April 29, 2007

"Bishop" Ben Okafor: Man of god, husband and father of two writes back...

I'm thrilled to pieces that this Ben Okafor from Benin thing has actually gotten interesting... the other scams I've received and posted here on my blog didn't get much play, but I've never had a scammer write me back and threaten me!

He sent me an instant message:
299 88 75 72

Yup, exactly the kind of response I'd anticipate from someone who represents the word of god. Whatever.

But THEN I got two other messages from other chefs who contacted me.
Bishop Ben Okafor from Porto-Novo

Kingdom Life Ministries International

kingdom Life Ministries Int'l.

...and as I told this last chef, no, I'm NOT already defending myself against legal action. With this schmuck or any other kind. I sent an e-mail to the actual KLM in Canada, so someone MIGHT be contacting him about some legal action, but me, I'm content if I helped prevent these two other chefs, and any others, from getting scammed.

He's SOOOOOO pissed off that I've ruined his little scheme! I love it!

Anyone else been contacted by the kindly Bishop? Please speak up, either in the comments, or write to me directly.

April 28, 2007

OMG what an exciting opportunity! (gimme a break)

I think someone's going to fall for this eventually... but it's not gonna be me. (this was copy/pasted verbatim from the e-mail I received.)

I saw your add online, and I got facinated at your profile. I am Bishop Ben Okafor from Porto-Novo, in The Republic of Benin. I am the General Overseer of the Kingdom Life Ministries International. I will be coming over to California, USA, on a missionary visit from the 30th of June to the 7th of July 2007. I will be coming in the company of my wife, daughter and son of ages 5 and 9 respectively.

Actually, we will be requiring the service of a Cook/Chef during our stay, in the USA. Ofcourse we are used to eating home cooked meal. So we thought its necessary to make arrangement to hire some one to take up the job for those periods of time. However we would like to be flexible in the contractual agreement. You are also welcome to live-in during the period of the contract.

We can pay in advance to cover all your logistic issues. besides, my wife would like it that way, so that we can be assured we have someone to handle that aspect on our arrival. All your expences would be taken care of by our Sponsor.

An early reponce from you in this regards would be appreciated. Please acknowledge if you can offer this service and give me a price quote.

Remain Blessed

His Lorship

Bishop Ben Okafor
General Overseer
kingdom Life Ministries Int'l.
Republic of Benin
Tel:+299 88 75 72

April 10, 2007

The company I'm going to work for was on TV

This company approached me to be one of their chef-consultants. The Early Show gave them some nice publicity, and actually, it's a very well done piece. Culinary Hotline Helps Cooks In Crisis, Tracy Smith: "ChefsLine" At The Ready To Help Those In Need - CBS News"

April 09, 2007

Cookbook Prizes awarded shortly...

I will post the results and the winners very very soon... it just requires sitting down with Kelly to do the judging... Which requires that bribes be baked! Thanks for your patience!

April 07, 2007

Ask the chef: pre-soaking beans for crockpot cooking

"Becky's Mom" writes:
I have a question you're probably going to think is crazy. I have some dried pinto beans that I forgot to put on to soak until a few minutes ago. I want to put them in my crock-pot over night. Will they be okay not soaking for 24 hrs. prior to cooking them?

Dear Becky's Mom,

Don't worry... even if you do it 'wrong', it's nothing a little Beano can't fix... :-) but I'll tell you how you can handle this predicament next time.

People argue back and forth over which method of handling beans before cooking gives the best results: boiling or overnight soaking. To me, the method that works best is the one you use... so if you don't have 12 hrs to soak 'em, boil 'em!
Overnight soak: Wash and sort beans; place in large sauce pan with 6 cups of water per pound of beans. Let stand overnight (10 hrs or longer)
Quick soak: Wash and sort beans, put in a large saucepan with 6 cups of water per lb of beans. Bring to a boil and keep boiling for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, let stand at least 1 hour. (but don't let them cool, )
You don't want to use the soaking/boiling water to cook the beans (why would you ingest the liquid that contains all the stuff you just soaked out of the beans?!) but you can use it to water plants. The soak water will have a good deal of vitamins and minerals in it, and your plants won't fart.

By the way, what does sorting mean? Sorting means that you pick over the beans and take out the floaters, remove any pebbles & twigs & other debris that might find its way into dried beans. Crunching on a rock in the chili is not my idea of a good time.

How do I know if the beans are done? Many people don't cook their beans long enough. Depending on the age of the beans, you may find it takes 30 to 60 minutes longer than what the recipe calls for. The way to test for doneness is to pull out a bean and mash it with a fork. If any of the insides seem white and crumbly, rather than soft and moist, then the beans need to be cooked longer. Add some more liquid and replace the lid, then test again later. Undercooked beans are nasty, and may even be toxic!

Suddenly, I have a craving for crêpes with green tea ice cream and red bean paste (sweetened adzuki beans, comes in a can from the Asian market - YUM!).

Last thing I ate or drank: Breyer's raspberry popsicle.

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April 04, 2007

three little letters. M T V

In the middle of last week, I got a phonecall from one of the assistant producers of MTV's Next, a dating show where the main contestant gets the chance to date five other contestants...but when the main contestant gets bored on the date, he/she says "NEXT!" and another potential paramour comes out to take his place.

The setup for this particular show was that the main contestant, a girl, wanted a guy who could cook. So they set up some challenges for the guy to pass. She "nexted" several of the guys, and finally found one she could tolerate. That lucky guy progressed to the next challenge... which was me. (Bwa ha-ha-ha!)

They pitted him against me in an Iron Chef style battle, to see how he fared against a professional chef. Well, not too good, but as the girl contestant said, he looked cute trying. (lol, he was teh hotness, even in his little pink chef's outfit)

I didn't speak on camera, but my name was said a few times, and my dish was pretty good for only being given about 15 minutes to make it (thank the FSM for the grace of his quick-cooking fresh noodly goodness).

They paid me, but they also sent me home with all the food they used as set decoration and props. LOOK at all this STUFF! That's 50 lbs of flour and 80 lbs of sugar, 10 packages of fresh fettuccini, 15 lbs of dry pasta, 4 lbs of butter....and all those potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, vine tomatoes, watermelons, pineapples, limes, peppers, corn, grapes, grape tomatoes, lettuce and strawberries ...and more! My freezer is going to be full of everything freezable as is, and I'll cook & freeze as much as I can of the other stuff. Plus, I'm making cookies for the staff, and they're having a PA come by tomorrow to pick them up.

It was a blast to have been able to do it. I had so much fun, everyone was so nice, and it's kind of cool to add MTV to my portfolio!

Last thing I ate or drank: plain little salad of hothouse tomatoes and iceberg, with bleu cheese dressing.

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