Who invited all the zombies? There's Farrah Fawcett noshing on sausage and peppers supreme, Patrick Swayze munching chicken pot pie, Joan Crawford demanding you try her poached salmon, and ew! Madeline Kahn serving her famous foot cookies.
Is it a nightmare? No, it's Frank DeCaro's new masterpiece, The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. You know ... Frank DeCaro, the one who did those campy film reviews on The Daily Show? Yes! Him. Who knows dead celebrities better than a film reviewer?
DeCaro has conjured up 145 famous dead souls and their recipes for your next Halloween party -- or Oscars party, since there's a whole chapter devoted to honorees. You may like the simple, retro-style recipes, but my favorite part of this book is the table of contents.
The recipes are all arranged by theme: "Sitcom Moms Really Cook" (with Donna Reed's bisque tortoni) and "A Gay Bash" (with Truman Capote's fettuccine and Andy Warhol's stuffed cabbage), just to name a few. (Hmm, I wonder why he put Rock Hudson's cannoli in the "Hungry Men Dinners" chapter instead of in "A Gay Bash"?) There's an entire chapter devoted to "I Lunch Lucy" -- with Lucy's Chinese-y Thing, whatever that is. Can you hear the seance now? Luuuuucy, you've got some 'splaining to do -- starting with this Chinese recipe! Knock twice if it calls for water chestnuts.
As far as I'm concerned, the sickest one in here is fatally anorexic Karen Carpenter's chewy pie. Oh Frank, didja have to? It's a loving tribute, actually, but the saltine-based recipe is maybe better off buried in the grave.
A better bet is Dean Martin's burger and bourbon recipe, from the "A Ring-a-Ding-Ding Rat Pack BBQ" chapter. It's exactly what you're capable of whipping up after a weeklong bender in Vegas, baby:
1 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bourbon, chilled
Preheat a heavy skillet and sprinkle it with salt. Shape beef, handling as little as possible, into 4 patties. Cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Pour 2 ounces of bourbon in each of 4 shot glasses. Drink with burgers.
Now repeat after me: "If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt." Serve with Sammy Davis Jr.'s salad and Frank Sinatra's barbecued lamb.
Which dead celebrities would you want at your Halloween dinner party?
Image via The Dead Celebrity Cookbook