Thursday, September 3, 2009

Haunted Book Review Thursday

The Dracula Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Homeland of Count Dracula
Marina Polvay, author
Ms. M bought me this years ago and I have yet to cook anything from it, which is a pity in itself because there's lots of decidingly different and wonderful recipes in this book.  Despite the uber-cheesy Count on the cover, Ms. Polvay shares some sophisticated and ingenious tablescape ideas a (alas, no pictures though) that are clearly for grownups and are exceedingly elegant and unique:

"Cover the table with a cloth of jet black velvet.  Add red velvet napkins, with a centerpiece of thorn apple--otherwise known to witches as Devil's Apple--set off by snapdragons and Venus Flytraps. Use ornate white porcelain platters  trimmed with lots of green  or revert to that old standby, baroque silver."
There's some recipes in here that I have doubts are indeed Transylvanian (crawfish etouffee for one) but if you knock back a couple of Beelzebub's Tails (1 oz vodka, 1 oz cranberry liqueur, 2 oz cranberry juice, 4 to 6 oz club soda.  Half fill a glass with ice cubes.  Pour vodka, liqueur, juice over the ice and top with club soda, stir and serve), you won't care!
This book, despite the cover, is sophisticated, fun and a must for those wanting to truly dazzle guests with a formal Hallowe'en dinner.  There's no witch's fingers with almond nails, no vomit dip, no eyeball appetizers and don't get me wrong, I can make Kitty Litter Buried Treasure like the best of them, but there's some times that you might want something special and 'grown up'.  This book's for you.  With dinner party ideas and menus, folklore and table decor, you can't go wrong.
If you cook or it.
Halloween Recipes & Crafts
Christine Lyseng Savage, Rosa Poulin, Tamara Eder, authors
 Remember this guy?  Yep, the Count had some bills to pay and sold his image to another book for royalties.  Bad Count, bad!  First of all, I personally FROWN upon copying the front of another book, there ARE nerds like me out there that WILL find it (don't go to the movies with me either, I find every continuity flaw there is in a movie).  The Dracula Cookbook was last published in 2000 and Halloween Recipes and Crafts was in 2003 so the latter should have had a ghost or something on the front instead.
But I have digressed, the nerd in me took over, sorry.
I just flipped through the book...again.  This is a children's party and recipe book.  You won't be interested.  The crafts are simplistic.  You know all this already.  However, there is one good idea in there that I have actually done before with good results:  Wax dripped candelabra.   Simply melt some wax over a double boiler slowly and just when it's melted, gently spoon wax over a candleabra. building up wax drips.  Looks cool.
Now you don't have to buy this book, I told you all the best thing in it.


Ghoul Friday said...


Nice catch on the double covers.

I just bought Martha Stewart's Halloween issue. Haven't had time to look at it, but from my first glance it appears Martha and her team didn't come up with any new ideas.

I bought it anyway, in case I missed SOMETHING new in the flip through.

Belle Dee said...

I really want that Dracula cookbook. It's on my list of things to get.