Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
By Veronica Scott
Special to the Daily Record
This time of the year, my thoughts turn to big feasts and special dishes. Sadly there won’t be those big family gatherings of yesteryear due to the pandemic, but it’s still fun to think about food and fellowship — second breakfast anyone? Since I write sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal romance, I particularly love cookbooks based on recreating actual dishes or possible dishes from movies, TV shows and novels in the genre.
Here are a few to consider for this holiday season:
I’ll start with a gastronomic tour of the one and only Magic Kingdom: “The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook: From Delicious Dole Whip to Tasty Mickey Pretzels, 100 Magical Disney-Inspired Recipes (Unofficial Cookbook)” by Ashley Craft. Here’s part of the blurb: “Stroll right down the middle of Main Street, USA, journey from Adventureland to Infinity and Beyond at Pixar Pier, and explore every avenue in between to taste the flavors of the Disney Parks — all without leaving your kitchen. With “The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook” you can bring the magic of Disneyland and Walt Disney World snacks and treats right to your home. Recreate favorites like the classic Dole Whip and Mickey Pretzels to new favorites like Blue Milk from Star Wars land and Jack Jack’s Cookie Num Nums from Pixar Pier.”
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Sounds appealing to me and is especially timely right now when the original Disneyland is still closed due to COVID-19.
Know anyone who is an avid Dungeons and Dragons player? There’s a cookbook for them: “Heroes’ Feast (Dungeons & Dragons): The Official D&D Cookbook” by Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson and Michael Witwer. The book contains 80 recipes prepared by a professional chef, which will allow you to sample “… Elven Bread, Iron Rations, savory Hand Pies, and Orc Bacon, as well as hearty vegetarian, meaty, and fish mains, such as Amphail Braised Beef, Hommlet Golden Brown Roasted Turkey, Drow Mushroom Steaks, and Pan-Fried Knucklehead Trout — all which pair perfectly with a side of Otik’s famous fried spiced potatoes. There are also featured desserts and cocktails — such as Heartlands’ Rose Apple and Blackberry Pie, Trolltide Candied Apples, Evermead, Potion of Restoration, and Goodberry Blend. …”
For a different kind of gamer, there’s “The Unofficial Legend Of Zelda Cookbook: From Monstrous to Dubious to Delicious, 195 Heroic Recipes to Restore your Hearts” by Aimee Wood. The recipes include vegan and gluten free offerings and reveals the origin of various dishes in the game guides.
The Hallmark Channel is the perennial purveyor of holiday stories — many of which contain a fantasy or magical element — and never fear, there’s a cookbook for this as well. “Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas: Have a Very Merry Movie Holiday” by Caroline McKenzie sets forth 45 recipes, photos and behind the scenes accounts of the moviemaking for a variety of the classic films, with contributions from actors, actresses, crew members and craftspeople as well. The participants share personal holiday recipes, ideas on gift giving and more. I want to try Lacey Chabert’s sweet potato pie myself.
One of my personal favorite sci-fi trilogies are the “Back to the Future” movies. “Back to the Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook: Over Sixty-Five Classic Hill Valley Recipes From the Past, Present, and Future” by Allison Robicelli offers notes from characters, everything from 1950s diner cuisine to the movies’ version of 2015 pizza, and even includes a few recipes from the 1885 trip into the wild West in the third movie. There are alternate ingredient suggestions, which may be quite helpful with those dishes from the 1800s, I’m guessing.
“Marvel Eat the Universe: The Official Cookbook” by Justin Warner is for comic book readers of all ages, with 60 recipes inspired by various aspects of the Marvel universe, at various skill levels. Dishes mentioned range from Green Goblin Pumpkin bombs to Hulk Smashed Potatoes.
If I ever made it to Middle Earth, I’d be an Elf — never mind I probably look more like a hobbit here on our Earth — but with “Recipes from the World of Tolkien: Inspired by the Legends” by Robert Tuesley Anderson, I could sample all the cuisines. This unofficial cookbook divides the day into six mealtimes — so maybe I’ve found the secret of that second breakfast — and uses modern ingredients, techniques and measurements. There are a lot of intriguing possibilities here, given the way the book is set up. You could mix and match and have an Elf/Hobbit/Dwarf potluck.
A shorter journey, if no less confusing, might be to the world of the Outlander novels and TV series. “Outlander Kitchen: To the New World and Back Again: The Second Official Outlander Companion Cookbook” by Theresa Carle-Sanders and Diana Gabaldon (Foreword) contains 100 recipes with this description: “… recipes herein are a mixture of authentic old-world recipes from Scottish settlers, new-world adaptations inspired by the cuisine of indigenous peoples, and humorously delicious character-inspired dishes. …” A sampling of what’s inside includes: Mrs. Figg’s flapjacks; Simon Fraser’s grits with honey, sardines on toast for Lady Joffrey, the cheerful chicken’s poulet au miel pork tenderloin with cider sauce and German fried potatoes; Tobias Quinn’s colcannon; fried plantains; cornbread and salt pork stuffing and Mistress Abernathy’s apple pandowdy. Other content includes information on preserves, condiments and cocktails.
I liked the idea of this next cookbook, which spans quite a range of possibilities and holidays. “A Literary Holiday Cookbook: Festive Meals for the Snow Queen, Gandalf, Sherlock, Scrooge, and Book Lovers Everywhere” by Alison Walsh includes 17 full four-course holiday meals from 25 classic books — each including an appetizer, entrée, side dish, and dessert. A sampling of dishes includes Mouse King cheese bites and sugar plums from “The Nutcracker” for Christmas and deviled raven eggs, coffin pizza pockets from Edgar Allen Poe and The Queen of Hearts tomato tart.
I couldn’t leave out this offering from late 2019: “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook” by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak features 70 recipes, organized around the journey of a famous futuristic gourmand, Strono Cookie Tuggs, through the Star Wars galaxy. Dishes include “… delectable delicacies such as braised shaak roast, Nerf kebabs, Mustafarian lava buns, Huttese slime pods, and spicy Mandalorian stew, to name a few.
Unfortunately for the next program’s avid fans, the “Supernatural” TV show is concluding its run after 15 years, but the food will always be with us in “Supernatural: The Official Cookbook: Burgers, Pies, and Other Bites from the Road” by Julie Tremaine. The book features “… some of the brothers’ favorite dishes, such as Dean’s breakfast pigs ‘n a poke, cheeseburger and fries, angel food cake, Sam’s salads — and, of course, pie.” There are other recipes inspired by the program and its characters as well.
We mustn’t forget the liquid refreshments and for that I’ll turn to “The Geeky Bartender Drinks: Real-Life Recipes for Fantasy Cocktails (Geeky Chef)” by Cassandra Reeder. The collection promises “… this leveled-up cocktail book will soon have you unlocking achievements behind the bar, no matter if you’re mixing drinks for yourself, a friend, or even a viewing party. And for all you nondrinkers, don’t fret: This book has a nonalcoholic chapter along with plenty of imaginative tricks for making drinks alcohol-free. So, if you love ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Legend of Zelda,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Final Fantasy,’ ‘Star Wars,’ or any other inspiring work of nerd content, get ready to restore your mana.” It’s thirsty work but someone has to do it.
I’ll conclude with a 2018 offering, “The Geek’s Cookbook: Easy Recipes Inspired by Pokémon, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and More” by French chef Liguori Lecomte. Not that those of us who love sci-fi, fantasy, games, comics and the like are necessarily geeks but it’s fun to cook and eat dishes inspired by pursuits we love. The book offers 30 recipes including delights such as “… the supreme taste of the Matrix Burger or the Sauron Tarts, succumb to the Dagobah Marsh in herb crust or the Karadoc Crunch. Top it all off with some Minecraft cookies or meringue Pokéball. …”
What more could we need for a holiday feast and some binge watching than the smorgasbord offered by these 11 books? Happy Holidays!
USA Today bestselling author Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library at its heart. Her father loved science-fiction, her mother loved ancient history and Scott thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories. Seven-time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Scott is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances. One of her favorite achievements is that she read the part of “Star Trek Crew Member” in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s, “The City On the Edge of Forever.” For more information, visit her blog at veronicascott.wordpress.com or find her on social media such as Twitter, @vscottheauthor, or Facebook, @VeronicaScottAuthor.