It should be no surprise to anyone who has read my posts that I am a nerd and proud of it! I mean, my very first post was about science, math and humour. A 100+ hour video game made my best-of-2022 list. And I’m a Librarian who loves reading books about Libraries, so how’s that for a niche interest? Something only those who have read my bio will know, though, is that I’m a baker1. Combining these passions led to scouring the catalogue for nerdy cookbooks to share with our readers, which I found way more of than I anticipated. We’ve got cookbooks for Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft, Outlander, and even Alice in Wonderland. And those are just single-media cookbooks. Read on past the break to see a plethora of options that are sure to hit something you’re passionate about and give you ideas for a delicious, nerdy night in. Also, there might be some pictures of my attempt at one of the dishes.
So, I ended up borrowing a handful of these books to try cooking from at least one of them. I borrowed less than I should have because, despite being in the library more days of the week than I’m not, I keep forgetting to pick up my holds! Anyone who’s ever let a hold expire by accident: you’re vindicated. If I, as staff, can’t remember to grab them, I certainly can’t expect customers to do so. I missed out on choosing something from The Geeky Chef Cookbook and The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook. However, both of these authors have an online presence. GeekyChef is a blog, and Rosanna Pansino has a youtube channel, but for this post, I wanted to make something from a book I’d borrowed, so unfortunately, I can’t comment on what’s in the book. However, I can point out something from each page that I want to try even after this post.
For Geeky Chef, that’s Chateau Romani. Which is a drink. But I’m setting the rules for this blog post, so I say drinks are allowed! I’ve also got a huge sweet tooth, so this creamy, slightly boozy milk-and-ice-cream concoction sounds absolutely incredible. I’d swap out the Baileys for Cabot Trail, but I’m also a maple syrup addict, so… yeah. I appreciate that the blog also gives the backstory on the recipe, denoting where it’s from and providing some of its in-media lore. I love the Zelda games, so I know this magic-fortifying milk from Majora’s Mask, and I’m happy I don’t have to save a bunch of cows from being abducted by aliens to try it out in real life. Another reason I like this recipe? I’m usually not overly fussy with my presentation, and this just calls for serving it in a bottle to get that authentic Zelda feel. I can pour milk into a bottle just fine.
Looking more into the Nerdy Nummies videos on Rosanna Pansino’s channel, I don’t think I would have made anything from that book. These videos look like I’d be spending more time on presentation than making the food. The most recent Nerdy Nummies video is a Pokeball. I have trouble cutting the top off a flat cake to get things to stack correctly, and I don’t see myself carving a sphere. For anyone out there who wants to put in that effort, I salute you! Check out both the book and the channel2.
Speaking of presentation, a book I did borrow claims simple recipes and then put a lot of effort into the presentation: The Geek’s Cookbook. My fiancee initially requested a recipe from this book: Magikarp with Chorizo Sauce. She’s not a Pokemon fan, we just had salmon in the fridge, and she wanted to use it. The recipe calls for Red Mullet. There’s also a “For the decoration” section in the ingredients. And Pokemon isn’t listed in the video game recipes; it’s in the Comics and Animation section. That has nothing to do with the recipe. It’s a thing that bothered me because the book cover has Pokeball Meringues on it, and then Pokemon isn’t in the section that notes where the whole thing started. Admittedly the franchise is so big it could fit under any of the headings in this book, but the games are where it began and where they introduce new mons, so it should be a game by all rights—end rant. Not every recipe is super detailed on the decorations: making a stew look fancy is hard. So maybe one day I’ll try Sam Gamgee Stew with Nasty Fries and Lembas. It would be my first time cooking rabbit, but how hard can that be3?
Yes, that’s right. You read Stew. I have a sweet tooth, but my fiancee doesn’t, so I’ve been expanding my savoury repertoire. I found a salmon dish in the books that I brought home: Baked White River Salmon. But wait, I hear you saying, what’s nerdy about that? Well, the recipe comes from Tamriel. Not familiar with the name? It’s the world of The Elder Scrolls series of video games, and the white river is in Skyrim, the most recent game from that series. We have The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook on our shelves and some solid rustic recipes are in it. As promised before the break, here are pictures of my attempt at this pastry-covered salmon bake.
I know I could have done it better, but my fiancee and I were impressed by how tasty this was and are happy to add it to our regular rotation of dishes. As I get more experience with puff pastry, that case will get better and better. All the books I’m promoting here have some tasty recipes, but I will recommend this one even to people who have never heard of the source material. There’s no fancy presentation to make it look like something from the games, just solid, tasty cooking with a bit of fantasy flair.
I also brought home Gastrono Geek and The Dungeonmeister Cookbook. The former is like The Geek’s Cookbook in that it covers a number of different media. There’s Dr. Who, which I thought my fiancee would pick from, but alas, no salmon. Thor, Conan, Dracula, and more Lord of the Rings. Presentation is important to some of the recipes, but not all. This book also has supplementary materials like a 2 page CYOA Conan game, and an Eye of Sauron Stencil (used to decorate a tart). The latter is another book to check out even if you’re not into its source material, as it’s a bunch of great recipes for finger food and easy to eat noms for a game night with friends. Sure, there’s fun names like Necklace of Fireballs for coconut chicken nuggets with tropical sauce, but the recipe is good for anyone. If you’re going to be hosting a party, even one without games4, then this book gets a hearty recommendation from me.
Other nerdy cookbooks are on our shelves, but I’ve gone on long enough. Please share some of your favourite books or nerdy recipes in the comments!
1 Or did I mention that in another post? Let me know in the comments if I’m terrible at remembering my own writing
2 Oh yeah, that’s another thing. I always prefer working from a recipe over a video. I don’t have to keep adjusting the time of a recipe
3 I’ve just doomed myself by asking that
4 But we all know that wouldn’t be a real party