Tofu Benin

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The second half of dinner with Benin, a very easy and delicious dish, prevailed principally by the sauce and onions — in fact, known as the red sauce of Benin, and used in Ingame pilé.  As strong a flavor as the green olives have, they offer just a hint of brine, but complement well the slightly sweet, very slightly peanutty and creamy sauce.

Beyond marination, the fu was dehydrated to give it preferred texture, but also helping to concentrate the flavors which — too — were barely discernible.

A very delicious dish, adapted by Vegetarian Times — very much less spicy than typically Beninese, but consequently happily embraced by the crew.

Pakoda

Those seeking Jau should look within themselves

All of this talk about brains is a reminder that this has been brain awareness week, which is a reminder of how much William Saffire is missed – a sapient head at the helm.

It is always brain awareness in this corner, but as the week winds down it is a wise idea to take a break from the stimulating conversations about amphetamines, taking a few minutes to experiment on your kids!  Or, take your brain out for a nice walk in the park, or learn Portuguese – all good things that brains enjoy. 

One brain in particular had a difficult time reconciling disappointment with the non-fried molotes – especially with the epiphanious realization that introduction to such masa empanadas was very much enjoyed, not long past. 

With wont memories and yet nagging hunger as is always the case for at least the latter – too, also, cravings for anything fried –  rummage across an old e-mail sent to myself, with a link to pakodas!  These are far better than onion rings and further, helpful in attenuating brain adema.

The batter was a bit thick which lent to a sort of patty formation – a wonderful and easy late night snack, then, early evening appetizer, the next night – not only satisfying a fry fancy buy boosting the brain’s ability to store memories and fight degenerative brain diseases! 

So thoughtful and timely sending that e-mail, knowing how good the onion is with brains.

Addendum:  To celebrate Brain Week, the Science Center is hosting actual WSU Neuroscientists, and offering the chance to cozy up with an actual human cerebrum!

Coca, trinxat and honey-onion salad of Andorra

The small child is half asleep, his mother watches him.  She never leaves him alone and inside the cradle, joyful he sighs.  Arbitrary lines and acquiesce to rule – peculiar agreed to circumstances good for war-farin’ in the claim for space and resources with a heavily applied load of dogma – perhaps none stranger than the petite, Pyrennees perched land of Andorra, home to merely 85,000, three-quarters resting in the gorgeous valley of the capital, wedged tightly between Spain and France.

The child has grown, the mother, crying, everyday tells him:  Never walk alone and keep far from trouble, work hard, study hard.

The country is presided by two co-princes, one presently elected by the citizens of France, the other installed by the Catholic church, and while resounding of fermented gooseberry rambling, it is no farce, nor Graham Chapman whimsy.  The elected president of France is, by treaty, the co-monarch of Andorra, along with the the Bishop of Urgell, in Catalonia, Spain. 

Andorra is ruled by a monarch, elected by the citizens of France and an Bishop from Spain, installed by the Catholic church:

Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting against the Moors. The feudal overlord of this territory was at first the Count of Urgell; however in 988 the count, Borrell II, gave Andorra to the Diocese of Urgell in exchange for land in Cerdanya.[1] The Bishop of Urgell, based in Seu d’Urgell, has ruled Andorra ever since.[2][dead link]

Before 1095, Andorra did not have any type of military protection and since the Bishop of Urgell knew that the Count of Urgell wanted to reclaim the Andorran valleys,[2] he asked for help from the Lord of Caboet. In 1095, the Lord and the Bishop signed a declaration of their co-sovereignty over Andorra. Arnalda, daughter of Arnau of Caboet, married the Viscount of Castellbò and both became Viscounts of Castellbò and Cerdanya. Their daughter, Ermessenda,[3] married Roger Bernat II, the FrenchCount of Foix. They became Roger Bernat II and Ermessenda I, Counts of Foix, Viscounts of Castellbò and Cerdanya, and also co-sovereigns of Andorra (together with the Bishop of Urgell).

In the 11th century, a dispute arose between the Bishop of Urgell and the Count of Foix. The conflict was mediated by Aragon in 1278 and led to the signing of the first paréage, which provided that Andorra’s sovereignty be shared between the count[2] and the bishop. This gave the principality its territory and political form, and marked the formal commencement of Andorra’s unique monarchical arrangement.

Over the years, the French co-title to Andorra passed from the Count of Foix to the kings of Navarre. After King Henry III of Navarre became King Henry IV of France, he issued an edict in 1607 establishing the King of France and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra. In 1812–13, the First French Empire annexed Catalonia and divided it into four départements, with Andorra forming part of the district of Puigcerdà (département of Sègre). Following the defeat of Napoleon I, this annexation was reversed and Andorra reverted to its former independence and political state. French heads of state—whether king, emperor or president—have continued to serve as co-princes of Andorra to the present day.

Because of the terrain, the primary crop in Andorra is sheep, and the food most associated with the country is a tomato sauce stewed rabbit, roasted lamb shank, or, an all the meats stew that includes lamb, pork, rabbit, sausage, duck, shrew and whatever other critter walks by, with a few potatoes and a cabbage tossed in for variety.

The hound was sent off to gather a sheep but came up missing as he found a cabbage to his liking.

Seeing him lost and fainting:  Why didn't you come to me, to my side?

It is said that kale is best when lightly frosted, and that has been observed to be true – more than lightly frosted, though, and he turns vulgar ingrate.  Possibly the same is true of cabbage, as it stood safely all year, until September frosts then the dogs found them suddently irrisistable. 

Sheepless but coincidentally with kale, stews were eschewed in favor of trinxat – potatoes fried or mounded with bacon(ish), cabbage(kale) and garlic(garlic) – a purportedly, frequently served honey onion salad and coca.  Imagine the great disappointment to discover coca is cheeseless pizza and not matched to its aesthetic, the crust nicely crunchy but flavorless; the flavor of the vegetables lost.  Adding cheese would improve it considerably, or, could bringing more flavor from the (needed to be thinner) crust.

The onion salad was unexpectedly delicious and went exceptionally well with the trinxat – She kisses his face, kisses his forheadessentially, garlic-y mashed potatoes with cabbage and bacon. 

Kisses from a mother, greatest in the world.