|Sydney Greenstreet , radio voice of Nero, 1950|
To my horror, as I get older I am starting to take up more of my mother's habits and affectations, one being cooking.
Way back in 1972 I remember when we got a call on the phone from a man in Indiana named Rex Stout. We were living in Gramercy Park, my mother was the editor at Pinnacle.
Our mutual favorite fictional detective was the incredible mountain of a man from Montenegro, Nero Wolfe. Rex, the man on the phone, wrote the iconic novels.
Nero was a renaissance man, the rare bird who knew a Dendrobium from a Phalaeonopsis flower, could solve an unsolvable crime and also appreciated a fine meal.
My mother was trying to cook all the recipes that Nero had his cook, Fritz Brenner prepare for him in the books. She had written Stout a letter and he had graciously responded. I remember that they had a wonderful chat.
My mother never got around to writing the Nero recipe book but somebody did back in 1987. It is now in its third printing.
I went looking for it this morning at the Bottom Shelf at the library but will order it online if I have to.
I have decided to follow my late mom's footsteps in the kitchen and whip out a few of the recipes that would make Archie Goodwin and Saul Panzer gleam with gustatory glee.
Of course, Nero was not so health conscious so there will be a lot of butter and cream used but hey, we all have to go sometimes, might as well be with a smile on our faces.
I actually did an appraisal for Stout's daughter once, a remarkable woman in her own right, also related to Josef Hoffman.
In any case, here is a Nero recipe, from the book Death of a doxy, Breakfast at the Brownstone, for Au beurre noir.
|Stan Hunt - The American Magazine - June, 1949|