Published in 1981, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cookbook features 121 bright pages of simple recipes meant “for the young, and for the young in heart,” plus a handy cooking terms section and index.
Don’t go envisioning Judy Garland now, friends. This book explores the far more complex Oz of literature.
Author Monica Bayley explains in a foreword that her recipes are suggested by a formula of regional associations, references in the story text, and dominant food color matchups with Oz locations such as the yellow brick road, the Emerald City and the lands of Quadlings, Winkies, Gillikins and Munchkins.
Of course, we all remember that Munchkinland is blue and Quadlingland is red, right?
Yeah, me neither. But never fear… there’s a handy map at to guide you through the struggle of blueberries vs. tomatoes.
As well as Kansas recipe standards such as Aunt Em’s Chicken & Dumplings, Uncle Henry’s Short Ribs and Toto’s Almond Bark (get it?), we find the Wonderful Winkie Omlet, the Winged Monkey Banana Sauté (!) and a recipe for an 8 full ounces of Liquid Courage. (I’ll be keeping that one on hand for when I attempt my taxes…)
Although this book seemed terribly exotic and worldly when I found it at my local library as a child, all the recipes are very simple Midwestern American fare… it’s all just renamed and reorganized.
What makes this book special are the whimsical engraving-style illustrations by W.W. Denslow and the accompanying pull-quotes from L. Frank Baum’s richly visioned stories.
“Before them was a great stretch of country having a floor as smooth and shining and white as the bottom of a big platter. Scattered around were many houses made entirely of china and painted in the brightest colors.”
China Princess Pecan Brittle (Makes One Batch) 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup water
1 cup broken pecan meats
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon soda
- Put sugar, syrup, cream of tartar and water into deep, heavy saucepan and boil until candy thermometer registers 250°F (hard-ball stage).
- Add pecans and boil until thermometer registers 300°F (hard-crack stage).
- Add butter, remove from heat, add soda and stir vigorously.
- Pour onto buttered platter and spread thin.
- When cold, cut or break into pieces.