The New Stephen King Cookbook Is as Spooky as it Sounds

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stephen king cookbook
Reprinted with support from Castle Rock Kitchen: Wicked Good Recipes from the World of Stephen King by Theresa Carle-Sanders with a foreword by Stephen King, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography by Jenny Bravo

In an eerie caller cookbook, Castle Rock Kitchen: Wicked Good Recipes from the World of Stephen King, author Theresa Carle-Sanders draws inspiration from dishes that look successful King’s stories acceptable successful fictional Maine towns.

It’s astir hard to judge that the homey recipes passim the measurement are plucked from the aforesaid pages wherein prom queens are doused successful pigs’ humor and location cats get resurrected from the dead. 

While King’s settings, specified arsenic Castle Rock, whitethorn beryllium imagined, the tone of Maine, wherever the prolific novelist was calved and raised, is not. Throughout his 55 years and counting arsenic 1 of the country’s astir salient horror, crime, and suspense novelists, he’s been peppering his works, from Carrie to Pet Sematary, with edible references to his New England childhood.

Carle-Sanders, a seasoned cookbook writer and lifelong King fan, had antecedently penned 2 volumes filled with recipes based connected Diana Gabaldon’s humanities fabrication bid Outlander: Outlander Kitchen and Outlander Kitchen 2. When she wrapped the second, she knew instantly which fictional beingness she wanted to tackle next. “You request a definite benignant of writer for a fictional cookbook. They person to beryllium precise prolific, they request to person a ample fandom, and they request to constitute nutrient into their stories,” said Carle-Sanders. Check, check, and check. 

While King’s and Gabaldon’s writings whitethorn look worlds apart, some novelists allude often to eating. Carle-Sanders shared, “People ever archer me, ‘I don’t spot the nutrient successful those books,’ and I say, ‘That’s due to the fact that you’re not looking for it.’”

Even King’s astir blood-curdling stories see thoughtful and often comforting descriptions of food—and plentifulness of inspirational fodder for Carle-Sanders. For example, a transition from Cujo (a King caller astir a slayer canine) successful which a parent and her son, trapped successful their car by the rabid St. Bernard, daydream astir ample household breakfasts, including French toast. Carle-Sanders excerpts the chilling country successful her look for “Dog Days French Toast Casserole,” topped with cranberries, maple syrup, and walnut streusel.

crab canapes stephen king maine cookbook
Reprinted with support from Castle Rock Kitchen: Wicked Good Recipes from the World of Stephen King by Theresa Carle-Sanders with a foreword by Stephen King, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography by Jenny Bravo

Carle-Sanders reimagines nutrient from specified dreary settings arsenic caller and mouth-watering dishes grounded successful New England flavors. The oatmeal from Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, a communicative acceptable successful a bleak situation yard, appears successful Carle-Sanders’ cookbook arsenic a cozy greeting porridge featuring blueberries, maple syrup, and creamy coconut milk. She besides plucks a repast from the pages of The Body (known to galore for its 1986 movie adaptation, Stand By Me) called “Pioneer Drumsticks”—essentially, burger nutrient connected a instrumentality that the protagonists roasted and wolfed down contempt it inactive being earthy inside—and recreates the crockery arsenic generously seasoned (and afloat cooked) seekh kebabs. 

For Carle-Sanders, the process begins, unsurprisingly, with a lot of reading. “I started from the opening [chronologically], speechmaking connected a Kindle, and arsenic I went through, I highlighted each the mentions of food,” explained Carle-Sanders of however she worked her mode done King’s 65 novels. Later, she narrowed her absorption to stories acceptable successful Maine, organized the dishes by course, past started to mold the array of contents.

During the probe and look improvement stages, Carle-Sanders relied connected a scope of sources: Maine cookbooks, aged paper look columns, and King’s ain meals increasing up. 

“He gave maine 20 minutes connected the phone, which was precise generous,” said Carle-Sanders. During that call, King shared his past with nutrient and the quintessential Maine dishes that his parent would hole for him and his brother.

One, for example, was mediocre man’s soup, which King’s parent made utilizing two-day-old lobster. Back then, Carle-Sanders explained, lobster was 19 cents a pound; if a impermanent came implicit to the house, King’s parent would fell the cookware wrong the oven, arsenic lobster was considered “poor food.” She would fto the lobster simmer for days and usage the nutrient to hole lobster rolls, oregon sometimes adhd pick to marque crockery retired of the broth. In Castle Rock Kitchen, Carle-Sanders’ mentation is enriched with butter, cream, and adust sherry to marque what she describes arsenic “a beauteous lobster stew.”

The New Stephen King Cookbook Is arsenic  Spooky arsenic  it Sounds
Reprinted with support from Castle Rock Kitchen: Wicked Good Recipes from the World of Stephen King by Theresa Carle-Sanders with a foreword by Stephen King, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography by Jenny Bravo

While Maine whitethorn bring lobster and clams to galore people’s minds, the cuisine of King’s location state, arsenic Carle-Sanders discovered, is rich, varied, and decidedly comforting. As King wrote successful the book’s foreword, “When I deliberation of Maine cuisine, I deliberation of reddish blistery dogs successful spongy Nissen rolls, slow-baked beans (with a large chunk of pork abdominous thrown in), steamed caller peas with bacon, whoopie pies, positive macaroni and food (often with lobster bits, if determination were near over).”

By the clip the publication was finished, Carle-Sanders’ ain pantry looked similar that of a born-and-bred Mainer, teeming with staples similar Allen’s Coffee Brandy, the state’s astir fashionable liquor, and Bakewell Cream, a rising cause invented successful Maine. If you navigator your mode done Castle Rock Kitchen, these mainstays, outlined successful the cookbook’s “Pantry Notes” section, volition apt go fixtures of your kitchen, too.

Food tends to play a supporting but important relation successful fiction. “When radical are gathered astir the table, emotions emergence and stories get told,” said Carle-Sanders. A full spectrum of quality sentiment appears successful the thrilling excerpts passim Castle Rock Kitchen—followed, of course, by delicious and wholesome recipes that transport you to Maine. In King’s ain words, “We similar to spot you up present successful Vacationland, ever gladsome to hole you up with each the crabmeat crockery and lobster rolls you tin devour (extra points if you inquire for lobstah), but if you can’t come, you tin ever browse the recipes successful this book.”

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