Conveniently in time for Halloween, the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop — this is an actual shop in London — has come out with “The Monster’s Cookbook,” with 70 “everyday recipes for the living, dead and undead.” Yes, this is as cute as you’d think it would be. It’s a little cookbook filled with recipes for things such as Werewolf Biscuits, Gingerdead Men and Crunching Bone Toffee, which is made with toffee and popcorn kernels — if sourcing human bones isn’t quite in your wheelhouse.
The recipes are straightforward, albeit with lively headnotes about the monsters under your bed, the inherent problems of making Scotch Eggs with actual Scottish people, cooking with body parts, etc. The book comes not with color photographs (probably for the best), but with charming black-and-white illustrations. And there are handy Advice and Wisdom bits on common ailments and recommended cures (a recipe for 1,000-Year Curse Cookies comes, helpfully, with a companion recipe for cookies that reverse the curse) and label suggestions for the treats. Imagine Rod Serling crossed with Martha Stewart (who does great work in the Halloween genre herself).
The book is billed as a revision, but that’s actually part of the conceit — as is the idea that the shop was established in 1818, as the website claims — the idea being that this is a revised edition for us humans of a book originally published for monsters. But the shop isn’t a conceit: It’s a real shop in East London, which sells real stuff that’s actually all edible. All proceeds from the sale of that real stuff go to something called the Ministry of Stories, which is not owned or operated by J.K. Rowling but is an English charity that supports literacy. It’s a mentoring center located behind the shop, where anyone 8 to 18 years old can come and discover their own gift for writing. (The cookbook isn’t involved with the charity.)
So the next time you’re in London, you know where to pick up a can of boiled sweets called Mortal Terror (which contains a short story of the same title by British author Zadie Smith) or a roll of Fang Floss. But until then, you can make your own plate of Indigestives and Classic Orphan Marmalade for your Halloween visitors — or a batch of Very Bloody Marys, if you prefer your grown-up Halloween treats to be of the alcoholic variety.
Cookbook of the Week: “The Monster’s Cookbook,” by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies (Mitchell Beazley, $14.99).