Recipes From Around the World

We have quite a mix of folks on Biologos. I would love to learn some of your favorite recipes!

This is not completely divorced from evolution. I recently bought a copy of “Mrs Charles Darwin’s Recipe Book,” which includes notes from Charles Darwin, as well. With a lot of kids, and a big emphasis by hiw wife on meals (most of them seemed rich and creamy Victorian), it’s an interesting illustration of how important domestic rest is, even when you spend a lot of time in science.

I’ll post one of my favorite family recipes below (I also love curry, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and a lot of other recipes), but would enjoy seeing some of yours.

One of my favorite ways to use rhubarb follows. It’s from my wife’s grandmother. My kids love it for a snack and dessert…

3 cups chopped rhubarb
1.5 cups sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter

Cook rhubarb, sugar, and cornstarch together in saucepan on the stove till thick. Add vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, baking soda, and butter until the mixture resembles meal.

Spread 3/4 of the flour mixture in a 9 x 13 pan. Pour rhubarb mixture over the top and cover with remaining oatmeal mixture.(I like to make 1.5 or double the oatmeal/brown sugar mixture).

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.


Sounds delicious. Though I don’t eat butter I imagine there are multiple alternatives for it that would fit into it.

I guess I never thought about it until now. I don’t have any family recipes or family cookbooks handed down. I’ve seen it in tvs shows though so I understand it. I’ve never been a very technical person with recipes. I mean I would estimate calories and macros but I never really measured things like species learned exactly if I cooked it for 15 minutes or 30 minutes. Just eyeballed it.

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I think you can use 2/3 or so ratio of oil. We could not get butter in Africa growing up (not for cooking, anyway), so we used reduced amounts of oil.

I think most people used to cook by eyeballing things, too!

This one is a bit silly as far as something my family taught me. It’s not really a recipe. But it’s the only one I remember and I keep thinking of it now. When I was a kid one time my dad me a drink that was half a can of root beer poured into a cup and then the rest of the way was milk and then it was stirred. I’ve always liked it and a few times a month for a desert I’ll get like a 16 ounce cup and fill it up with 4 ounces or so of coke or root beer and then add like 10 ounces of vanilla soy milk and stir it. Sometimes I’ll boil the soy milk with anise seeds and then pour that through a filter and make the drink and put it in the freezer to chill.

I like making licorice cookies as well. I’ll have to pay attention to how I do it next time. But it’s essential just oatmeal, soy milk, and chopped up licorice made into cookie shapes and placed in the fridge.

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Here is a quick one I learned from a chef at the Chez Panisse restaurant. The middle school where I taught is close to Alice Water’s home in Berkeley. She helped my district to start a garden to kitchen program at my school. Long story short, one year the section of students I had did not need to take the state test scheduled in the first block period of the day. As soon as I noticed I called the kitchen to see if I could bring them down for some sort of breakfast experience, something they all love to do but in which 8th grade maths classes never participate. We got the green light so I learned to make good scrambled eggs. So good that my wife who has frequently sent eggs back in restaurants loves them.

The main secret is the eggs must finish cooking outside the pan when you dump them on a plate. If they’re already done in the pan, they’ll be too dry.

The other secret is enough butter to lubricate the entire pan, generously. (It all ends up with the eggs.)

Other than that, just whip them up and put in a little cool liquid. I use milk.

Once the pan is good and hot, put the butter on one end and tip it if necessary so that it melts in a small pool, keeping it from burning. When the butter is melted swish it around to coat the pan and immediately put the eggs in. Keep them moving so that it just begins to get firm without getting crusty but dump them out of the pan onto a plate before they are done cooking. They will finish in their own heat. (You have to experiment with this as all kinds of conditions will vary between kitchens.) Not runny, not crusty is the goal.

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A good egg is a wonderful thing. It is interesting that American scrambled eggs are usually made with large curds and what I’ve seen in England has very small curds made by constant stirring while cooking.
Randy, if you see an interesting recipe of Darwin’s, share it! Maybe Finch pie, or scrambled monkey brains…

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Need to feed a large crowd? Try Chili:

5 lbs extra lean ground beef

Diced large celery stalk, 1-2 large pepper, 2 onions, 1 cup cabbage, 1 cup carrots

Two cups Broccoli slaw or Walmart kale salad

Six cans of various beans (black, kidney, garbanzo, navy, pinto, great northern, etc)

3 cans crushed or puréed tomatoes

2 cans petite diced tomatoes

Garlic powder (teaspoon or so)

Chili powder (70 grams)

1.5 Teaspoon Salt

1 Lb orzo

A. Put an inch of water in a large pan and add ground beef. Begin cooking, as the highest temperature but without burning anything on the bottom of the pan

B. As it cooks and begins browning, add diced vegetables, garlic powder, salt, broccoli slaw, chili powder

C. When vegetables begin to soften and all meat is crumbled and brown, add all cans of tomatoes and bring to a slow boil again. Add liquid from all cans of beans. Keep simmering 10 minutes or so. Add water if needed to maintain a soup consistency.

D. In separate pan, begin boiling water and boil orzo for 8 minutes or so

E. While orzo is boiling, add all beans to simmering chili. Add water to chili if needed.

F. Taste chili liquid. Add more chili powder and/or salt and/or garlic powder as needed until it tastes like you want it.

G. Drain orzo and add it to the chili pot. Add water if needed. Stir and turn off. It is done.

H. Taste once more and add more spices and salt if needed before it cools.

Serve with shredded cheese.

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I am into cooking (for a family of 5) but not so much into recipes. When I want to make something I look up a number of recipes on the internet and interpolate between them as I want or need. Recipes with specific special ingredients are too annoying so I will use what I find or like instead.

So last week I made
Hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara which are spreads to put on flat bread (which I make a lot).
On another day I made Rama chicken and spring rolls (with peanut sauce, of course).
On another day I made kimchi using nappa cabbage and japanese raddish.

Tomorrow I plan on making burritos with roasted anaheim peppers stuffed with cheese.
And on another day I will make a pork shoulder roast with sweet potato on the side.
A week later I will use the bone from the roast to make borscht.

I make chili too. But never with ground beef… I usually use cuts of pork. I use lots of pasilla peppers and one jalapeno (or serrano). I use a mix of beans too (usually not garbanzo though) and a couple cans of chopped tomato. Fresh garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion, salt, pepper. I might add corn.

I have made a couple versions of egg curry not so long ago.

Sounds interesting. For treats I will usually make peanut brittle, divinity, or a pudding parfait.

P.S. I obviously do use garbanzo beans (just not in chili) since that is the main ingredient for hummus… along with fresh roasted sesame, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and cumin. I also like to roast the garbanzo beans after cooking them to bring out a better flavor.


A bit different than my chili recipe, borrowed from Lady Bird Johnson and full directions can be seen by googling Pedernales River Chili.

4 pounds ground beef.
1 large onion, chopped.
2 garlic cloves, minced.
1 teaspoon dried oregano.
1 teaspoon ground cumin.
2 tablespoons chile powder, or to taste.
1 ½ cups canned tomatoes, cut up.
2 to 6 dashes hot sauce, or to taste.
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Texas Chili, where beans are an abomination.


Pythagoreans must have settled Texas.

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I recalled last night that I like to substitute apple sauce for fat, but my kids don’t really appreciate it so much (at least, in cookies. It makes them a bit fruity and cakey. I think it may be good with fruit breads).

I’ll post a Darwin recipe soon.

It’s interesting to me how we each cook–some of us like to vary recipes and use inspiration; others are very detail- and instruction-conscious.

I guess for me because I’ve cooked almost all of meals since I was 16 with the exception of when I was in BCT and AIT or exercise training, I’ve never used recipes. I normally just slice up various food and mix it together.

Often my meals are just fruit.

The tacos was sweet onions, apples, radishes, sweet corn, sweet peppers, and avocados.

I’ll often make hashes where one day it’s pumpkin, cabbage, jalapeños, black beans, and corn and the next day it’s sweet potatoes, kale, apples, pecans, and tofu.

Just a combination of whatever was in season, one sale, or foraged.


This is true in our house. My wife follows recipes to the letter- which is good for consistency. I tend to look at cooking as chemistry lab, and like to experiment. It makes for variety, but sometimes gives results that are a little off, or if good, are tough to repeat.


I do, too! It sort of drives my family crazy. :slight_smile:

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I’m a slice and dice and mix together and toss it in the pan or oven kind of guy while I’m doing something else. I only recently begin to add ingredients in at different times. I think it’s all tasty and others seem to like it but I’m not a big fancy meal kind of person. I feel to busy to be able to go all out. My fiancée really likes to cook and make a wide range of meals and she mentioned when she and I are married and living together she wants us to set aside 2 meals a week to go all out on and make different types of meals together and so on.

Also everything is plant/fungi based. I don’t eat animals.

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#me too. My wife is always after me to write things down but that just seems like it would inhibit a better result from happening or take all the fun out it.

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Baked Apple Pudding (Page 118, Mrs Charles Darwin’s Recipe Book")

6 apples
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon butter

For the batter:
3 ounces of flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs

In preparation: Grease an ovenproof dish deep enough to hold the apples and batter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Peel and core the apples. Place them in the prepared dish. In each hole, put a teaspoon of sugar, a little grated lemon peel, and top with a small piece of butter. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the apples from the oven and raise the temperature to 400 F.
  2. While the apples are baking, sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the milk, a little at a time, and mix to a smooth batter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Pour the batter over the apples and bake for about 30 minutes, or until well risen and brown on top. Sprinkle with sugar and serve at once with cream.

Here’s the table of contents for “Mrs Charles Darwin’s Recipe Book.” Apparently, the book has only a selection of the original recipes–60 different types of puddings, based on different fruits. If there’s a recipe anyone would like, please let me know. I am not sure of copyright laws, so this will have to be a selection of what I have. The authors wrote lots of interesting stories relating to the recipes.
I have a used copy, which Amazon provides–it’s much cheaper!

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