As a nominally Jewish, science-fiction-influenced pantheist, I am, of course, looking tremendously forward to my Weird Tales compadre Ann VanderMeer’s forthcoming 2010 book, The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. By popular request, she has taken a bit of time out of her holiday season to tempt us with a special New Year’s recipe for cooking an Old One. “Keep in mind that this meal will not be to everyone’s taste,” Ann tells us, “so know your guests before serving this up. Also, you’ll need to wear your special Protection from Evil glasses before even attempting this meal… What? What do you mean, don’t have any? Go get some or skip this recipe altogether. They can be found in any Wal-Mart in the Protection from Evil aisle, alongside the BB guns and silver bullets.”
* Note: No, Cthulhu is not kosher.
Ann VanderMeer’s Fried Cthulhu
(With help from Duff Goldman)
One Cthulhu: actually, you’ll have to get close enough to chop off a piece, as an entire Cthulhu is too large to work with — and try to get some of that Cthulhu ink while you are at it.
Garlic: lots of garlic, I’d say about 36 cloves, pressed.
½ cup of Olive Oil: must be Extra Virgin (naturally).
A pinch of Paprika: the redder the better.
Sea Salt to taste: because it will remind the eater of the origins.
Pasta: can use spaghetti or flat linguini noodles, per your preference in tentacles — the longer the better.
1 tablespoon of Cthulhu ink: for pasta.
Cook pasta according to directions. Take the piece of Cthulhu meat and dice it up into small manageable chunks (work quickly as time is of the essence). Throw the chunks into a frying pan seasoned with half the olive oil and sea salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly (you may have to slap down the moving parts — chopping and cooking do not necessarily stop the moving). Then add the garlic and paprika, continue stirring.
While you are stirring the Cthulhu with one arm, prepare the pasta (drain and mix with the remaining olive oil and the ink) with your other two arms. Use your fourth arm to grab a nice platter. Place the pasta on the platter and then scoop up the Cthulhu onto the pasta. Serve with a nice leafy green salad and crisp white wine.
Stephen H. Segal is the editorial and creative director of Weird Tales and a book designer who has worked with Tor Books, Juno Books, Prime Books, the Interstitial Arts Foundation, and others. He has previously served as a magazine editor at WQED Pittsburgh, a publication consultant for Carnegie Mellon, and a writer for the Philadelphia Weekly newspaper chain.