American Civil War Goulash

Description of the dish:
This bitter war will kill more soldiers than any war in United States history. It is a classic brother-against-brother mix, requiring decades of continual stirring.


10 Cups reliance of the Southern economy on slave labor
10 Cups growing sectionalism
3 Cups Abolitionist movement
6 Cups election of Abraham Lincoln and a divided Democratic Party
2 teaspoons Missouri Compromise of 1820
3 tablespoons Compromise of 1850
3 tablespoons Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854
2 teaspoons Harper's Ferry incident and the spicy John Brown
a pinch Dred Scott decision

Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Important kitchen conditions--begin with a nation unsure of how to handle the peculiar institution of slavery since it wrote its Constitution in 1787!
  • Add generously, a Southern economy based on agriculture. Don't forget to make sure you throw in plenty of cotton, certain to make lots of money and to increase the social standing of Southern landowners. But, you can't do any of that without slave labor!
  • Add the Missouri Compromise (1820) which admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, and banned slavery above a line in the lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase
  • Mix in the Compromise of 1850, proposed by Henry Clay, which added California as a free state, abolished slavery in Washington, D.C., left Utah and New Mexico territories unrestricted, and created a tight Fugitive Slave Law, which made it legal to pursue, capture, and re-enslave escaped slaves.
  • Add the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) creating new territories, both north of the slave line, but leaving the slavery decision to popular sovereignty. Watch out! After you add a bit of this act, Kansas is likely to "bleed" with violence as pro- and anti-slavery forces flood into the territory.
  • Test these conditions by applying a Dred Scott case, a slave who lived in free territory and argued that he was a free man. Add a Supreme Court decision in 1857 denying his freedom.
  • Carefully pour in a bit of abolitionist John Brown. Step back as he and 18 followers raid the federal arsenal in Harper's Ferry, VA. They will want to seize weapons and start a slave uprising. This may not work well for Brown.
  • Also add Abolitionist literature like Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), raising public awareness about the conditions of slavery and William Lloyd Garrison's newspaper, The Liberator.
  • Slave away at the stove!
  • Elect to add moderate Abraham Lincoln (1860), Republican nominee, while the Democratic vote is split between Stephen Douglas and John C. Breckenridge. Look out--this is going to be an explosive addition, prompting South Carolina to secede from the Union!
  • Your recipe is going to be just right if you notice Confederate shells (not stuffed!) hitting Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor (April 12, 1861), beginning the American Civil War! Be prepared to suffer this bitter taste for four bloody years.

Recipe alternative: John Wilkes Booth shoots Lincoln right before the election and we are able to substitute a little Breckenridge as President. This will make the mix a bit less volatile. More states will join the Union, upsetting the North-South dichotomy.

World War II Slow-Cooker Stew

Description of the Dish:
Post WWI conditions paved the way for repressive leaders who rose to power in Europe in the 1920s and 30s seeking personal glory and national empires.It is a classic nation-against-nation mix, requiring decades of continual stirring and occasional infusions of heat.


5 Cups Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party (Nazi)
1 Cup Joseph Stalin and his Communist Reign of Terror
1 Cup Benito Mussolini and his Fascist Party
½ Cup Hideki Tojo and Japanese Militarism
1 Cup Extreme Nationalism
½ Cup Militarism
1 Cup Imperialism
¼ Cup Alliance Building
A pinch of British and French Appeasement
A dash of US Neutrality

Preparation and Cooking Instructions:

Important kitchen conditions--Begin with a continent rocked by political and economic instability, an ineffective WWI Treaty, a few embarrassed and resentful countries, and an international organization unable to maintain global security.

·Your recipe is going to be just right if you notice the British, French and American ingredients evaporating and the remaining ingredients firming up while the volume of the stew expands.Once the lid begins to rattle, you are ready to serve up World War II (Slow-Cooker Stew)!There should be enough to serve (# million affected, # nations fought) and last for (# years).

Recipe alternative: President Wilson is more firm in his demands of a post-WWI world at the Treaty of Versailles and more nations (both allies and enemies) leave the conference satisfied.The US also agrees to join the League of Nations, emerging as a world power instead of retreating into isolationism.This will prevent the ingredients from mixing in an explosive manner.