Sunday, November 10, 2013

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? No, Better Not...

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Can't type....laughing. You know we invite guests to blog here on Jungle Red, people we love, people we'd love you to meet. Often, yes, they are writers, often mystery writers, and the coolest part of it is that every one is so different. We've had philosophy, and murder, and suspense, and drama, we've had pets and quilts and music and proms and torture and Twinkies and television and ...and...and...but we've never, I can safely say, had anything like this. Can't...type....still laughing.... (And she looks so normal, doesn't she?)


When given October 30th as a date to be on Jungle Reds (Thank you for having me!), I immediately thought Halloween. And then food. I am not a costume gal, nor much of a decorator. I have to live that existence through my character, Cherry Tucker, who wields a bedazzler as well as her paintbrush and shotgun. I get in a seasonal mood through books, movies, and food. So what could be better than pairing scary villains with cuisine for a spooktacular Halloween dinner? And as Halloween is on a Thursday this year, you have a few days to put together a fantastic Saturday night spread for a late Halloween party.

I'm offering five themed meals. The recipes are not my own, but easily googled. I had a sixth option of a villainous animal meal (Moby-Dick and Cujo came to mind), but that might put folks off dinner. And it's hard to get whale in the United States.

Just kidding.

First up is your CLASSIC MONSTER MEAL. Sure you could make a cute , but to me the monster really lends himself to a casserole (think throwing together different parts). As Mary Shelley was English, how about Shepherd's Pie? Red wine for Dracula? Sure, but obvious. I live in Georgia. Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. With two streams of bloody cake gel as decoration. Yum!

Pennywise the Clown's cocktail

Frankenstein's mini Shepherd's Pies


Medusa's saut ed with garlic, salt, and lemon juice

Vampire bite

THE EVIL OVERLORD FEAST. Why dress up as the giant eye of Sauron, when you can eat Eye of Sauron cake? I was amazed at the plethora ofand Hobbit recipes. Lord of the Onion Rings?(HANK: see? Still laughing.) Yes, please! Fantasy is the place to go for food. Narnia dinners, Hogwarts meals. You would not believe the number of recipes on the internet for the Hunger Games' "frothy pink soup dotted with raspberries" Katniss ate in the Capitol. Nineteen Eighty-Four? You ate well if you were Inner Party, but the Outer Party ate synthetic foods. More of a recipe challenge.

President Coriolanus Snow'sCapitol Soup

The Dark Lord of Sauron's Roast Mutton Chops and Po-tay-toes

The White Witch of Narnia

O'Brien's 1984 Victory Rack of Spam (slice spam without separating, insert American cheese between the slices, and bake in a 300 degree oven until bubbling)

Voldemort's digestif, a desert drink

THE HAUNTED HOUSE REPAST. What foods evict ghosts? Filmy, shadowy stuff? No thanks. Let's examine food from the locale of these famous haunts. How about a little surf and turf? Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House took place in "the most remote part of New England." Traditional Essex recipes for the estate in The Turn of the Screw.

The Exorcist's No Spew Ham and Split Pea Soup

Hill House New England Grilled Lobster (fireplace grill suggested)

The Overlook Hotel's Colorado Angus Beef with French Potato Puree (served with canned fruit)

The Turn of the Screw's

A KILLER BANQUET. How can you not serve fava beans for these psychotic killers? Or American Psycho

without Cheerios?

Patrick Bateman's (with Cheerios)

Mr. Hyde's

Hannibal Lector's Liver and (Amarone wine suggested)

The Tell-Tale Heart of Palm salad

Talented Tom Ripley's Mongibello Cannoli

Finally, GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER? Don't ask these women to cook for you.

Mrs. Danvers' Manderley Hall Tea "Cucumber and Watercress Sandwiches" served with "Bowls of Fresh Raspberries and Peaches"

Annie Wilks' Misery Pork Chops with Dom P rignon sauce

Cruella de Vil's

Nurse Ratched's Going Bananas Foster

Anyone out there making a special Halloween meal? I would love to hear your suggestions for evil villain cuisine. Choose your favorite antihero and a dish to match. I'll be giving away a signed ARC of my newest Cherry Tucker mystery, HIJACK IN ABSTRACT, (releasing November 5th) to some lucky commenter!

HANK: Oh, Larissa, you are hilarious...and that is quite the challenge. Lemme think. Maybe we'll simply bob for Poisoned Apples al la Maleficent?(How can I beat Going Bananas Foster! Tell Tale Heart of Palm? LOVE it!)Gang? How about ...youuuuuuuu?(Imagine scary voice...)


Growing up in a small town, Larissa Reinhart couldn't wait to move to an exotic city far from corn fields. After moving around the US and Japan, now she loves to write about rough hewn characters that live near corn fields, particularly sassy women with a penchant for trouble. HIJACK IN ABSTRACT is the third in the Cherry Tucker Mystery Series from , following STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW (May 2013) and PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY, a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist. QUICK SKETCH, a Cherry Tucker prequel to PORTRAIT, is in the mystery anthology THE HEARTACHE MOTEL (December 10, 2013). She lives near Atlanta with her minions and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website l.

HIJACK IN ABSTRACT, A Cherry Tucker Mystery #3:

Cherry Tucker's love life has shifted into neutral. And her siblings, Grandpa, and sort-of-ex-husband have flipped her personal life to greasy side up. But life in Halo, Georgia, isn't all bad for the sassy, Southern artist. Her career has pushed into full throttle. A classical series sold. A portrait commissioned. Then Uncle Will, Forks County Sheriff, calls in a favor to have Cherry draw a composite sketch of a hijacker. Suddenly, life takes a hairpin when the composite leads to a related murder, her local card sharking buddy Max Avtaikin becomes bear bait, and her Amazonian nemesis labels the classical series "pervert art," causing Cherry to be shunned by the town.

Cherry's jamming gears between trailer parks, Atlanta mansions, and trucker bars searching for the hijacker who left a widow and orphan destitute and Max Avtaikin in legal jeopardy. While she seeks to help the misfortunate and save her local reputation, Cherry's hammer down attitude has her facing the headlights of an oncoming killer, ready to grind her gears for good.
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