Adventure Time, created by cartoonist Pendleton Ward, is one of the most understated shows on TV. Remember how cartoons used to air in two-packs of 12 minutes each in order to preserve your attention span? Adventure Time, which airs on Cartoon Network, does that. It also has princesses, magic dogs, a bass-playing vampire queen and a talking heart named Ricardio (voiced to perfection by George Takei). Pee Wee Herman plays a gnome king. If you have a favorite actor/comedian, chances are they've done a voiceover and walked away with a cool nickname. The Office's Rainn Wilson is Rattleballs, for example.
But one of the best parts of falling into this world is the food: talking marshmallows, when accidentally burned, simply shed their skins and "be sticky for a while." Dogs make bacon pancakes for their humans, tiny old elephants bake apple pies and vampires innocuously suck the red out of strawberries. Thankfully, cooking enthusiast and professional Renaissance geek Eric Resnick just published his unauthorized Adventure Time cookbook, Eating Ooo. I had so many questions for this hero.
How long have you been a fan of Adventure Time?
I didn't really know that much about Adventure Time until it was already around for a few years. The first episode I ever saw was "Thank You," the story of the snow golem and the fire wolf cub. After that, I had to track down every episode I could get my hands on.
Which moment inspired you to write your first recipe?
Honestly, it was Ricardio. I've always liked messing around with different ingredients in the kitchen and, after I watched George Takei's great performance as the murderous and lecherous escaped heart of the Ice King, I started playing with the idea of cooking a heart. That led to what is probably the most exotic recipe in the cookbook: Ricardio — Two Ways. It turns out that beef heart is not only tasty, it is one of the cheapest meats out there at only two dollars a pound! A lot of people get grossed out because it's organ, but the heart is muscle. It's just like a steak, but leaner. I stuffed it with a stuffing made from challah, onions and spinach, laced it up and then braised it. It was really delicious!
Who's the best cook in the greater Ooo area?
I think it comes down to a three-way deathmatch between Jake, Tree Trunks and Wildberry Princess, all of whom are featured in the book with their own recipes.
Have you ever tried to recreate Jake's time sandwich? What do you substitute for the soul of a lobster?
The time sandwich nearly drove me insane. My goal was to feature it in the book, after all, it is pretty much the only complete recipe actually featured in the show! I had it all figured out, I even simulated the tears with sea salt, but I could never get past the soul of a lobster. The closest I could get was to use the bodies and shell of a lobster to create sort of a lobster au jus. It just didn't taste good enough to include in the sandwich.
That's still pretty genius. How do you decide what the everything burrito has in it?
First, if you ever want to see a nearly perfect recreation of the Everything Burrito, there's a very funny video on YouTube from FeastofFiction. For me, the Everything Burrito is a whole meal inside one burrito: appetizer, main course, and dessert. In Eating Ooo, I made an Italian dinner-style everything burrito. You could do it with any kind of food you want, but make sure you have friends over because it takes at least three people to eat one!
Have you heard all the remixes of the bacon pancakes song?
I don't think that there's enough hours in the day to hear all the remixes. The New York Remix is pretty great, but Jimmy Wong's cover beats all the remixes.
How did you come to to publish a cookbook?
I've been cooking ever since I was a little kid, I've also always been a geek. I've been writing about geeky things for years, first at Toy Shop magazine and now at You Bent My Wookie. I started focusing more on cooking after I accidentally started a chocolate company just over a year ago (you can get my dark chocolate and sriracha bars from Think Geek). I'm not sure how I went from that to cookbook author, but I'm glad I did.
What inspired this really awesome tribute to Pendleton Ward's work?
One of the really important things I want people to know about this book is that it's not just about the recipes. Eating Ooo: Recipes and Art Inspired by Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time is just as much about the art as it is about the food. I was lucky enough to find a bunch of insanely talented artists online who were willing to participate and share their love for Adventure Time by letting me include their art in the book.
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