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"..my tastes call for the most blisteringly high-seasoned materials conceivable, and for desserts as close to 100% C12H22O11 as possible. Indeed, of this latter commodity I never employ less than four teaspoons in an average cup of coffee."

-- H.P. Lovecraft to Mrs. Fritz Leiber, 20 December 1936

We have been known to serve special dishes and drinks at our parties. Here is a sampling of the items we have served, and how to treat yourself to them at home. Click on the links below to jump to a particular recipe.

Drinks Snacks
Cthulhu Coffee Brain Jell-O
Spiced Cider Unidentified Random Rice Krispie Treat
White Tea Pickled Octopus
Super Simple Punch The Meathead
Strawberry Champagne Punch
Pickled Cthulhu
Raspberry Psychosis

Cthulhu Coffee: Yes, you too can make your own Cthulhu Coffee.

    Ingredients:

  • Dark roast coffee (dark as you can get it, baby!)
  • Honey (takes away some of the bitterness without making it sweet)
  • Unsweetened baking cocoa

We wing the proportions (we owe a lot to chaos). Get a cup of coffee, add a dollop of honey, and throw in a couple tablespoons of the cocoa. That's it!

Hint: for the ulta-authentic Cthulhu Coffee (just like we brew it at the convention), put the cocoa in with the coffee grounds when you brew it.

This recipe was created by Chris.

Spiced Cider: We ran out of cider even faster than the coffee last year. Not everyone wants to drink alcohol or caffeine at a convention (though most do), and we seemed to be the only party offering a drink that was neither. Here's our recipe:

    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 64 ounces of apple cider
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • OPTIONAL -- 1 cup rum (we prefer dark rum)

Combine the water, sugar, orange juice and spices. Boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. Stir in all the other ingredients. Heat. Serve.

I am not sure where this recipe ultimately originated from, but I got it from my friend Lane Oase.

White Tea: This is actually something that my gaming buddies in high school came up with, and it was quite useful for getting through all those all-night games. White Tea is not a particularly yummy concoction at all, but there is much entertainment in making it.

According to reports, people have been able to distinguish the distinct differences between both the caffeine high and the sugar high that ensue after drinking White Tea.

    Ingredients:

  • Tea (we preferred Lipton's Orange Tea, but anything should suffice)
  • Sugar. Lots of it.
  • Whipped cream. Lots of it.

    Also:

  • 1 cup
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 microwave

Step 1: Brew up some really strong tea. Brew it until it's opaque. Pour into cup. Fill cup only halfway.

Step 2: Put a dollop of whipped cream into the cup.

Step 3: Pour enough sugar onto top of whipped cream to sink it into the tea.

Step 4: Stir the resulting sludge.

Step 5: Microwave the cup of tea until piping hot again.

Step 6: Put another dollop of whipped cream in. Sink it with sugar.

Step 7: Stir.

Step 8: Heat in microwave again.

Step 9: Add one more dollop of whipped cream. Sink it with sugar. Stir. Reheat.

Step 10: Stir. Drink the concoction before the sugar begins to precipitate out of the viscous liquid.

Super Simple Punch: This recipe comes from Rick, and it is by far the cheapest and easiest punch I have ever served. It's pretty good, too!

    Ingredients:

  • (2) Two-liter bottles of ginger ale.
  • (2) Two-liter bottles of 7-Up.
  • (1) Can of frozen orange juice concentrate

Pour the four bottles of soda into a large punch bowl. Open the can of frozen OJ and dump it in. Add ice.

That's it. Wasn't that painless?

Strawberry Champaign Punch: I got this wonderful recipe from a coworker, and it is positively decadent.

    Ingredients:

  • (1) 750 mL bottle Champaign
  • (1) 750 mL bottle of blush wine (rose works well)
  • (1) Can of frozen concentrated lemonade
  • (1) Box strawberry Jell-O (and the boiling and chilled water needed to prepare it)
  • Whole frozen strawberries

You can also make a nonalcoholic version by using sparkling versions of the same wines.

Prepare the Jell-O according to the instructions on the box (mixing with boiling water, then adding the chilled water; but don't put the Jell-O in the fridge to set). Then mix in the wines and the lemonade concentrate (don't add water to the lemonade). Finally, float the frozen strawberries in the punch as ice cubes.

Pickled Cthulhu: This is something of an experimental recipe... a work in progress. I don't have proportions down yet. Try at your own risk.

    Ingredients:

  • Godiva chocolate liquor
  • Amaretto
  • Coffee
  • Optional: Gummy worm for garnish

Raspberry Psychosis: This a variation on the Pickled Cthulhu, and is still in the experimental stage.

    Ingredients:

  • Godiva white chocolate liquor
  • Chambord
  • Optional: Vanilla ice cream
  • Coffee

Like I said, I don't have specifics down yet. Once I pick up some Chambord, am going to experiment with this recipe and see if it goes well with coffee.

Brain Jell-O: Need to give someone a piece of your mind? Feel that two brains are better than one? Need a special dessert for Easter with your family this year? Look no further! Make your own brains!

    Ingredients:

  • Two 6 oz. boxes of Jell-O (we suggest watermelon for best color)
  • 1-3/4 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 9 ounces fat-free evaporated milk. (It is IMPORTANT that it is FAT-FREE and EVAPORATED. Fatty milk will curdle, and condensed milk makes the Jell-O taste gross. We know from experience.)
  • Food coloring
  • Vegetable oil
  • One brain-shaped mold (available on stupid.com)

Lightly coat the brain mold with a little bit of vegetable oil. Put Jell-O mix in a large bowl and add boiling water. Stir 2 minutes. Stir in cold water. Add evaporated milk and stir well. Add food coloring to desired color and stir some more. Pour the mix into the mold and refrigerate overnight. When the gelatin is firm, carefully flip the brain out onto an appropriate platter. Garnish with fake eyeballs, gummy worms, or anything your little heart desires.

The recipe for the Jell-O is from the back of the package that the brain mold came in.

Unidentifiable Random Rice Krispie-based Treat: I have no idea what these were or what they turned out from, but they were very good (or so I heard... as the person who can't eat chocolate, it was ironic that I managed to make these).

    Ingredients:

  • Butter (to grease pan)
  • 2 cups maple syrup (about one decent sized bottle, as I found out)
  • 2 pounds chocolate chips
  • 2 cups crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts (mmm... sweets and salts... mmm...)
  • 10 cups Rice Krispies (almost all of one of those huge boxes)
  • You will also need a 13"x9" pan, a saucepan, and a mixing bowl

Grease the pan and set aside. Pour syrup into the saucepan, stir, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate chips. Stir until the chips are mostly melted (leave some lumps). Add peanut butter and peanuts. Mix well (it's pretty damn gooey by this time). Pour Rice Krispies into mixing bowl. Pour the goo over the cereal and stir some more (you're going to hate the stuff by this time). Press the resulting concoction into the baking pan. Refrigerate. Cut into squares (or circles or impossible angles) and serve.

I am really not sure where this recipe came from. I believe I stumbled across it on the Internet somewhere.

Pickled Octopus: Just to prove that our diets do not consist entirely of coffee, chocolate, and Jell-O, here's a Greek recipe that is strangely appropriate. We haven't actually served this yet at a convention (because finding young octopus in Minnesota is, well, tricky), but it is a rather unique treat.

    Ingredients:

  • 1 kilogram (that's 2.25 pounds) of young octopus
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) olive oil
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4-6 stalks of thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)
  • You will also need canning jars.

First, the fun part. Cleaning the octopus... Pull off the tentacles, remove and discard the intestines, the ink sac, the eyes, and the beak (you, too, can learn biology while cooking!). Skin the octopus. Wash it and scrub it (and hug it and squeeze it and call it George... er, no, better not...).

Place the cephalopod bits (head and tentacles) in a pan with about 6-8 tbsp of water, cover and simmer for about 1-1.25 hours until tender. Poke at it with a fork to test it (and to make sure it doesn't move). Drain off excess liquid and let it cool.

Cut the flesh into 1/2 inch strips and pack them loosely into a Mason jar. Mix in enough oil and vinegar to fill the jar, then toss in the garlic and the thyme, then season with salt an pepper. Stir it all together and make sure the octopus is completely immersed.

Cover the jar and set it aside for at least 4-5 days before using. Serve it up with lemon wedges.

I'm not sure of the ultimate origin of this recipe, but the printout I have has an e-mail address of pry@norasiea.com, who is not someone that I know.

MeatheadThe Meathead: This was a popular item at our last party, although it was satisfactorily gross enough that not many people actually ate from it. It is very simple to do, but it takes time and a little artistic flair to make it work.

    Ingredients:

  • Sliced ham or turkey, cut into strips about 1" wide. Lunchmeat works great.
  • One fake human skull
  • Random garnish, such as gummy worms or fake eyeballs

Basically, just layer the strips of meat over the skull, giving it a fake flesh of sorts. If you weave the strips over each other, they tend not to slide off the skull. Garnish with gummy worms, crackers, or just use your imagination.

As much as I would like to take credit for the creation of the Meathead idea, I actually got this idea from an Internet page focusing on kids' Halloween parties, though I have long lost the address.

In Brief

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