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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: A Recipe for Ruin
By Karen Wilber



Makes 1 Serving

The key to preparing a good Ruin is the selection of the proper ingredients. For best results, the subject should be as tender and fresh as possible. A more mature subject may have acquired a crusty exterior, making it more difficult to prepare, though it is possible to do so by increasing the amount of selected ingredients.

This dish is capable of many variations, each one delicious in its own way. Our favorite combination is given below.

A note on the preparation: While it is possible for people to fall into Ruin, the resulting dish is much tastier if the subject chooses be part of the entree.

1 subject

Separate subject from as many good influences as possible. Set aside influences to use later in Regret Stew, p. 243. Any remaining residue of goodness will be boiled away during the cooking process.

Heart and mind
Set aside mind and thoroughly drain good judgment. Reserve heart for later use.

3 or more meetings with disreputable friend(s)

The selection and combination of friends is critical to the success of this recipe. Friends should appear rotten on the outside. However, modern preservation methods may conceal a rotten core in attractive flesh or decorative packaging. For best results, examine core for rottenness as well.

Marinate in:
Alcohol until inhibitions are dissolved.

Leave unsupervised at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Place mixture in preheated pan and add any of the following ingredients:
1 cup unhealthy desire (whatever is in season)
1/3 cup selfishness
3 Tbs greed
1/2 tsp vanity
1/4 tsp cruelty
Minced laziness (to taste)

Turn up heat until mixture boils. When subject appears ready, add additional disreputable friends. Continue adding friends until mixture thickens. At this point, mixture should be quite dense.

Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until character is reduced by half.

Remove cover and stir subject and friends thoroughly. During the final few minutes of cooking you may be able to remove and discard the backbone.

Season with:
1/4 cup lies or reduced-calorie half-truths

Fold finished subject into mixture of persons of wholesome character. Youíll know the Ruin is complete when introduction of subject produces a bad aftertaste.

Serve garnished with Deviled Heart, p. 489.

-Excerpted from The Devilís Cookbook, 23rd edition.

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This article has been read 1347 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/07/08
Oh, TOOOOOOO clever! Very nice.
Peter Stone02/08/08
Now that is the personification of creativity!
Holly Westefeld02/08/08
Creative, indeed! Nice work.
Jan Ackerson 02/10/08
I read this earlier this week--loved it then, still love it. As a matter of fact, I think it may be my favorite for this proverb. I really loved "at this point, the mixture should be quite dense"--made me choke on my coffee. Outstanding writing.
Patty Wysong02/10/08
This one gets a blue ribbon!! Definitely an original dish. I loved the line about removing the backbone--too good!
Shelley Ledfors 02/10/08
Fabulous creative take on this topic. Great writing.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/10/08
So much truth in this fun to read format. Very clever!
Ann Renae Hair02/10/08
Wow! This is so clever. I enjoyed it's witty warning. Thanks for sharing.
Betty Castleberry02/10/08
Five stars for creativity.
I really like this one.
Beth LaBuff 02/10/08
Wow! Wonderful writing with amazing creativity! I love everything about this!
Holly Westefeld02/10/08
As I enjoyed a second-helping, I decided my favorite part was:
"Season with:
1/4 cup lies or reduced-calorie half-truths"
Dee Yoder 02/11/08
I laughed at "the mixture should be quite dense", too. This is so fresh and clever...so that's how old Satan gets us all "mixed" up! You have to have one of the most unique entries this week. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Lyn Churchyard02/11/08
Absolutely outstanding in every aspect!!!
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/11/08
Your idea for the topic wa exceedingly clever and creative, and your served it up perfectly.
Loren T. Lowery02/11/08
I really liked the way you chose the ingrediants for this recipe because 1. they are natural which is in keeping with today's "Green" life style and 2. they show keen insight in the true nature of ourselves.
Really enjoyed this, but think I'll pass on using the recipe. However, I may have to end up eating it from time to time.
Debbie Wistrom02/13/08
Wow, this would be a great read for teens, though it applies to all of us. I hope to see a placement for this creative entry. Thanks for sharing.
Sara Harricharan 02/13/08
WOW! I think you nailed something here! I love the recipe format and you make it so incredibly real with your ingredients! The ending with the excerpt note is the perfect ending and your title certainly follows through on this wonderful piece! This is a favorite of mine this week! ^_^
Rita Garcia02/13/08
A creative story that crosses all age groups! Wonderfully written! One of my favorites this week!!
Laury Hubrich 02/14/08
Wow! Too clever! Very original!
Sara Harricharan 02/14/08
Sheri Gordon02/14/08
Congratulations on your EC Karen. This is so clever, and a great illustration of the job. Great job.
James Clem 02/14/08
Wonderfully Creative - Congrats Karen!
Pam Carlson-Hetland02/14/08
Incredibly creative. Great job! Gets the proverb across very well. Congrats on your EC win. It is well deserved.
Stephanie Bullard02/14/08
VERY amusing...loved it.
william price02/14/08
Very creative Karen. Congrats on EC!!!!!!!!!
Sharlyn Guthrie02/14/08
Well done. Congratulations!
Joanne Sher 02/16/08
This, Karen, is why you are one of my VERY favorite "new Masters" - and why it is no surprise that you moved up like you did. Absolutely brilliant (and yes, I DEFINITELY laughed). Congratulations.