One of my brothers found this, um, cookbook, at WindyCon last weekend and showed it to me. It’s wonderful, but the dealer was out of copies by the time I made it to his table – which is no problem, of course, since Amazon is always willing to ship. So here’s my copy, which arrived yesterday:
It’s a cookbook, obviously. Why else with the “nomnomnom” thing, right? It’s good looking on the inside too, all manuscript-colored with cursive footnotes in blood-red ink.
Some of the recipes are almost sorta kinda written in the regular way, but some are, ah, customized to fit the theme. Let me give you one recipe. Ordinarily I customize all recipes, but I’m not sure I would dare to mess with this one, which I’ll therefore give you verbatim:
Deep-Fried Deep One
Offerings to Vengeance
1 large egg of the fowl of the wood, as Sadogui doth favor
1 Tbsp of the best offering to be found in the Maze of N’yo
(Use the Eye of Azoth; it is dangerous to go in body! The Hunter will abide this small trespass. We know.)
1 tsp seasoning from the Old Bay of Elders
¼ tsp salt of the Sea
1 Tbsp finely chopped Herb of Mysterious Purpose
1 lb lump crabmeat, ritually cleansed and purified
½ lb fresh pink-fleshed fish of the river and sea
1 ½ Tbsp unseasoned crumbs of bread, more if needed
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, to ease the transition
Wedges of the Citrus in Yellow are always welcomed
Visitation of Wrath
Make ready an altar of flat metal, line this with the alchemical foil.
In a commodious vessel, join forcibly the egg, mayonnaise, spice of the Bay of Elders, salt, and parsley. Take the flesh of the sea dwellers, mingle them blasphemously in the eyes of their Sleeping Lord. Fold all this now together, with care that flesh can still be recognized. When this is done, raise the bowl high, twice, then sprinkle with crumbs. Lower the bowl to the Earth that the One Below may see what has been done in his name!
Shape in the old way, into eight disks, and place upon the prepared altar. Cast them into the darkness and cold for one twelfth of one of your numbered days. Heat the salve of transition in the proper implement and exult as the disks sizzle and brown! Brown them as the sun would the husks of our briny foe, turning them and cooking them on each side for 4 minutes. The are delicate – have care if you wish the center to hold!
Remember the Mongol and the Turk when they came to aid us in Averoigne. We remember our allies, and we shall serve together again!
Okay, is that clever or what? “Maze of N’yo” was clear after a second, but if the written recipe hadn’t translated Herb of Mysterious Purpose” as parsley, I would have had to guess. On the other hand, I would have guessed parsley. Plus after the fact, hello, parsley is often included for no obvious reason, in recipes or as a little sprig on the plate so “mysterious purpose,” sure. The author tried hard with the salmon, right? He never said “salmon,” but “pink-fleshed” is pretty clear and there aren’t many fish that spend time in both the rivers and the sea. He doesn’t say to poach it first or whatever, so I suppose you’re supposed to use raw salmon? It gets cooked in the patties, after all. I must admit I might use canned.
Also, these patties are not actually deep fried, as far as I can tell; they’re just pan fried. I guess “deep fried” is just a play on “deep ones.”
Still, no matter how you handle this recipe, it sounds pretty good. I think I’ll try it. I’ll even lift the bowl high twice and lower it to Earth once. Wouldn’t want the One Below to miss what has been done in his name.
Let me quote some recipe titles for you . . . let me see . . . okay: Sacrificial Lamb. Pallid Bisque, I like that one. Tsathogguambalaja – which includes the instruction, “1/4 lb tuna or any unwary finned sea denizen; rend this offering to chunks.” Really puts one in the mood for a cozy supper. Here’s a recipe for “The Fate of the Elder Ones” that I believe uses star fruit. Without the drawings, I would be less certain. Ha ha ha, here’s The Cake in Yellow! That’s great, even though all I know about the King in Yellow is that there’s some sort of influential story by that name or something.
I’m definitely going to make some things out of this book, but should I with my hundred other cookbooks or put it somewhere by itself? Not sure.
This will probably be the craziest cookbook I buy this year. However, maybe not. It turns out that if you order Necronomnomnom from Amazon, they are happy to suggest other cookbooks you might like. Like, say, this Firefly cookbook, which does sound kind of neat. I’m a lot more familiar with Firefly than Lovecraft, too . . .