Sharp Monica

An honest voice in Italian paradise.

The Oligarch’s Cookbook: Michael Cohen Meringue

Just after Michael Cohen was sentenced, a funny thought occurred to me. What makes people like this? What ingredients go into a person that over the years become… Michael Cohen? I read a lot of U.S. news here, in Italy. I am not immune. I keep up. All those facts, all that information, had to find an outlet somehow.

Then I kept wondering. We had a whole slew of people on our global stage in the endless news cycle who really seem like good recipes gone bad. UK. Italy. Hungary. It’s rally an international buffet at the moment.

Those of you who know me know my mantra: art and lit will save us. My doldrums found an amused outlet, and the idea kept expanding until it became:

The Oligarch’s Cookbook


  1. Appetizers
  2. Executive
  3. Nepotic
  4. Legal
  5. Congressional
  6. Dessert

Well, why not begin with dessert, since it’s all so unhealthy and in general, poorly executed. There is so much more where this came from. The source material is virtually unlimited. I initially had a grand idea to query it to a publisher in time for the 2019 holidays, but I’ll share the best bits here, because we could all use a little humor these days. I had really hoped to get my Boris Johnson recipe to The Guardian in time for his coronation … sigh. Wait, they have a queen.

Michael Cohen Meringue


½ c. foresight 

½ c. hubris

5 c. stupidity

1 T. craving

1 T. obsequiousness

1 c. ethics

1 c. morals

1 ripe Personal Beauty (preserved)

For the Simple Greed Syrup:

Bad grades


Separate the foresight from the stupidity. Combine the hubris and stupidity in a shallow bowl. Discard the foresight. Beat vigorously until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Fold in the craving and obsequiousness; beat again. Set to one side.

Crush the ethics and morals with a large rolling pin; you may or may not elect to place them in a large plastic Ziploc bag. If you wish them to scatter everywhere, do not use a bag. Should you hold out hope that they might one day be recombined to form a coherent whole, use the large bag. Ensure that the Ziploc tracks seal tighter than a flipped witness’s lips or some of those morals and ethics might spill out and contaminate the rest of your godforsaken kitchen.

Pat the ethics and morals into a tin ear, combining them with melted Reality. Do not permit the Reality to separate. It will eventually cohere with the ethics and morals to form a solid crust.

Gently fold the hubris and stupidity into the ethics, morals, and reality. Swirl the spatula over the top of the pale mixture to form an appealing whirl that will hopefully recall the recently photographed black hole to diners over their dessert.

Make a Simple Greed Syrup of equal parts bad grades and overreach. Stir until the overreach is dissolved. Bring the syrup to a boil and put it to the side to cool.

Place on an Otisville grille at 50F for 3 years. Drizzle periodically with Simple Syrup of greed, bad grades, and overreach. It will probably be too bitter to eat when it’s done, but serve it anyway. 

Top the pie with the preserved Personal Beauty. Guests will remember how attractive a fluffy, vapid meringue can be when properly executed.

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