I think the highest compliment I can give Lauren Wilson, author of The Art of Eating Through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide (from Smart Pop Books), is that she would kick ass in the end times. I tip my hat to your preparedness, Lauren, and self-servingly offer you this positive review in the hopes of allying ourselves when TSHTF (“The S–t Hits The Fan”, just one of her many handy, abbreviated terms to help you navigate TEOTWAWKI, “The End Of The World As We Know It”).
Until then, I plan on keeping this little ditty in my emergency car kit. I was probably the perfect person to hand this beautifully illustrated and sassily written guide book. I’ve spent time as a professional baker, dabbler in nerd-food recipes, and often contemplate the collapse of our nation’s food system. I definitely can’t claim the term “prepper,” but I will confess to having a portable water filtration gadget in my car, JIC (“Just In Case”).
Lauren, though, makes me look like zombie fodder. The depth of her knowledge is thoroughly impressive. A professionally trained chef and true zombie fangirl (a self-proclaimed “zombie
nerd enthusiast”), she leaves no culinary stone unturned or survivor tip untold – she’s even rearranged the food pyramid to accurately reflect the needs of an adrenaline-hyped survivor on the go.
Not only is this a novelty of a premise and an incredibly well-researched tome, but the true magic of Lauren’s survival guide lies in the narrative. She lays out and digs into as many scenarios as the cannon conceivably allows.
From “bugging in” (barricading your doors and hunkering down) to “bugging out” (GOOD, “Getting Out Of Dodge”), and all the way to choosing a long-term, post-zpoc resettlement location (Damariscotta, Maine is her ideal.), Lauren takes you down each path and all the obstacles it may hurl your way.
Detailing everything from survivor-style alcohol brewing to the full construction of mud ovens from basically nothing, she writes like someone who has had the zombie hordes on her heels and has been living by her wits and scavenged seed packets for the better part of the past decade.
As a food nerd myself, the highlight for me was each cheekily named recipe. They are well written and structured – they break down into details like “attended” and “unattended” cook times, just in case you need to leave your “No Kneed To Panic Bread” over your Ammo Can Oven to fend off some face-biting zeds.
But, more importantly, they offer the base from which to improvise. She’s the first to admit, for instance, that not everyone is going to have access to military grade MREs (“Meal, Ready To Eat”) to prepare her “Society As We Know It Has Fruit Crumbled” recipe while knowing that some could just be swimming in an overabundance of military survival meals.
But, my absolute favorite is the “Choose Your Own Grilled Cheese Adventure” in which grilled cheese recipes are thoughtfully matched to specific zpoc situations:
“THE STRESS EATER”
You are utterly overwhelmed by the carnage and sheer weight of staying alive as humanity crumbles around you. Eat away your worries! Why not try:
-Leftover Boy Scout Meatloaf (Page 76)
-A handful of chips
That’s another thing: her thoroughness and cross-referencing are enough to drive the fastidious and type As among us into fits of sheer joy and will surely save the rest of us life-saving seconds when we’re either on the lam or boarding up our windows.
So, in conclusion, Lauren, when the grid goes down, I’ll meet you in Damariscotta.