It’s Halloween season, and for many of us of a certain age, there is one movie that captures the very essence of this season better than any other; the modern classic Hocus Pocus. And what do we love more than a good movie binge? Why, a cookbook that goes along with the movie to create your own full immersive experience at home!
Enter “The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook”. This cookbook is authored by Bridget Thoreson, whose other works include “XOXO: A Cocktail Book”; and consulting for “Are You My Wine?” and is clearly written by someone with a deep love for the film.
I would like to thank Pacific & Court, Bridget Thoreson, and Ulysses Press for sending me a copy of this cookbook for review.
The recipes in this book are loosely organized and seem to focus more on the macabre naming of the recipe as opposed to what the recipe is actually for. The first three sections are thematic in nature; fall favorites, “townspeople” curated food, and “macabre” named items (which were my favorites). The last three sections are for alcoholic beverages, nonalcoholic beverages, and miscellaneous items that you might need to go with previously mentioned dishes. It’s great if you’re planning a menu, but gets confusing if you’re looking for something for dinner.
You can’t really review a cookbook without doing some actual cooking; so that is what I did. I picked four recipes from the various sections to test. All were super quick and easy to put together. They were also easy to modify based on what was available at the store.
First up, we had the Bones of 100 Chickens, which is a take on wings. I made it using the pre-cooked wings from Publix because I was tired. These got rave reviews from both my partner and myself; a great flavorful spicy as opposed to a heat spicy. Just make sure you check your spice blends for salt before you add more to the mix.
Next, I made a big batch of the Cinnamon Pecan Syrup. I’m a Yooper living in the South… I love my maple and I love my pecans. This was delicious as is. Wonderful on pancakes, waffles, and the lot. But as a coffee syrup? To die for.
Moving on to the weakest of the lot, A Spell For Flayed And Crispy Breast of Chicken. This tasted a lot better than it looked; my oven did not want to toast this bad boy up. I’d make it again, but probably pan-fry to get it to the golden perfection it deserves.
Lastly, I had to try breakfast and I made A Little Child… On Toast, which wins the best recipe name in my opinion. You can’t go wrong with a classic egg toast like this. Would probably also be delicious with some of the leftover wings from above after a night out.
The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook is a loving tribute to the world the Sanderson Sisters stepped into when they were awoken in modern-day Salem in the mid-90s. These recipes are a fun way to create a mini-immersive experience while you have the movie on a constant loop for Halloween or any time of year; It is always Hocus Pocus season, after all.