We're Off To Kill The Wizard
Murder, She Wrote - S1:E7
Jessica's work ethic is strong and mighty. She writes, she lectures, and she travels all around the world promoting her books. But she manages to maintain a wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humour about the writing life. For example, when a young starstruck fan confesses that she is writing a book herself,
Jessica enthusiastically says, "That's wonderful!" The young scribe replies, "It's awfully hard work," Jessica agrees, "Oh, I know!" then rolls her eyes and says, "Grim!"
James Coco plays the thoroughly loathsome “Horrible Horatio” with great relish in this episode.
He owns a chain of theme parks, specialising in gore, blood and guts.
Jessica gives him short shrift when he proposes to create J.B. Fletcher's Mansion of Murder and Mayhem.
She is worried about the effect his dramatically staged bloodbaths would have on young impressionable minds. Horatio explains that kids love the chills and thrills, and they pester their parents to take them to his creepy theme parks." Violence! That's what pays Mrs Fletcher, that's money in the bank," he says with glee. "Don't you go to the movies?" he asks. Jessica's response is perfect, "When Cary Grant bowed out, so did I."
At the end of this episode, we see J.B.'s genuine pleasure in generously helping young writers follow their dreams. The final moment of the show is an example of something that will become a much-loved feature of the series. A freeze-frame of Jessica with a great big grin on her face. Don't you just love her?!
Jessica stays with her niece throughout this episode, and she gets helpful in the kitchen and rustles up hamburgers for the whole family. So why not have burgers with this episode?
If you fancy doing something a little more elaborate, James' Stuffed Eggplant comes with a seal of approval from my friends Dylan and Arike, who tested this one for the forthcoming book.
James Coco's Stuffed Eggplant
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
¼ pound ground beef
¼ pound lean ground veal
1 teaspoon crushed basil
½ teaspoon crushed chervil
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese
2 slightly beaten egg whites
¼ cup chopped, drained tomatoes
Carrot flowers for garnish
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Wash the eggplant and cut it in half lengthwise. Spoon out the pulp, leaving about ½ inch of the outer shell. Melt the margarine in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, beef, veal, basil, chervil and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is browned.
Stir the breadcrumbs, cheese, egg whites and tomatoes together with the cooked meat mixture in a large mixing bowl. Spoon the mixture into the eggplant shells.
Place filled eggplant halves in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the eggplant halves and arrange them on a bed of parsley on plates. Serve with the carrot flowers as a garnish.
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Next week on Murder, She Cooked, a recipe from the kitchen of William Conrad.
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More movie star recipes can be found over at the Silver Screen Suppers blog - 15 years and counting.
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Would you like to test a recipe for the forthcoming Murder, She Cooked book? Leave a comment on this post or drop me a line via this link to my contact page.
If you like Columbo, you might like my Cooking With Columbo cookbook
and if you have never been to a Solve-Along-A-Murder-She-Wrote live show, check out the amazing Tim Benzie’s website here. Tim did a private show for my hen night. Can you guess which episode we did?
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Cheerio for now, tune in for another episode next week!