Hearts On Stakes – a recipe

“Would you kindly hand me a large hunk of meat which has been, for no apparently logical reason, impaled upon a mid-sized stick?”

-your humble narrator, at every Renaissance Faire

(Note: For those of you who guess, quite correctly, that Mr. Chris Stivers has, in fact, pictured the Apple of Discord on a stick, I’ll say: (a) I managed to commission two brilliant Apples of Discord, but did not have time to test my second, rather ambitious recipes; (b) hearts look surprisingly like apples, if you’ve ever had the chance to eat one of sufficient size, and (c) for some reason, some people thought an actual cardiovascular organ on a stick might not necessarily increase the appetite of each and every reader. And if one isn’t going to use the aforementioned heart, then what better than the similar-looking fruit which is, in some senses, even truer to the idea? –for is not the Apple of Discord truly the heart’s desire of even the Gods?)

We Villainpunks would never, ever steal ideas from Renaissance Faires…just like Renaissance Faires would never, ever do completely inauthentic things and then claim, with a straight face, that they’re traditional for their time period.  None of that stuff ever happens.  All of us are Very Serious Students Of History.

This is a recipe I like and use, but if you want a simple but truly gourmet approach, seek out the recipe in the Charles Addams Half-Baked Cookbook. Aside from excellent recipes and charmingly dark humor, you should see what the man does to oysters. Unless you’re an oyster, in which case, stay away.

Yield: 8-10

Skill Level: 1

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons molasses

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

Crushed cilantro to taste (optional)

Sesame oil (if you want a bit of Korean flavor, or if you’re cooking for me)

2 lbs. “beef: hearts, cut into thin strips (other hearts could be substituted, especially if you are the Wicked Queen in “Snow White”)

32 long wooden skewers (note that many Vampirical persons prefer you avoid the term ‘stakes’)

optional: We like adding sesame oil, sesame seeds, green onion, and a bit of brown sugar, for a bit of Korean barbecue effect.


In a large re-sealable bag, combine the soy sauce, olive oil, water, molasses, mustard powder, ginger, garlic powder and onion powder. Seal and shake the bag to mix together.

Carefully open the bag, insert heart strips, and re-seal. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours to marinate.

Soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven’s broiler and/or stoke your Dragon with plenty of coal.

(Can also be cooked over an open flame, like marshmallows. In fact, in dim light, hearts MIGHT be mistaken for marshmallows. Not that we’re saying you should try this at your next Halloween party. We’re just saying, if you come to OUR Halloween party, be forewarned.

But we’re sure you won’t use that knowledge for evil….right?)

Stab meat viciously but neatly onto skewers and place on a broiling rack. Broil the hearts to taste; we like ours just a little rare, which is probably no surprise. Arrange on a platter to serve.



“It’s a little-known fact, but Unicorns are something like 20% paint, and their horns are stolen exclusively from endangered species.”
― Jeff Mach, There and Never, Ever Back Again

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Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.