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How to Cook Children: A Grisly Recipe Book for Gruesome Witches    by Martin Howard & Colin Stimpson order for
How to Cook Children
by Martin Howard
Order:  USA  Can
Pavilion, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

While some readers will find this book quite hilarious and amusing, there are others who will react in exactly the opposite manner. As the title suggests, this is a tongue in cheek cookbook which contains the recipes of some of the world's top witch chefs.

'If there's any greater happiness than smelling a small child gently simmering in the pot then I'm sure I don't know what it is, unless of course it's the sound of the oven door clanging shut on another one of the nasty little creatures,' writes the book's editor, Esmelia Sniff.

Having traveled the world on her broom and motorbike, Esmelia has visited her kind in their kitchens and collected the best of their recipes for preparing juicy, succulent children.

'I've been eating children for sixty years now and the whiff of roasting youngster with just a squeeze of fresh weasel and a little grated Rosemary do make me drool all down the front of me dress,' the old crone tells us. She continues by sharing that a fancy French dish like Enfant aux Escargot et Grenouilles garnished with slippery frogs and crunchy snails is enough to make her wee in her drawers! Oh dear! This isn't someone you'd want to look after the kiddies is it?

Ok, I think you get the idea about what follows in this book. The recipes range from Hagboogers with Lumpy Sauce and French Guys (contributed by Barfa Stew-Wart) and Seared Tina in Boy Sauce on a Bed of Fragrant Lice (one of Dishonourable Lady Soo-Shi's favorites) to Maman Bumbumbaya's Cajun Cherub Gumbo and Baked Alaskan which features a yummy penguin and walrus sauce and fresh snow garnish.

Each recipe is well illustrated with some delightfully macabre pictures and, of course, there are detailed instructions on ingredients and how to prepare each exotic dish.

'In the meantime, get your wriggling bag of swamp creatures. Take off all the bits that look nasty to eat wings, claws, heads, whiskers, teeth, and all that. These are the bits you'll be wanting. The rest you can throw out or feed to the alligators. Make a separate pile of eyeballs.'

Also, don't miss the three pages of classified ads at the back of the book advertising the Hag super oven manufactured by Hansel and Gretel Industries, the Doodoo Lounge ('Risen from the grave and feeling peckish?') and the Tweaking of the Bulls Fiesta ('Eat, drink and vomit 'til dawn to the sounds of Diego Lambada and the TipstyQueens.')

Admittedly this culinary guide would only be appropriate for older youngsters (at least nine and up) and adults with a warped sense of humor. Also, the theme of this book is not really original. Another, much more famous author, Jonathan Swift, addressed this topic quite a while ago and raised an uproar with his essay entitled A Modest Proposal.

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