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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Recipe - Bladder Bug Pods and Alien Larvae Paste

What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell the same. If I call normal food dishes by weird and unusual names, it still tastes fine. Except for the psychological bit of your brain that is grossed out by the sicko description.

I've been at work for the last four days, serving food and washing dishes and cleaning the cafeteria. I have to have my fun somewhere. My boss challenged me at the beginning of the summer to create weird alien food to serve to the campers. Not as a main dish but as a side. So far I've served:

Targ Litter Cake (aka Kitty Litter Cake) - Delicious crumbled cake and pudding with just enough crushed oreos to make it look authentic and artistically shaped tootsie rolls. Use your imagination. The kids loved it.

Eyeball jello - Peach jello with lychee and blueberry "eyes". I posted the recipe a while back.

Bajoran Fruit Salad - Lots of fresh fruit topped with fresh figs. If you want to serve a really weird looking fruit that most people haven't eaten before, find some fresh figs.

Alien Larvae Paste - aka Hummus. My boss had never tasted hummus before. He is now in love with a new food. Most of the staff had never tasted it either. I was surprised by how many campers knew what it was and liked it. Healthy and nutritious, it's a staple at my house. (I thought I'd posted the recipe. I'll have to do that here.)

Bladder Bug Pods - aka Hot Dogs. I serve BallPark all beef franks. I'm not a fan of hot dogs, but these I like, especially smothered with sauerkraut and mustard. Yep, I'm serving sauerkraut. Exposing kids to new foods.

I also serve them sausage sandwiches with PROVOLONE cheese. It isn't cheddar. Most kids have never tasted cheese other than cheddar. Sad. Very sad. Maybe I'll bring down my wonderfully funky smelling blue cheese for the next camp. Call it alien foot fungus or something disgusting like that.

Try something new. Branch out. Try a new spice or a new vegetable or fruit. I like to play the game "stump the checker" at the grocery store. I find the weirdest produce I can and see if the checker knows what it is. Those little stickers with the codes are taking the fun out of the game, though. I buy the stuff because I like it and I know how to cook it. The one vegetable I refuse to ever touch is a Jerusalem artichoke. Ick. And canned peas, but those aren't even food. Everything else is free game. Just for fun, go to an oriental market and check out their produce. I found the most delicious melons there a few summers ago. Weird looking, but so sweet.

And since it's recipe Thursday, here's my recipe for basic hummus.

Hummus

1 18 oz can garbanzo beans
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground black pepper
2 T. sesame seeds
2 t. oil, optional

Open the beans. Don't drain them. Dump everything in a blender and run it until you have a smooth paste. Scoop into a covered container and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Serve with chips or crackers.

Things to stir in: (Just don't add them all at the same time)
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano) or 2 T. fresh
1 t. dried rosemary
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne powder
2 T. finely minced onion
2 T. finely minced pimento peppers
2 T. finely minced sun-dried tomatoes
3 T. pine nuts (add to the blender)
2 T. chopped fresh mint
1 t. curry powder
1 T. rice vinegar

You can add pretty much any seasonings from Italy, Greece, Persia, Israel, any middle Eastern country, clear over to India.