Ye Olde Paper: How to Roast and Stuff Macaulay Culkin


With the holidays just around the bend, we thought we'd share with you one of the more twisted and insane things to ever run in Paper: film critic Dennis Dermody's 1992 column in which he discussed how to roast and stuff Macaulay Culkin. [Disclaimer: The editors of Paper magazine in no way support or promote cooking Macaulay Culkin.]

First, you need a big pot. An over-sized roasting pan is preferable -- after all, Macaulay Culkin has grown some since Uncle Buck. Line the pan with tinfoil and add a lot of extra sides, to keep drippings in the pan. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and you're ready to have a glass of dry red wine (preferably a nice Cabaret Sauvignon) and move on to the next step.

Now, you may be asking: why Macaulay Culkin? Especially when a roast or a pork loin is simpler. Well, your friends will be green with envy when your dinner party is the talk of the town. Not to mention the thrilling criminality of the enterprise. (You'd be in a forkful of trouble if you get got caught.) As for Macaulay Culkin, you'll be doing him an enormous favor by cooking and eating him. He's cute as all get-out now, but just think of the mess he'll be when he grows up. He'll join the parade of other miserable former child stars who have in-and-out passes to the Betty Ford Clinic, beat transvestites in parked cars or rob 7-Elevens to support their heroin addiction. Or, he'll just turn into another of the fat, bitter alcoholics who periodically show up on Sally Jessy Raphael and whine interminably about their lost youth. And lately, Macaulay has been hanging out with that "Unidentified Flying Oddball" Michael Jackson. Christ only knows what to expect. So snag him, kill him, cook and eat him now, while he's still fresh and tender and unspoiled by the heartbreak and disappointments of adult life.

On to the next step: preparing and dressing him. This should be done in the bathtub where there is a lots of room to work. Using a sharp knife, make an incision under the neck all the  way down to his chest. Carefully remove the innards and place them in a double Hefty bag to later dispose of in a dumpster way on the other side of town. I suggest you use rubber gloves, because with the advent of computers, fingerprints are pretty easy to trace, and you don't want to to turn up on A Current Affair for the holidays. Now that he's nice and hollowed out, shave off his hair and eyebrows (you know how bad that could smoke up a kitchen), and carefully rinse off the tot inside and out. Children are notoriously messy creatures, and even a big star like Macaulay has been known to play in the dirt.

Now rub the inside cavity with light oil, garlic and fresh basil, sew up the incision with metal sutures and gently place him into the roasting pan as follows: stomach down, rump up. Bring his legs along his side -- bent at the knees -- and fold his arm forward in a praying position. Rub him down with oil, white and wine and fresh lemon, then generously sprinkle with ground pepper and some rosemary for flavoring. Cover the ears with tinfoil and jam a large stone (about the size of a golf ball) into his mouth so that you can easily slip an apple into his mouth after he's cooked.

O.K., he's ready to pop into the oven. Leave the heat on high for the first 20 minutes, then lower to between 300 and 350 degrees. Slow cooking at a lower temperature is preferable when you're dealing with small children. Figure on 20 minutes per pound, and baste every half hour. It's going to take some time, so go into your living room, lay back on the couch and slide your Home Alone video into the VCR while the sizzling aroma fills the house with its pungent and pleasing beauty.

As for the moral dilemma of all this -- well, aren't you a little fed up with being politically correct? Aren't you tired of living in fear that the sweater you bought might have been made of wool ripped strand by strand from some poor, screaming sheep? Or that the makeup you bought had been applied to cats strapped down in some laboratory. Is that spray deodorant you just used the proper one? (Didn't you just hear a rip in the ozone layer?) Do you lie sleepless in your bed at night worrying about seals being bashed with clubs in Alaska, the plight of the homeless, the depletion of the rain forest, and if you returned Dances with Wolves to the video store without rewinding it? Enough already. Relax. Have a politically incorrect beer and put your feet up. In several hours, your guests will be arriving for the most mouthwatering feast imaginable, and there will be laughter and sparkling conversation about how marvelous it is to eat something that is capable of dreaming.

Bon appetit!

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