, let's look at what they are serving one of the US video games. Can you guess which one?

Breakfast -- Orange Juice and Eggs Machiavellian (Bacon, Eggs, and Watermelon)
Lunch -- Grape Juice and Ratatouille
Dinner -- Soda Pop and Goopy Carbonara and Homemade Ice Cream