WIN: The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse

in Nonfiction by

Let’s face it: the zombie apocalypse (or “zpoc”, as it’s often referred to by survivalists) isn’t going to be easy. Whether you’re “bugging out” (abandoning your home to forage for food and shelter) or “bugging in” (fortifying a place to hide until the whole thing blows over), pretty much all of your time is going to be spent either hiding from or fighting off walkers, all of whom are trying to make you their next meal.

But what are you going to eat? You’re still going to need food yourself, and getting it is going to be far more difficult than simply running down to the neighborhood 7-11.

“In fact,” writes author Lauren Wilson, “if you ever see your local convenience store clerk again, he will probably want to rip your entrails out. The friendly farmer you buy heirloom tomatoes from? She’ll go straight for your jugular. And if you happen to run across your pizza delivery guy in the street, he’ll likely be shambling along with his pizza bags tangled and knotted around his partially severed limbs, bike dragging behind him as he moans after you with what you imagine sounds like vague recognition.”

FB-Lauren_Portrait
Lauren Wilson
Portrait by Kristian Bathus

So what do you do for dinner when, for the masses of the living dead, you’re what’s for dinner? Fortunately, Wilson and illustrator Kristian Bauthus have come up with The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse (BenBella; Oct. 28, 2014), a tongue-in-cheek (yet surprisingly practical) guide that will help you survive any potential zombie calamity.

The book lists all the supplies you’ll need, whether you’re on the run or hunkered down in your shelter. It teaches you such skills as purifying water, building fires, and constructing simple hacks that you’ll need once society crumbles and your electric oven is off the grid. And it contains a plethora of zpoc-friendly recipes, from “Overnight of the Living Dead French Toast” to “Life’s Chard But It Will Be Okale” to “Chicken Pot Pie À La Rescue Camp.”

Fearsome yet fun, The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse is a great handbook for both the hardcore survivalist and the fright-film fan. Because after all, a global catastrophe that destroys civilization as we know it is no reason to go without a good meal.

No-Knead to Panic Bread

YIELDS:

1 x 1 ½ lb. loaf, or enough for 2-3 Hungry Survivors

 

REQUIRES:

1 small bowl

1 large mixing bowl

Plastic wrap

2 clean cotton kitchen towels or other clean breathable cloths

1 large, heavy pot or other oven-proof vessel, with lid

 

TIME:

5 minutes prep

14-20 minutes mostly unattended rising time

45 minutes baking time

30 minutes cooling time

INGREDIENTS:

¼ tsp. active yeast

1 ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. warm water

Pinch of sugar

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

1 ¼ tsp salt

METHOD:

Proof the yeast by mixing it with 2 tablespoons of warm water (not hot!) and a pinch of sugar in a small bowel—it is ready to use when the top if foamy, about 5 minutes.

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until blended. Add water and any wet flavorings (like honey) and mix until well combined. Your dough will be wet and sticky.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap if available (you can write the time town on the plastic with a marker), and one of the kitchen towels and pop into in a now nearly useless microwave or other dark spot to rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours. The dough is ready for the next stage when the surface is bubbly.
  3. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour and fold your dough out onto it. If using any add-ins, sprinkle them on top of the dough now. Sprinkle the dough with a small amount of flour, and then fold it over on itself two times. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Cover a kitchen towel with a generous amount of flour. Dust your hands with flour, and sprinkle just enough flour on the dough to prevent it from sticking to you then shape it quickly into a ball. An imperfect zombies-are-breaking-down-my-defenses ball is just fine.
  5. Place your ball seam side down onto the prepared cloth and generously dust the top with more flour. Cover the ball with a second towel and let rest for 2 hours.
  6. Half an hour before the 2-hour mark of the second rise, set up your oven for 450 degrees Fahrenheit then place the oven-proof dish with the lid inside to preheat.
  7. After the two-hour rise is complete, carefully remove the hot pot or other vessel from the oven and, after removing the lid, plop your ball of sough into it, seam side up.
  8. Bake, with the lid on, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid carefully then bake it another 15-30 minutes until nicely browned. Let cool for about 30 minutes before eating.

VARIATIONS:

  • 2 tbsp. honey (added at beginning with water), 1 tbsp of fennel seeds, ½ cup of raisings, and cornmeal for dusting.
  • 1 small potato (peeled, diced, sautéed until browned) ½ small onion (minced and sautéed until soft) and ½ tsp dried dill
  • ½ cup olives, preferably jarred but canned works too
  • 1 medium apple (peeled and diced), 1tsp cinnamon combined with 1 tbsp sugar

Michael Ruscoe is a writer, teacher, and musician living in Southern Connecticut. He is the author of the novel, "From the Stray Cat Files: You’ll Do Anything," the anthology, "Baseball: A Treasury of Art and Literature," and numerous educational texts. An instructor at Southern Connecticut State University, Ruscoe is also lead singer and songwriter for the indie band Save the Androids! In his spare time he earns karma for his next life by ardently following the New York Mets. The proud father of two children, Ruscoe also cares for and supports a pair of goldfish, who, in all honesty, are not very good conversationalists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

Go to Top