Guest Post: What’s Cookin’, by Rhonda of Laugh Quotes

photo credit: bbska via photopin cc
photo credit: bbska via photopin cc

Rhonda really gets around.

The world, that is. She writes a blog called Laugh Quotes by Rhonda Albom, which chronicles the adventures of an ex-pat family in New Zealand that has visited 47 countries and counting (exactly 44 more than I have.)

Marie would appreciate her post about the Starfish at King Tide, especially because she’s the kid with the mean parents who once wouldn’t let her keep a live starfish she found off the N.C. coast. (Any starfish recipes, Rhonda?)

Rhonda’s blog reads like something really cool on PBS or NPR.

Today, she’s at the CD to expand my barbecue horizons. You know, away from whatever meat Food Lion has reduced for quick sale, which happens to be my specialty. Rhonda’s taste is decidedly more sophisticated. And exotic.

Take a look for yourself, and let me know what you’d toss on the barbie at the CD house of I’llNeverBeAVeganThankJesus.

Let’s Try Something New at the Next Coach Daddy Cookout

A year ago we took our homeschooling on the road, traveling around the world and discovering foods we never imagined. And yes, we ate them. Plates full of colors that simply didn’t belong in a meal. Tastes that can only be described with adjectives we haven’t yet learned. We were on an adventure. Our life seems to always be an adventure. If home is the city in which one is born, our teens haven’t been home in over ten years. If home is being with your family, then they are always home.

Thinking about some of the new tastes, smells and flavors I offer the following suggestions to spice up the next Coach Daddy Cookout:

A New Zealand BBQ classic – the sausage. (I have to start with our current home country.) It may sound simple, that’s because it is. Fire up the barbeque, load on the sausages, and when they are done, add one each to a buttered slice of white bread. Simply fold the buttered bread around the sausage and you are good as gold. If you fancy it, add a strip of tomato sauce.

Across the ditch, it took us less than seven weeks to conclude that Australians eat basically the same as we do with the main exception that the Aussies substitute Vegemite (Australia) for Marmite (New Zealand and England). Both are so vile that I wouldn’t dare suggest either to Coach Daddy! Sadly, we were never offered a shrimp on a barbie, or even a kangaroo burger.

While I think I was joking about the kangaroo meat, we did enjoy camel burgers in Morocco. The meat was surprisingly tender a cross between beef and pork with a hint of sweetness. It’s not a common treat. Actually we only saw it on the menu of an overpriced, tourist focused restaurant in the old Medina in Fes. Generally we ate bread and bananas purchased from a local markets.


If you want a real Moroccan BBQ treat for the next cookout, may I suggest Kefta. It is a meatball (often rolled out like an oblong patty) mixed with onion, paprika, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. While we never asked which animal was used, we now make it with beef and it’s wonderful. The main difference at home is that we served it on clean dishes.

rhonda restaurantShould your next cookout not include a BBQ, but rather a large pot, boil up an octopus. Once we got used this Spanish treat, we really enjoyed it. Heed my warning, if there are children at the table, or if the men are just large children themselves, someone will attach the suckers to their lips. Regardless, octopus certainly was an improvement over the plate of fish heads we were once served. (Yes, we ate those too).

rhonda3In China, Malaysia, or Oman we enjoyed mystery meat. Our command of Chinese, Malaysian and Arabic languages includes only the basics, yes, no, thank you, please and counting to ten. Animals were not included, so unless our server said, “moo, quack, or oink” we didn’t have a clue what was on our plate.

Are you wondering if we have limits?  We do. Every once in a while, we just got tired of new and went for easy. We had Chicago’s Pizzeria Uno in Dubai, UAE; McDonald’s hamburgers in Toulouse, France; and, Starbucks coffee in Moscow, Russia.

On the other end of the spectrum, there actually are things we wouldn’t try: whale meat in Norway; seahorse on a stick or congealed duck blood in Beijing; or home-kill bunny in Morocco.



Did you get any new ideas? What will you serve for your next cookout?

On camel burgers

Fes Medina

Our kefta recipe

More Weird China food



  1. ksbeth says:

    wonderful post, and what adventurers you are. in every sense of the word. next time you stop by coach daddy’s place, you bring the meat )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ll toss it on the grill … and we can have seahorses on a stick for appetizer. Or not.

    2. Rhonda Albom says:

      I live in New Zealand, so if I bring the meat it will probably be lamb – the rest of this is what we eat when someone else brings the meat.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I thought I was a pretty adventurous eater but you’ve definitely got me beat. I’m curious to know what you’re going to try Eli! And if it’s a keeper… 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I might try camel burger … if it’s with havarti cheese, on sourdough.

    2. Rhonda Albom says:

      Actually, the camel burger was quite yummy, if you are a meat eater you will enjoy it.

  3. tamaralikecamera says:

    The New Zealand BBQ Classic is right up my alley.
    The octopus? Less so, but hey, this sounds like way too much fun.
    I watched one of the few Anthony Bourdain shows recently and he was talking about one food he really couldn’t eat. I think it was fermented shark or something like that!
    Everyone has their limits, and home-kill bunnies is way above mine.
    Mystery meatballs intrigue me, though.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It made me hungry just reading about it. And calamari is delicious. Shark steak? Scrumptious. Fermented anything? Less so.

      If a menu offered a discount for grab-bag meat? I’d probably order it. Who am I kidding? I would order it.

    2. Rhonda Albom says:

      I didn’t tell the entire bunny story above. She walked us around the property and came upon the pen with bunnies and chickens. The girls immediately said, “awww” and whispered to me “can we pet the bunnies?” Simultaneously, the woman said, “would you like rabbit or chicken for dinner, we need about three hours prep time. If you could see the look on my girl’s faces you would know why we went to town for pizza.

  4. Eli Pacheco says:

    My rule: Food should not fight back. That much.

  5. Quite adventurous dining! The Lebanese have something similar to kefta I believe that is quite delicious. Probably the most adventurous thing I have eaten are sweetbreads or raw oysters. No fish heads for me, thank you. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      And to think the most adventurous thing we do is hot dogs! (That’s adventurous in itself). I once accidentally ate alligator. And the kid at McDonald’s dropped my burger on the floor and still served it to me. That counts, right?

    2. Rhonda Albom says:

      I think there is something similar to Kefta all over the middle east, each country with its own name. We love it, and make it often now.

  6. Kim says:

    Wow!! This is awesome!! We are trying to eat around the world but it’s not nearly as exciting since we aren’t traveling – just trying to make new things from other cultures. Actually, Morocco is coming up soon – might have to try the meatballs!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Eating around the world – I love that idea. It would keep me from skipping from America to Mexico to Italy and repeating over and over again.

      I could go for a gyro right now.

    2. Rhonda Albom says:

      I love the idea of eating around the world at home. We do all sorts of experimental cooking. There is just something magical about doing it there – we stayed with a Berber family in central Morocco and the girls and I got to cook with the wife. We were down on the floor pounding bread, and learning a new way to hold the knife. Cooking is a wonderful skill, as she can teach without speaking a word of English. (And our Arabic is pretty limited to the very basics).

  7. Rorybore says:

    I’d certainly love to visit the places Rhonda has been to! I don’t know so much about the food though. I think I am boring basic steak and potatoes. Although, my history being more that of country mouse than city; I have eaten quite a bit of wild game. Duck, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, venison, moose, elk…..and yes, even bear. Sometimes all in the same pot! A little poutine (you must google that one Eli!) on the side and you got yourself a meal that will keep you warm on a cold winter day. And your butt on fire through out the night.
    I did use to go a New Orleans/Cajun style restaurant in Detroit all the time. Highly recommend the bucket of crayfish, with a pitcher of beer on the side, followed by the blackened whiskey alligator. Corn bread was good too.
    I guess I have a bit of adventure in me.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d share a plate of poutine with you, Rore. And as for your game taste, you know, if you stuff it in a burrito and put plenty of cheese on it, I’ll eat just about anything.

      I had no idea Detroit had such the Cajun scene. I think you should bring the crawfish bucket to the CD block party.

    2. Rhonda Albom says:

      I am not a fan of the beer, but I love crawfish from Louisiana! (I think they are same a crayfish) I haven’t been in so many years. We were just in the US for two months over your summer, but only visited the coasts. Now I am craving a bucket – twist tails and suck heads, if I remember correctly – when else do we get to say that!

  8. Rhonda Albom says:

    I’m with Eli on this one, even I have limits and live squid would cross my line.

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