Fortune Cookie Millionaires! TV Dinner Secrets Revealed! My “Wednesday Bookmobile” Has Tasty Holiday Gifts!

fortune cookie money

This Fortune Cookie Can Make You A MILLIONAIRE!

Got your attention, didn’t I? Well, it’s true! I will tell you how in just a moment. First, take a look at this Chop Suey: a classic Chinese food…or is it?

chop suey

And speaking of legendary chinese food recipes: what about this General Tso and his famous chicken dish?

general tso chicken movie

“The Search For General Tso”!

Yes, a documentary was released that searches for the origin of General Tso’s chicken…and that is all part of a great book about the origin of chinese food and how fortune cookies can make you rich!


Moo Goo Gai Pan! Chop Suey! Who Knows?

Behold the classic Chinese dish: Moo Goo Gai Pan. Wait, perhaps it’s Chop Suey. It doesn’t really matter, since neither one of them – OR GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN – was ever cooked in China!

Here is a fascinating book that blows away all of your misconceptions about Chinese food, both here in the US and over there in China – and I have included a terrific Chinese food recipe to satisfy your craving, because these books will make you hungry!

Chicken chop suey

First up, a great book that looks at how the lottery inspired the Author to go off on a mad Chinese food adventure!

Fortune Cookie Book

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures In The World Of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8. Lee

Here’s what started it: In one single week, dozens of people from all across America all won the lottery. They ALL used the EXACT SAME NUMBERS!

lottery tickets

How is that possible? Well, this book shows you what happened – they all picked numbers they got from a fortune cookie – and those fortune cookies all came from Chinese restaurants!


Using this amazing beginning, Author Lee decides to dig deeper into the phenomenon – and to find out why Chinese food has such a mystical hold on America – now only that, she explains how America’s love affair with Chinese food began.


The Fortune Cookie!

You’ll find out the origin of the fortune cookie, including the impact it had on early immigrants and their struggles in America- and she also tells how “chop suey” came to be… you will go back in time – and revisit how Chinese immigrants originally came to this country, and how Chinese food helped save them.

classic chinese restaurant

it’s a fascinating book – a tour through a uniquely AMERICAN food – CHINESE FOOD – and the origins of this so-called “Chinese food” in the US – it’s fascinating, and Lee’s obsession with the topic makes it all the more fun to read.

Guess Who’s To Blame For All Those Take-Out Food Flyers?

Yep, Lee reveals the origin of the dreaded paper menu that is stuffed in your mailbox or front door…and you will visit the greatest Chinese food restaurant in the world – wait until you find out where it is!

And you’ll find out what Confucius REALLY said.

Yes, this book is full of great facts and trivia!

egg roll

This book is so entertaining, you will never look at an egg roll the same way again!

chop suey sign

Now that’s I’ve whetted your appetite:

Make Your Own Chop Suey Recipe!

Here you go, make some classic Chop Suey!

1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups diced pork loin
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup hot water
1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can bean sprouts, drained
and rinsed
1/3 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar


1. Heat shortening in a large, deep skillet. Sear pork until it turns white, then add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add celery, hot water, salt and pepper. Cover skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Add sprouts and heat to boiling.

2. In a small bowl combine the cold water, cornstarch, soy sauce and sugar. Mix together and add to skillet mixture. Cook for 5 minutes, or until thickened to taste.



Now that you have eaten, take a look at the secrets behind your TV dinner!

Sixty-three years ago, two great American traditions were changed forever: watching TV and eating dinner. Thanks to the invention of the “TV dinner”, Americans could step away from the stove and leave the home cooking to someone else!

Yes, delicious meatloaf, green beans, tater tots AND a chocolate brownie could be served in a beautiful tin plate – overworked Americans finally had a way to eat a delicious, well-balanced meal without having to cook!

frozen TV dinner

If you have any curiosity about food, then this is another great book to give any food lover – the true story of how one man created a frozen food future!

Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man

From the terrific food writer who gave us “Cod”, “Salt”, and other informative bestsellers, it’s the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture.

Here is what Amazon says:

“Kurlansky…places Birdseye in the same category as Thomas Edison: amateurs who got curious about a problem, played around with it (sometimes for years) and eventually figured it out. Birdseye had many more interests than frozen foods, writes the author; he invented, among other things, a kind of light bulb and even a whaling harpoon.”

The Beginning Of The “Frozen Food Section” Of The Grocery Store!

Birdseye’s curiosity was key to taking frozen food to the next level!

It was in the North that he began to wonder why foods frozen there—naturally—tasted so much better than the frozen foods back home. He discovered, of course, that it was quick-freezing at very cold temperatures that did the trick. He eventually invented the process that produced vast amounts of good frozen food, but then had to wait for the supporting infrastructure (transportation, storage, etc.).

Kurlansky tells the exciting tale of Birdseye’s adventures, failures and successes (he became a multi-millionaire) and his family, and he also offers engaging snippets about Velveeta, dehydration and Grape-Nuts as well.


Swanson’s TV Dinners!

And of course, the world was never the same once Swanson mass produced three-course dinners for a generation unwilling to take the time to cook!

Birdsye’s frozen vegetables were the reason for THIS:

Without Birdseye’s breakthroughs, the whole concept of frozen ANYTHING tasting edible when it arrived on your plate was unlikely, but thanks to him, Swanson could continue to refine, expand, and “upscale” their efforts, to a ravenous America:

Thanks to Kurlansky, and this week’s Wednesday Bookmobile, you can dig right in to these great books about the food that has transformed the way we live!

If you want an edgier look at the world of food, this memoir by a renegade Chef is for you:

Chef Brandon Baltzley is brilliant – but has had a controversial life, which he doesn’t shy away from in this riveting memoir….clikc here to see more of his fascinating life:

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Satisfy the hunger for your foodies this holiday season with these great books!

Categories: Books / Media, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Wacky Food

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17 replies

  1. This is fascinating, John. Most South Africans still cook so TV dinners are not big here at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robbie, they were part of the “food revolution” here in the US decades ago…there are now dozens of companies who will send you pre-packaged prepared food fresh to your house every day…the art of cooking continues to diminish here…sadly!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It does make people more reliant on the ‘system’, John. I suppose that is why when it broke down during C-19 [meat factories being impacted] it caused such a widespread problem. We still have a lot of small butcheries who get their produce directly from the farms here. In saying that, however, I noted that in the USA there are schemes where people buy a portion of a farms produce and invest a sum of money each year. They then get deliveries of fresh produce during the harvests season. I thought that was a great idea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, there are many “farm to table” options as well which are organic and healthy…and support small farms! I happen to live in the state where we grow massive amounts of so much!


  2. These sound like fun reads, John…I agree about most food being tweaked to suit western palates…A prime example when years ago in the UK we enjoyed some beautiful authentic food at a local Thai restaurant then suddenly it changed..on my asking why I was told that as we know it has been westernised…I was also advised to ask in future for my food to be done the Thai way…What is all that about?…. Such a shame …Great post as always John 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • HA! So you go to a Thai restaurant and have to request the food done “Thai-style!” No surprise, Carol…here in the US now the food has been “Americnaized” beyond any recognition to traditional methods and tastes…that’s why I’m experimenting with local recipes at home!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It seems to be the case everywhere John and puzzles me how people go abroad and then want the food cooked their way how unimaginative no adventure in their souls…The food we get here is cooked the way it has always been cooked …no I don’t like it all and some as my palate has changed I have grown to like but food is a journey and I wouldn’t want it changed for me…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like books that are a little further off the beaten path, so The Fortune Cookie Chronicles and Birdseye are the type of reads I often pick. It strikes my funny bone that lots of people won the lottery simultaneously due to fortune cookies. I would assume that it would cut into their windfall with so many people winning, but that’s beside the point. I don’t play the lottery, but I know people choose their numbers for all types of nonsensical reasons. This method is just as logical as those.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am a fan of “food history” books…I have one all bob ut “Cod”, also “The Big Oyster” about how they helped develop New York City, and I have “Salt”, “The Potato” and “Salmon” as well! I also have one all about the history of British Food! Great hearing from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The American cuisine (that does it all wrong) doesn’t stop at Chinese food. Our daughter’s Italian hubby who has THE Italian restaurant in Bend, OR, literally laughs at what Americans think Italian food really is. Spaghetti and meatballs? No such thing. I need to pay attention the the ‘lucky numbers’ in my fortune cookie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this! Yes, we have “American-ized” so much of our food, with so little lack of respect for the culture we took it from…imagine sending real Italians into the Olive Garden…they’d riot!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well said! At the Bend restaurant, when people call to ask about certain foods, they send them to Olive Garden. Really! BTW, I had the real deal in Florence. The biggest difference is food isn’t all lumped together on one plate. First comes the pasta, followed by many other dishes. Last is salad…because salad helps digest the food. Brilliant! We Americans have this backwards.


  5. I’ve often wondered about American Chinese food and I used to love love love tv dinners!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Back in MA I tried playing fortune cookie numbers with lottery tickets, but sadly never won. Here in AL, they don’t allow the lottery yet, so that takes care of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember a Chinese friend in London telling me that almost everything I liked to eat in his dad’s restaurant had been invented to suit western tastes. He said that I wouldn’t find any of that on menus in China. And he was right! When I went to Beijing, I never saw a duck pancake, spring roll, or chow mein. What I did eat there was delicious though, even though some of the ingredients were best kept secret. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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