Hello! Today I`m very excited to kick-off Undead Thursdays, a special blog event I`m throwing every Thursday in January to celebrate the release of the anthology He Loves Me For My Brainssss from Torquere Press that includes my novella Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse.
Every Thursday we`ll have guest bloggers that have written zombie tales or articles. We`ll also have a new book review of a zombie book that I really enjoyed amid all the undead love from my fellow scribes! All in all it should be a great time getting to meet new authors and zombie aficionados.
To kick things off, today I`m thrilled to have a good friend of mine, and the co-owner of my beloved Indie bookstore From My Shelf Books & Gifts, Kevin Coolidge. Kevin`s article was published in the spring 2012 issue of Z Magazine,The First Magazine For Zombies By Zombies, and he was kind enough to share it – and a lovely image of himself in the final stages of the infection – with us.
It’s Not Awful; It’s Offal!
by Kevin J. Coolidge
“It’s a meat locker in here!” yells your wife from the kitchen. The very thought causes a little puddle of drool to run down your stubbled chin. You imagine the air filled with the savory smell of roast beef. Reality shatters your glorious repast. Your wife is just complaining about the low setting of the thermostat. You are out of work, out of luck, and out of TrueFlesh. Even when you are dead, you can’t seem to get ahead. You miss the daily grind, and the dead end job, complete with a crawling commute and bad office coffee, but for you the Recession isn’t over.
A lot of zombies, myself included, have sustained themselves for long periods of time with an extremely low food budget, and so can you! We both know that Top Ramen isn’t an option. You need your minimum daily requirement of protein, and that means sweet, succulent flesh. It doesn’t, however, have to be grade A prime rib. It doesn’t even have to be human.
You are no redneck, road-kill warrior waiting out your miserable existence in a trailer park. You don’t have to scrape your dinner off the interstate. You are a member of polite society, but you are feeling the pinch. What to do?
As a student of history, I looked to the natives of this great country, the American Indian. Native Americans utilized the entire deer—from the meat for eating, to the tendons and intestines for bowstrings, nothing was wasted. The modern American wastes too much and that includes your local butcher shop, ER, or morgue.
All those delicious innards—liver, kidney, intestines and yes, tasty, tasty brains—can be yours for the taking. For example, the average adult intestinal tract is 30 feet long. Life is so fragile, so fleeting, and no surgeon ever takes the time to put all 30 feet back into the abdominal cavity. If you don’t grab it, it’s just going to go to waste. All it’s going to take to appreciate nature’s fresh-slain bounty is a couple of great recipes.
Now, just because you are cooking with castoffs is no reason to skip the seasonings. Make life a fiesta, and get a little tripe for Mexican night. Tripe is used in Mexico for many dishes, but one of my favorites is Menudo, a soup that will get dinner started and your taste buds jumping.
If you are entertaining mixed couples, you may want to use the traditional cow’s stomach. I happen to be married to a beautiful breather, and love means sacrifice. But it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your primal hunger. Of course, sometimes you just have to have tea with your inner demons, or a beer with the beast within, so grab your scrubs and shamble to your local ER for a little something for you … Thus, I present you a mixed recipe for mixed couples…
- 3 lbs honeycomb tripe (or 3 feet of salvaged intestine)
- 2 lbs pigs’ feet (or human feet, any size, but toddlers are most tender. Hey, the corpses wear shoes, and no one checks, honest)
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped (just add zonions and it’s zesty)
- 1 ancho chile, roasted, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped (I use real chilies. No substitutes here for me. Sometimes, you just have to feel the burn)
- 2 cups dried hominy (hominy, zominy)
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (they don’t call it the stinking rose for nothing)
- 1 tablespoon oregano (slows spoilage, and will add life to your death)
- 5 peppercorns (I like to avoid sodium, but spice is nice)
- water (you are going to boil it. So it doesn’t matter where you get it. Not like you have to worry about dysentery)
Cover intestines/tripe with water. Soak overnight. Place in a pot, cover with two to three inches of additional water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for two hours, adding more hot water as needed. Drain well; shred intestines into pot. Add feet, peppercorns, garlic, and oregano. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add hot peppers, and serve piping hot.
Serve this soup with tortillas and chopped onion and cilantro. Makes a great appetizer. Remember, recessions may be temporary, but hunger is forever.
Kevin J. Coolidge is the owner of "From My Shelf", a proudly independent, eclectic bookstore in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania with its own zombie section of books and gifts. He writes a weekly column for the local newspaper, called “Cat Tales: Writing About Reading.” He’s the author of “Hobo Finds A Home”, a children’s book, and editor of the short story collection, “Of A Predatory Heart” which does not contain zombies.
Thank you so much Kevin for sharing your article and recipes with us. If I ever find myself a member of the undead army, I`ll know who to go to for new ways to prepare dinner!
I hope to see all you zombie fans next Thursday for my review of Alice in Zombieland by Nikolas Cook. Then we`ll have author K.T. Hicks here on 1/17, author and editor Liz Brooks on 1/24, and author Georg Veramme to finish our month of Undead Thursdays on 1/31.