Taste Scene

Michael Devlin

Some day I intend on reading it

If you had asked me last week about the person on planet Earth least likely to release a cook book, I’d never have come up with Gerry Adams. Never: The very concept was simply too outlandish.

And yet, here we are. The former Sinn Féin leader is currently writing The Negotiators’ Cookbook, which will apparently feature the recipes which sustained the SF negotiating team through the long nights of the peas process (sorry!).

Due out in time for Christmas, The Negotiators’ Cookbook will no doubt feature in a great many nationalist stockings. The funny thing to do, though, would be to buy it for Sammy Wilson adding a note saying, “Look what Santa brought.”

Can you imagine the look on Sammy’s face if he cracked open the wrapping to be faced with The Negotiators’ Cookbook? How could any of Sammy’s friends not buy this book for his Christmas? I’d say he’s expecting several copies.

I am reminded of a quote from Groucho Marx which a friend recounted to me upon the release of my own cookbook some time ago (yeah, anybody can stick out cookbooks this weather, it seems). The story goes thus: Groucho, when gifted a copy of his friend’s book later said, “From the minute I picked up your book, I couldn’t stop laughing. Some day, I intend on reading it.”

See the kind of friends I have to put up with?

Having been through the process myself (releasing a cook book) I can’t really judge anyone doing the same, even if that person if a retired politician whose voice used to be banned from the BBC – remember that?!?

Although, being in the hungry business (so to speak), I can reliably inform you that Gerry Adams is not the most unexpected writer of a cook book there ever was. Nor will The Negotiators’ Cookbook be the strangest cooking release you’ll ever hear of. Buckle up, people… this is about to get weird.

One of the most curious cookbooks I’ve ever heard of is An Unexpected Cook Book: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery by Chris-Rachael Oseland. Containing recommended recipes for ‘second breakfast’ you might say it’s down to Middle Earth cookery (sorry again!).

Then there’s Cookin’ With Coolio, The Ghetto Gourmet which I featured prior to Christmas as a potential stocking filler. If ever a book should have won the Nobel Prize for literature… Cookin’ With Coolio features 76 recipes and includes ground breaking dishes like ‘Drunk-ass Chicken’ and ‘Pimp My Shrimp’. Actually, Sammy Wilson might prefer this one.

I see Coolio is performing at a pub in Bangor later this year. If one of the  Bangor papers doesn’t run with the headline, ‘Bangsters Paradise’, I’ll be sorely disappointed.

Did you know that Dolly Parton has a cookbook out? She does. ‘Dolly’s Dixie Fixins’ was written after 5pm (obviously) when the singer finished up for the day. Amongst other firm favourites the book includes her ‘Hello Dolly Bars’, which she introduces with a story about how she once got so fat, “when I hauled ass I had to make two trips.”

Other notables to have taken the cookbook plunge include Reese Witherspoon with her ‘Whiskey in a Teacup’ (featuring a few of her grandma’s recipes and including fried chicken), Sarah Michelle Gellar’s (AKA Buffy the Vampire Slayer) ‘Stirring Up Fun With Food’ and Boy George and his aptly named ‘Karma Cookbook’. Even American singer, Kelis released ‘My Life on a Plate’ which may or may not contain a recipe for milkshakes, ideally to be consumed by boys in the yard.

But probably my favourite concept for a weird and wonderful cookbook / vital manual is ‘The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide,’ by Lauren Wilson and Kristan Bauthus. Just because the undead’s tastebuds are atrophying doesn’t mean yours have to!

Quite saliently, having the right skills for cooking when the undead are chasing your pasty face are vital. Including diagrams for scavenging and foraging this is probably a must-have for z-poc meal planning.

Is that gurgling sound you’re hearing that of the undead creeping towards your hidey-hole?
No, it’s your stomach.


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