Follow these cookbooks to find Yellow Brick Cornbread

08/27/2014 2:00 AM

08/27/2014 7:00 AM

Yellow Brick Cornbread. Cowardly Lion Quivering Gelatin. Flying Monkey Banana Saute.

You can find recipes for all in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cookbook” published by MacMillan in 1981.

That Oz-themed cookbook is one of three that we tracked down in honor of the 75th anniversary of the film version of “The Wizard of Oz.” The other two: “The Wizard of Oz Cookbook: Breakfast in Kansas, Dessert in Oz” (Abbeville Press; 1993) and “Cooking in Oz: Kitchen Wizardry and a Century of Marvels From America’s Favorite Tale” (Cumberland House Publishing; 1999).

“The Wizard of Oz” isn’t exactly a food-centric film, so all three of these cookbooks had to stretch to establish an Oz connection.

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Cookbook” was written with young chefs in mind. The yellow-jacketed book features whimsical illustrations of Dorothy, Toto and other characters from L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel.

“Tie back your hair if it is long,” the book advises in a section called “Dorothy’s rules for beginners.”

According to the rules, young chefs should “use potholders for handling hot pots and pans” and “never leave the stove while heating any type of oil or fat.” (Note: Recipes that require deep-frying probably don’t belong in a cookbook for kids.)

Like its predecessor, “The Wizard of Oz Cookbook” is filled with recipes named after people, places and things found in Oz. Examples: Yellow Brickle Brownies, Munchkinland Lollipops, Wicked Witch’s Brew and Emerald Castle Cake.

“The Wizard of Oz Cookbook” is sprinkled with trivia tidbits from the movie, but it has nothing on “Cooking in Oz,” which doubles as a cookbook and a historical account of Oz’s enduring place in pop culture.

The black-and-white pages of “Cooking in Oz” are loaded with photographs from the film set, behind-the-scenes stories from actors and even recipes from celebrities connected to the film and the many adaptations that followed.

Mickey Rooney, who played the Wizard in a late 1990s touring version of “The Wizard of Oz,” contributed a recipe for Yellow Brick Road Cake. Bill Cosby, who hosted the TV premiere of “Journey Back to Oz” in the 1970s, shares how to make Emerald Chiffon Marble Gelatin with, of course, lime Jell-O. And Judy Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli shared her favorite way to make potato shells — with butter, caviar and vodka.

Perhaps the most interesting recipe in “Cooking in Oz” is from Dorothy herself. Judy Garland’s Shepherd’s Pie Supreme calls for, among other things, 5 pounds of lamb, one can of cream of mushroom soup, onion juice and instant potato flakes.

According to the cookbook, Garland once described her shepherd’s pie, which takes about three hours to make, as “beautiful.”

“It comes out looking like a birthday cake,” she said, “all fluffy and delicious.”

We’ll take your word for it, Dorothy.

Contact enterprise reporter Sarah Gish by emailing sgish@kcstar.com or tweeting @sarah_gish.

THE WIZARD OF AUGUST

We’re celebrating this month’s 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” movie with a story a day.

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