Ah, summer is here, a hot, wet, sticky, sultry New York City summer, and inevitably, a young man's thoughts turn to the kitchen. In response to the New York City Math Teacher's request for a butterscotch-like side dish that wouldn't violate the rules of kosherality when served with meat barbecue, I tried my previous butterscotch recipe with the exotic non-dairy substitution of two 400 mL cans of Goya coconut milk instead of the milk and butter. Worked like a charm! The taste of the islands, mon. This one, you might want to add a splash of rum instead of vanilla. Since I have sworn off pies for the moment, I ate this as a simple dessert pudding. Lately I have been craving chicken adobo. It's one of the world's great, if relatively unknown, simple chicken dishes, like chicken cacciatore or chicken Marengo. It was originally devised in the Philippines -- also hot, wet, and sticky, but there the whole year around -- but it's slowly infiltrating the mainstream in the United States. And it's pretty easy. You start with a fryer (or chicken legs, or breasts, or whatever), then simmer it in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic until the meat is tender. Also it usually includes bay leaves and black pepper, but we're talking a very vinegary, salty, garlicky sauce here. You serve the whole shebang with rice. There are a bunch of tweaks: starch to thicken the sauce, sugar to sweeten it, different sorts of vinegars, more complex spices, et cetera. You can brown the meat initially, or sear it in the vinegar; and you can pan-fry the meat after it simmers (keeping the sauce of course). It works just fine with pork, or even goat. Except for the soy sauce, I don't think there's an ingredient that isn't common to Romania. You don't even have to serve it with rice; mamaliga should work fine. Some American versions even use potatoes. Measurements when I actually make it. Question for Romanian readers: What's the tomato cuisine in Romania like? I was thinking about the Romanian climate and agriculture the other day, and it struck me that Romania might actually be better for growing big juicy beefy tomatoes than the Mediterranean proper. In the US, New Jersey (of all places) is known for that sort of tomato, and it's probably from those tomatoes that the great American traditions of ketchup, 'red sauce' restaurants, and the Bloody Mary grew. On the other hand, northern Italian cooking uses the tomato sparingly.