Friday, October 30, 2009

The Vampire's Guide to Good Cooking

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM

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A vampire doctor is central to the plot of Twilight and now life is imitating art as Dr. C.W. Smith-Burton offers the self-published The Vampire's Guide to Good Cooking. The chiropractor/erotica author released her recipe collection in September 2008 and at first glance it would seem to fit right into the current vampire craze.

The cover depicts an uncorked bottle and a chalice filled to the rim with a vibrant, red substance that could be blood or wine, hinting at a ghoulish or macabre effort inside. However, those preconceptions are thrown aside by the introduction, which suggests that you might have to rethink vampires and what they cook:

Forget all the suppositions surrounding vampires. They have a choice. Many choose to imbibe the richness of classical cuisine rather than the blood meal. Many are day walkers. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and when you're immortal the most natural way to eradicate bacteria is ingest the natural. Unless of course you're a vampire doctor.
After the introduction, the book moves into a collection of 47 recipes, most of which come with suggested wines. It reads like a conventional cookbook with small asides and homespun advice. It's most successful when Smith-Burton is talking about her family, such as in an advisory to remove the giblets from turkey unless you want to have a beautiful centerpiece on Thanksgiving.

The most interesting recipes are likely the most hearty:

shrimp creole, jambalaya and oxtail soup. Where Smith-Burton seems to

fall down is when she turns to instant ingredients or dishes that might

have been best left on the kitchen table, such as the suggestion of

Pouches' Pancakes -- pancake mix and red and yellow food coloring -- paired with mimosas.

The tone of the recipes is casual, the way you might tell a friend. It kind of makes me wish it was written in the same style as the introduction. Who doesn't want to know more about what day walkers think about Dice's American Lasagna?

It turns out that vampires are merely seeking what most of want to eat

-- comfort food.

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