By Gini Rainey
I don’t know if it’s the weather we are having today or the fact “The Wizard of Oz” will be opening this Wednesday at Pollard Theater Center, but I am definitely in an Oz kind of mood today. Apparently there are tornadoes dancing all around us this afternoon, so my husband has been glued to the weather channel. Me? I’m looking out the window and seeing it happen in real time! Not that a little storm (ha!) will keep me from going to the orchestra rehearsal scheduled for later this afternoon, but it sure would be nice if there would be a bit of a break in the weather while we dash from our cars to the relative safety of the theater center. That being said, today’s column will help serve as a reminder to my husband that I will not be around the house at dinner time for the next week.
Today I have in front of me this little “The Wizard of Oz Cookbook” that was published in 1993 by Turner Entertainment Co. and is part of series of movie-themed books, Hollywood Hotplates, that includes “The Casablanca Cookbook,” “A Christmas Carol Cookbook,” “The Gone With the Wind Cookbook,” and “The I Love Lucy Cookbook.” Not very big in size, this book is amazingly full of great photos, quotes, and trivia that those of us who love this classic movie will remember and love. Featuring some great sounding recipes, with titles tied to the movie and its characters, this book is a fun trip down memory lane.
Always a stretch of the imagination (I would love to be in on some of these brain-storming, recipe naming sessions), it’s interesting to see where the authors go with the recipe titles. Hunk’s Straw Potatoes (remember Hunk was in Kansas, but was the scarecrow in Oz), Miss Gulch’s Sour Cherry Kuchen (who else would they name this after than that old sour puss?), Professor Marvel’s Frozen Kansas Kappuccino, Glinda’s Magic Wand Star Cookies (complete with a star template), Wicked Witch Waffles (let’s hear it for alliteration!), and Yellow Brickle Road Brownies. The last section of this book is definitely the one geared for the adults out there. Titled “Cocktails at the Witch’s Castle,” you will find some might tasty recipes for libations of which I’m pretty sure Dorothy didn’t partake. You’ve got your “Flying Monkey,” with a dark rum base; “Rusty Tin Man,” with scotch and Campari; “Champagne Crystal Ball,” with you guessed it, champagne, along with many others.
Well, here’s one recipe for something that’s fairly impressive and easy to make, as well as will be right at home alongside a bowl of soup or on an appetizer platter. It’s for Parmesan Poppy Wafers (WITCH: Poppies…poppies…poppies will put them to sleep…sleep…now they’ll sleep…). First preheat your oven to 400°. Then with 8 ounces of puff pastry dough – you can make your own if you’re ambitious or pick up a package of Pepperidge Farm’s – roll out half on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle evenly with 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/8 cup of poppy seeds. Continue to roll the dough until it’s about 1/16 inch thick, carefully pressing the cheese and poppy seeds into the dough. Then cut into 2 inch squares, 0r if you’re feeling fancy, fold the dough in half and cut into ½ inch wide strips and gently twist. Repeat with the remaining half of the pastry. Place on ungreased baking sheets and freeze for 10 minutes or longer. Remove from the freezer and bake at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Do not overbake. If you make these, you might discover your family or guests think you are some kind of wizard yourself in the kitchen!