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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

A Meal with an Anxious Clown

Unfortunate Cooking

Come for the delicious recipes. Stay for the terrible story.

A Meal with an Anxious Clown

Lynley Jones

Return to A Series of Unfortunate Recipes homepage.

This week we contemplate serious grammatical errors, fried zucchini and a bear who can't take a joke.

Serious Errors

Serious grammatical errors are like strangers hiding in your pantry. It is a disturbing thing to discover them, but it is even more disturbing not to discover them.

Of course, some grammatical errors are more serious than others. For example, if you were trapped in your dining room with a hungry bear, it would be important to know whether the bear was saying "you're dinner" as in "you are dinner" or "your dinner" as in "the dinner that belongs to you," in which case he might be politely letting you know it's getting cold while you think. If you were to misunderstand him, you would be making a serious grammatical error, because if the bear is offended, he might stalk out before the sorbet is served.

Extra Fun

This image, retrieved from the files of the Netflix corporation, shows Larry the waiter desperately trying to think of a way to thwart Count Olaf's schemes and assist the Baudelaires.

The Anxious Clown did not serve sorbet, and very rarely served hungry bears. But they did serve an Extra Fun Special Family Appetizer, which was a bunch of things fried up together and served with a sauce. 

It is strange to call a food "extra fun," because foods are rarely any fun at all. They may be delicious, or delightfully crunchy, or sizzlingly hot, or tantalizingly tasty (or, if you are eating them at Count Olaf's house, they may be dismally disgusting), but foods very rarely enjoy a good laugh and almost always have terrible senses of humor. In fact, they almost never do anything fun at all.

This may be why most people dining at the Anxious Clown avoided the Extra Fun Special Family Appetizer. But the reason they should have avoided it was because it tasted terrible. As everyone knows, fried food can and should be delicious, but at the Anxious Clown they were not given the attention they deserved, most likely because the restaurant had been infiltrated by villains and their henchpeople.

Delicious Fried Zucchini

If you are running a restaurant free of villains and henchpeople, you might like to offer your guests a platter of delicious fried zucchini, according to my recipe below. Unlike the Extra Fun Special Family Appetizer, the zucchini in this recipe are are delightfully crunchy, sizzlingly hot and tantalizingly tasty.

But they still won't tell you any jokes. (And neither will most bears.)


Fried Zucchini with Marinara Dipping Sauce

Delicious fried zucchini, crispy and perfect. If your restaurant is infiltrated by nefarious characters, try to make them do the dishes.

If you are a decent person who enjoys pleasant mealtime conversation and delicious food, you should avoid reading this book: