One day before the pandemic left me stranded at home, I was standing in the gift shop for the American Museum of Folk Art, or some such place, and my attention was immediately drawn to two cookbooks on the market: THE GONE WITH THE WIND COOKBOOK and THE CASABLANCA COOKBOOK.
Unfortunately, I was with a friend who was famished for lunch, and so I had to abandon the store before I had the opportunity to scan the recipes therein. I can only imagine titles such as Tomorrow is Another Salad or Play It Again, Spam (and, yes, I know the line “Play it again, Sam” is not in Casablanca, but legend is always better than reality). What’s next I wondered — THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS COOKBOOK? No, that was, even for my bizarre sense of humor, too shocking to consider.
Still, all through lunch with my friend, I could not help but think that the fad of creating cookbooks to go with famous movies has not yet been fully explored.
In the near future, the following cookbooks are certain to go on sale:
l. THE ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE COOKBOOK — this book is certain to appeal to those persons who like to explore the ethical implications of cooking and serving foods. The dishes appear good on the outside, but are actually not wholesome on the inside. What’s served first. Who eats what? Why?
For example, “Lobster a la Mode” — At first glance, the sight of moldy apple pie garnished with juicy flakes of lobster might appear to be appetizing, but further thought will probably warn us away in favor of something more traditional.
2. THE MACHINE GUN KELLY COOKBOOK — This book features foodstuffs shot full of holes. Don’t overlook “Up Against the Wall Swiss Cheese Fondu” — a particular favorite on Valentine’s day.
3. THE WAR OF THE WORLDS COOKBOOK — or surprising things you can create with bacteria.
4. KRAMER VS. KRAMER COOKBOOK — He cooks a dish one way; she cooks it another. Lawyers are called in to decide which of the two recipes will be served. Fun for the entire family.
5. THE GODFATHER COOKBOOK — imagine the thrill your houseguests will feel when they wake up each morning with a baked horse delicately served in their bed.
6. THE HOME ALONE COOKBOOK SERIES — recipes even a twelve year old can whip up. Amazing surprises for the unwary adult eater.
7. THE E.T. COOKBOOK — In this cookbook, you have to call home to get the ingredients and the directions.
8. THE JURASSIC PARK COOKBOOK — Bring dead foods back to life.
9. THE TOWERING INFERNO COOKBOOK — Unfortunately, to properly cook anything in this book you have to set entire high-rises on fire. Hence, most of the recipes are too expensive for middle-class families.
l0. THE JOHN WAYNE COOKBOOK — Everything you ever wanted to know about cooking true grits…
11. THE LITTLE WOMAN COOKBOOK—actually a reprint of Lilliput’s favorite collection of Civil War recipes. It recommends the same recipes for larger women, merely serve smaller portions.
Anyway, now that you’ve gotten the idea, perhaps you can come up with some ideas of your own. I am, as they say, open to suggestions.
Maybe, with a burst of imagination, we can revolutionize the cookbook publishing industry and our dining habits overnight.
Louis Phillips’ recent poetry publications include The Domain of Silence, The Domain of Absence: New and Selected Poems (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2015), The Domain of Small Mercies: New & Selected Poems ], Volume 2 (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2017), How Wide the Meadow (World Audience Publishers, 2019).