It may not be super obvious to my readers, because I don’t think that I have obsessed much about it on my blog, but I am very intrigued by the whole concept of zombies and the zombie apocalypse. Despite the fact that I am a huge weenie who has (quite weird) zombie nightmares as a result of this, I love zombie books and tv shows. They kind of terrify me, but the whole concept is fascinating! How would the zombie apocalypse start? Would I survive? HOW would I survive? Would there be a cure? How would the world be forever changed?
Now is an interesting time to be a zombie fan! In addition to some new zombie shows (ZNation on SyFy and iZombie starting soon on CW) and The Walking Dead recently started back from its mid-season hiatus, The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse is having another blog tour.
Those of you that have been reading this blog for a while now may remember I wrote about this book back in October. For those of you that are new, let me introduce you to this book. The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse is “a cookbook and culinary survival guide” (that is actually the book’s subtitle) for the zombie apocalypse. It was written by a zombie enthusiast named Lauren Wilson, who is also a professional cook and writer. It starts with things you would need to know at the beginning of the apocalypse (or beforehand, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on this book before the zpoc goes down!) – such as putting together a bug-out bag and stocking up on long-term survival needs – and walks the reader through how to handle the different stages of zombie apocalypse survival/eating. For example, the first few days after the initial outbreak, you (a typical household anyway) would have things in the fridge/freezer that would still be good. Step one would be to craft meals – recipes are provided in this book, of course – around the food that would spoil soon. Step two would be to eat less perishable items in your cupboard – things that are going to go bad, just not as quickly as the items in your fridge. After that would come urban foraging (i.e.: looking through your neighbors houses, stores, etc), growing food, living off the land, etc, etc. It’s the go-to book for zombie survival.
One thing I love about this book, that really makes it stand out from other cookbooks (for me, at least), is that the “zombie” theme is more than just a gimmick. There are things that – while they are explained how to accomplish- they are encouraged to not try until you are actually in a survival situation, due to the impact on the ecosystem. One example is the eating of colony insects, such as ants. While edible, it can destroy the colony, and isn’t something that should be done for a lark. Another thing is that this is the only cookbook I have ever seen that has emphasized the need for eating fats the way that this book does.
This, for example, is a “normal” food pyramid:
This, on the other hand, is The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse food pyramid:
Notice a difference? Of course you do! But it’s the zombie apocalypse! You have to eat as many calories as you can, whenever you can, because you don’t know how long it will be before you can get more!
Speaking of calories, here is a lovely dish from the “eat out of your cupboard” stage of zombie survival! As an added bonus, you can place the base (white part) of the scallion in water and just snip what you need from the green part. The scallion will then continue to grow and you will have more to eat once it does.
Guerrilla Scallion Pancakes
Yields: 1 Hungry Survivor serving, 2 Regular Joe servings
Flour + hot water + fat + scallions = a no-brainer for the holed-up survivor. If you’ve managed to get some scallions going as part of your Guerrilla Gardening (page 60) efforts, then you really must make these simple but oh-so-tasty snacks.
While the ingredients are few and simple, there are a couple of tricks that will help these pancakes turn out just right. First, they rely on a hot-water dough for their characteristic tug and chew, so be sure to use boiling water. Second, their lovely airy and crisp texture is achieved by creating layers of dough and fat, which is achieved by rolling them up tightly like a cigar, twisting the roll into a spiral, then rolling the dough out a second time. And lastly, the cooking temperature is key—too hot and they will be burned and blistered, too cold and they get oily and heavy. A medium-high temperature should yield light and crispy pancakes.
Chef’s or survival knife and cutting board
1 small pot
1 large heat-proof bowl
Wooden spoon or other cooking utensil
Cast-iron skillet or other frying pan
Pastry brush or fingers
Direct, open flame or other Stovetop Hack (page 42)
35 minutes prep
30 minutes cooking time
1 c. boiling water
2 c. all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
¼ c. oil, preferably sesame but canola or olive also work
1 ½ c. sliced scallions
- Set up a cooking fire or other Stovetop Hack and bring the water to a boil in a small pot. In the meantime, measure the flour and add to a large heat-proof mixing bowl along with a pinch of salt.
- Add most (about ¾ c.) of the boiling water to the flour and mix until it comes together in a ball. After mixing, if it is still too dry to hold together, add the rest of the water in small increments until it does.
- Transfer the ball to a floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes (be careful, it will be quite hot at first) until it is nice and smooth. Coat the ball in a thin layer of oil, put it back in the bowl, and let it rest for half an hour (or longer).
- Cut the ball into quarters, then roll each quarter in your hands lightly to form a ball. Working on one pancake at a time, roll the ball out until it is about .-inch thick. Apply a thin layer of oil to the dough, sprinkle with about a quarter of your scallions and a pinch of salt, then roll it up tightly like a cigar (or a jelly roll). Twist the roll into a spiral and roll it out again until nice and thin, being careful not to go too thin and have the scallions pierce the dough. Repeat the same process with the other balls of dough.
- Add enough oil to a pan to create a very thin uniform layer at the bottom, then preheat the pan over a medium-high heat. When hot (the oil will be shimmering, but not smoking), gently drop the pancake in. Shake the pan every now and again and gently flip the pancake using tongs when the underside is nicely browned—about 2 minutes. Cook the second side until browned and crispy, another 1–2 minutes. If you have access to paper towels, you can set the cooked pancakes onto a plate lined with them. Repeat with the other pancakes. Serve immediately.
A Note on Serving: Enjoy these crunchy, chewy delights with a dipping sauce made from ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh (or 1 tsp. powdered) ginger, and a touch of honey or sugar.
Now, in honor of this amazing book and its blog tour, I have a surprise for you! The lovely people at BenBellaBooks have allowed me to giveaway one copy of The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse to a lucky reader who lives in the USA or Canada. In order to enter into the drawing for it, simply leave a comment below. To keep it in the spirit of the book, tell us what food you would miss the most living in the zombie apocalypse. For me, it would probably be mac & cheese!