It's Roald Dahl Day — yes, every day really ought to be Roald Dahl Day, but today is his actual birthday — which is just as good of an excuse as any to dive back into his stories. And while you're recalling how often food (and especially candy) showed up in his books to define character (i.e., the B.F.G. and his moral decision to eat awful snozzcumbers rather than “human beans”) or to drive a plot (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, of course, but also short stories like Taste and Lamb to the Slaughter), you may as well go on and dig up a copy of Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes. It's probably at your local library, over in the children's section. Because surely you always wanted to borrow from Willy Wonka and make Lickable Wallpaper.
The Lickable Wallpaper and other recipes in the book are written by Dahl's wife, Felicity, plus a co-writer, Josie Fison; Quentin Blake, who did the artwork for many of Dahl's books, also illustrates this one. Together, they make all sorts of fun food come to life. For example, that Lickable Wallpaper is really a home version of a Fruit Roll-Up. Or, if you prefer, you can take a page from James and the Giant Peach and turn deviled eggs into Stink Bugs' Eggs (for maximum effect, the author suggests sprinkling the eggs with asafetida, “which smells like sweaty socks!”).
Other gems: A take on the chocolate cake that evil Miss Trunchbull ordered Bruce Bogtrotter to eat, all by himself, as punishment for stealing a slice of her cake in Matilda (accordingly, the recipe serves 1 to 8); the green pea soup that the toe-less witches eat in The Witches; and, perhaps the most morbidly hilarious of all, Hansel and Gretel Spare Ribs, a reference to a poem in Rhyme Stew.
Likely, most kids will eat these dishes up, and, if your much younger self plowed through the J FICTION DAHL shelf at the library after class, the effect on you will be the same. And then some. You'll want to eat one more peach before the season is over. You'll want to squint really hard at a piece of chalk to try to make it move. You'll want to look for a Golden Ticket in your Hershey's bar.
You'll want be the champion of the world.
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