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From Afar: Science fiction, fantasy and cooking

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Veronica Scott

Special to the Daily Record

This is one of my favorite posts to do every year — a selection of cookbooks based on favorite science fiction, fantasy or paranormal movies, TV shows and games. All the books mentioned are new-to-me finds or were released since I did my post a year ago, so there are a ton of new recipes waiting for you and your family.

I always like to begin with a blockbuster, so here is the “Star Wars: Galactic Baking: The Official Cookbook of Sweet and Savory Treats From Tatooine, Hoth and Beyond” hardcover by Insight Editions. The blurb promises in part: “Get ready to tour the galaxy with this baking cookbook inspired by the snowdrifts of Hoth, the wastelands of Tatooine, and beyond. ‘Star Wars: The Official Baking Cookbook’ is the most delicious way to experience the planets, flora and fauna of the Star Wars galaxy.”

With 30-plus recipes carrying titles such as Mustafarian Molten Lava Cakes, Cloud City Marshmallows, Life Day Cake, Loth-Cat Kibble, Keshian Spice Bread and Dagobah Bog Pie, you can cook up your own interstellar experiences based on the planets mentioned in the movies.

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The movie “Aliens” is my favorite sci-fi film, but I approached the “Alien: The Official Cookbook” by Chris-Rachael Oseland with a bit of trepidation, not sure the 50 recipes would be a good thing, given the nature of the dreaded creatures. I’m kidding! Fortunately, the description of the book’s contents is reassuring: “Delight your friends with a journey through the Xenomorph’s terrifying life cycle. ‘Alien: The Official Cookbook’ collects 50 recipes inspired by the cult Alien franchise; featuring recipes such as avocado Xenomorph eggs and chicken facehugger cordon bleu, there’s something to whet every appetite, no matter how monstrous. At last, it is your turn to be space’s greatest apex predator.”

I think I’d have to be in exactly the right mood to cook and consume dishes that has anything to do with aliens, but I give the author a lot of credit for imagination.

On the fantasy side of the kitchen, we have “The Gourmet Cuisine of Narnia: A Cookbook with Magnificent Recipes from Narnia” by Johny Bomer. Some of the dishes in this cookbook are Edmund’s Turkish Delight, Centaur’s Special Herbal Tea, Mr. Beaver’s Fried Fish, Jill’s and Eustace’s Crumble Cake and Mr. Tumnus’ Sugar Topped Cake.

Even more comprehensive is “Cooking for Wizards, Warriors and Dragons: 125 unofficial recipes inspired by ‘The Witcher,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Broken Earth’ and other fantasy favorites” by Thea James, Isabel Minunni and Tim Foley as illustrator. The description portion of the book’s blurb was quite mouthwatering: “Fortify yourself for the road with classic dishes, such as Pernese Meatrolls or Geralt’s Life Saving Chicken Sando. Embrace your dark side with King’s Landing Barbecue smoked meats a la Daenerys, channel your inner Saruman with Charred Broccoli Stalk Salad, or a Fifth Season-inspired solving the meat shortage Osso Bucco. Learn to make your own Grishaverse-inspired Butter Week Cakes or Orïshan Coconut Pie, and try your hand at a Spiritwalkerverse-inspired Lamb Tajine. Organized by different meal types and ingredients, including Breakfasts & Second Breakfasts, Soups & Stews, The Hunt, The Farm, The Catch, Snacks & Sides, and Desserts, ‘Cooking for Wizards, Warriors and Dragons’ includes recipes developed and tested by professional chef Isabel Minunni. With five bonus feast spreads, this grimoire is sure to sate hungry readers from any realm.”

Although it’s past Halloween, the movie “Hocus Pocus” has year-round fans. These will like “The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook: Bewitchingly Delicious Recipes for Fans of the Halloween Classic” by Bridget Thoreson. As a portion of the blurb shows, the recipes can be quite creative: “filled with over 60 recipes for fare inspired by everyone’s favorite witches and their spells, potions, and schemes. It is the ultimate must-have for fans of all ages — but don’t worry, no children were harmed in the test of these recipes. Inside you’ll find frightfully delicious recipes for Burning Rain of Death Punch, William’s Wormy Grave Tombstone Cake, Dead Man’s Toes Sausage Appetizers, Baked Witch Casserole, Way to Go, Virgin mocktails and much more.”

Cooking can be thirsty work, plus beverages are required to pair with the gourmet delicacies, so check out “The Unofficial Disney Parks Drink Recipe Book.” From LeFou’s Brew to the Jedi Mind Trick, 100-plus Disney-inspired drinks are described by Ashley Craft. Here are a few of the offerings to be found inside the cookbook: “coffees and teas, like frozen cappuccino from Joffrey’s and Teddy’s Tea from Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar … fruity drinks and slushies like Frozen Sunshine from Beaches and Cream and the Goofy Glacier from Goofy’s Candy Company … mocktails and cocktails like the sparkling No-Jito from the Tambu Lounge or the La Cava Avocado from Mexico in Epcot … .”

For the superhero and comic fan, there’s “Marvel Comics: Cooking with Deadpool” by Marc Sumerac. The blurb is a bit tongue-in-cheek, as is the superhero himself and promises: “Deadpool brings his inimitable style, foul-mouthed humor, and notorious skill with a blade to the kitchen in this hilarious take on a traditional cookbook, featuring classic recipes with a Deadpool spin and a whole lotta chimichangas. … Deadpool offers his take on a curated collection of epicurean classics. Narrated by the wisecracking super hero himself, this book also includes recipes inspired by some of his closest friends/enemies and his favorite meals, including chimichangas, tacos, pancakes, and hamburgers with no pickles.”

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” was a very popular show at my house so I was glad to see “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Official Cookbook” by Jenny Dorsey. The book contains 60 recipes drawn from the Earth Kingdom, Water Tribe, Air Nomads and the Fire Nation, designed to be appropriate to each area, like vegetarian dishes for the Air Nomads.

“The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Cookbook: The Essential Culinarian Guide to Hydaelyn” was written by Victoria Rosenthal and has an exclusive foreword by the game’s director. It contains more than 70 recipes ranging from “farmer’s breakfast, a very famous and simple-yet-delightful dish; savor the Knight’s Bread of Coerthas; dive into La Noscea’s Rolanberry Cheesecake …” The blurb also mentioned desserts “decadent enough for royalty.”

No matter what kind of feast you decide to serve up, wishing you a very happy holiday season!

USA Today bestselling author Veronica Scott is the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her books. She had a long career at NASA/JPL, where the Mars rovers were built, among other exciting projects. Scott is a seven-time winner of the SFR (Science-Fiction Romance) Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. 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.

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