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Horrifying meal for Halloweeen (if you are Nero Wolfe) October 31, 2012

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Game, Wolfe recipe.
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Readers, look away now. This post is absolutely shocking. I present to you: the horror that is Nero Wolfe’s Halloween dinner.

Well, horrifying if you’re Nero Wolfe, that is. Let me explain the true terror of this dish: We have lamb cooked with 10 (count them!) juniper berries, corn boiled in water, and perhaps worst of all – warm beer, not poured by Wolfe himself.

In case you are questioning why this meal is so shocking, let me explain. To start with, Nero Wolfe is very particular about the number of juniper berries used in the marinade for the lamb (confession: the original recipe is for venison, but I substituted lamb in this case). Any more than three, and they will impart far too much sweetness to the dish (The Doorbell Rang). Well, I went overboard, and added 10. The horror!

I made the marinade as per the recipe in the Nero Wolfe Cookbook – except with the addition of the 10 juniper berries. I left the meat to marinate and turned to the corn.

Readers of the Nero Wolfe books will know of his particular way of cooking corn – and his aversion to cooking it any other way. Corn plays a key role in the story Murder is Corny, and Wolfe explains his method of preparing it: “It must be nearly mature, but not quite, and it must be picked not more than three hours before it reaches me…Shucked and boiled in water, sweet corn is edible and nutritious; roasted in husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia…American women should themselves be boiled in water.”

Well. I’m afraid I must join those legions of people who should be boiled in water – because that’s what I did to the corn. Worst still, the corn had not been picked less than three hours previously. Just horrifying!

I’d like to point out I’m not a total barbarian. I did make a sauce for the meat by straining the marinade, adding more spices and boiling it until it thickened. And I had plenty of butter and salt for the corn. It was very edible! Lucky I’m not Nero Wolfe…

Perhaps the worst insult to Wolfe’s sensibilities, however, is the addition of beer which he has not opened himself and has not been kept at correct temperature. It does not matter how good the beer is – if it has not been kept to Wolfe’s specifications and opened by him personally, it’s no good.

I know this post will be terrifying and even shocking for some people. I hope it scared you good and proper in time for Halloween, and that you devise your own spooky horrors for your own Halloween!


1. Dr Alice - November 3, 2012

Oh, that’s excellent. I can only imagine what Wolfe would say to the ten juniper berries. Archie, however, probably wouldn’t mind at all and wouldn’t balk at the boiled corn either. 🙂

inspiredbywolfe - November 10, 2012

Thanks! Yes, I’m sure you’re right about Archie’s reaction – and he would probably roll his eyes at Wolfe’s!

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