Posted by: Erica Retrochef | November 4, 2013

Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong

Halloween this year was full of retro fun. We had a giant virtual party with Vincent Price in the starring role — all the recipes were his, the entertainment starred him, and he’s even part of the event logo!

vph-meme

Jenny, of Silver Screen Suppers, invited a number of bloggers to join her in cooking some of Vincent Price’s recipes for Halloween this year. We were each given recipes, and we all watched House on Haunted Hill. Thankfully Vincent was a pretty darn good cook in addition to being a pretty darn spooky actor, so both the movie and the food were eagerly anticipated.

Every participant got the same Bloody Mary and Pumpkin Pie recipe, and Retro Recipe Attempts got asked to make Melon Monsters! Let’s start off with the first two, and save the unique one for last…

BLOODY MARY

1. In a large pitcher mix: 6 jiggers vodka, 6 drops Tabasco, 6 dashes Worcestershire sauce, 6 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 medium cans vegetable juice.

2. Stir well and pour into glasses over ice. Note: Our Bloody Marys are hot and sweet-sour and they show their fist!

ingredients-BM

I actually know a place to buy MSG, but kept forgetting about it until we were making the Bloody Marys. So we decided to go without it. While the glutamate should give the drink a bit more rich, meaty flavor, there’s also plenty of it in tomatoes themselves (and thus the V8).

V8

Speaking of V8, Buzz had never drunk V8 in his life. He’d had tomato juice occasionally (usually during previous retro recipe attempts), but never the mixed vegetable concoction known as V8. And neither of us had ever had a Bloody Mary, so we may not the be most erudite judge of this drink.

vodka

We mixed the vegetable juice and the vodka, along with the various flavoring ingredients. It turns out that 6 jiggers is 9 fluid ounces — that’s a whole lotta vodka to go with just two cans of V8.

mixing-BM

So we mixed well and poured out the first two servings, over ice. There was some debate about what should be used to garnish the drinks; traditional celery and pickled okra were both suggested. Buzz prepared a celery spear and lifted his glass to his lips.

tasting

Said Buzz: “This is possibly the worst thing I have ever drunk.” The mixed vegetable flavor wasn’t appealing, and the vodka it was mixed with was far too strong. The aftertaste was an indescribable mixture of salt, Worcestershire, and pepper that reminded me of old leather shoes.

We both agreed that it was fair for each of us to finish our glasses. Buzz decided to swig his glass as quickly as possible to get it over with, then drank about a pint of water. I just slowly sipped and ignored the aftertaste. Then the remainder of the pitcher went straight down the sink, before one of us started thinking, “Hey, maybe it wasn’t really that bad. I should try some more.” It certainly did pack a punch…

ingredients-pie

But moving on! We also made Vincent Price’s Pumpkin Pie, from his Come into the Kitchen Cook Book.

1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
1 1/2 cups canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
3 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Make the pie shell with a high scalloped edge, refrigerate several hours. Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a large bowl (with a pouring lip if you have one) combine the pumpkin with the eggs, then the cream, sugar, salt, and spices. Blend well, then pour into the chilled pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes, then raise the heat to 350° F. before serving. Makes about 8 servings.

serving-pie

The nutmeg and mace balance reminded me very much of eggnog! This is a very custard-like version of pumpkin pie, which isn’t what I’m used to, but it was sweet and delicious.

monster-crocodile

Drumroll, please… Our primary recipe comes from Vincent Price’s 1971 cookbook, Cooking Price-Wise. And it’s freakin’ adorable.

MELON MONSTERS

5 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. Derby cheese, grated
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise to thin
1 tablespoon sherry
Paprika pepper

Mix ingredients together until of a ‘dip’ consistency. Any suitable ingredient may be added, e.g. fried bacon, chives, prawns. Sprinkle with paprika pepper. Serve surrounded by celery, carrot, etc.

ingredients

It’s not terribly easy to find Derby cheese, unless you’re willing to settle for Sage Derby. Which, sure, why not.

mixing

All this gets mashed together in a bowl. (I love easy prep, don’t you?)

squash-melon

And to be slightly more seasonal, we decided to use a cute little yellow squash instead of a yellow melon as the serving bowl.

serving

The kids did the decoration — olive eyeballs, onion nose, pickles and pimentos stuck around… Utterly adorable, no?

And this tasted amazing! I don’t make cheese dips very often, but if this is what they’re like, that’s going to change. The Derby Sage cheese was delicious, the sherry gave it a slight kick, and then when we added some bacon chunks — WELL. Good job, Mr. Price.

Now imagine all this food and fun plus a terrific classic terror movie. Our daughter, nine years old, decided she wanted to be brave and grown-up and watch it with us. She scoffed when I said it might be scary. And to her credit, she made it about halfway through before deciding she was going to have nightmares and she needed to leave! (She didn’t have any nightmares, in the end — and I’m quite pleased that she was able to enjoy a classic, especially Vincent Price’s excellent screen presence… without which, frankly, this film wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun!) It’s a great film, and you can find it for free on Archive.org!

If you found these recipes interesting and entertaining, take a look at what our fellow party guests cooked up!

The Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong was organized by Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers, who also provided all the recipes sampled herein. Melon Monsters and Cucumber Crocodiles are from Cooking Price-Wise, Bloody Mary is from A Treasury of Great Recipes, and Pumpkin Pie is from Come into the Kitchen Cook Book. Thanks for organizing this, Jenny, we had fun!

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Responses

  1. […] Chinese Chicken Carol of Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab Erica of Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster  Lisa of Beyond the Fringes – Calf’s Liver Marine Michael of Michael MacMahon – Chicken […]

  2. Two out of three ain’t bad. The pie and the cheese dip both sound wonderful, offsetting the loathesome bloody mary (can’t stand those myself). That sounds like a fun evening for all involved, love me some Vincent Price!

  3. I do enjoy a cheese ball…
    is it wrong that I want to make so many of the dishes from this challenge?

  4. Yeah, that Bloody Mary was bad.

  5. […] Poacher’s Roll Mimi of The Retro WW Experiment – Chinese Chicken Erica of Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster  Susie of Bittersweet Susie – Carolina Deviled Clams Lisa of Beyond the Fringes – Calf’s […]

  6. Awww! You got cute stuff to make! I am a giant cheese dip/cheese ball nut! I’ll have to give this one a shot during all the upcoming cheese ball/dip related events in the coming months!

  7. Lovely fun food!

  8. Fantastic melon monster and laughing out loud at the video.

  9. I laughed out loud here in London at your husband’s face after tasting the Bloody Mary, then laughed some more when I read that you’d thought maybe you’d have liked some more after it had all gone down the sink.

    Glad you liked the Pumpkin Pie and Melon Monster though – I think I’m going to move across the Atlantic if – as Carol mentions – there are many cheese ball/dip related events to attend! I’d never heard of a cheese ball until I started reading the wonderful food blogs involved in this cookalong and now I have seen quite a few!

    Thanks for taking part with such gusto! I’m sure Vincent would be pleased that we have all enjoyed his recipes so much.

    Jenny xx

  10. […] Chicken Carol of Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab Erica of Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster  Susie of Bittersweet Susie – Carolina Deviled Clams Lisa of Beyond the […]

  11. Wow!! you went for the whole dinner, I’m very impressed, love the video by the way. Kind of glad now that I didn’t make the cocktail. Love the monster. GG

  12. […] Erica of Retrorecipe – Melon Monster […]

  13. The cheesy dip sounds delicious! I normally like Bloody Marys, but I haven’t tried Vincent Price’s recipe yet. I usually just leave out the MSG in his recipes (MSG was so popular in the 60s! craziness!) and maybe add a bit more salt.

  14. […] The Retro WW Experiment – Chinese Chicken, Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab, Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster, Beyond the Fringes  – Calves liver Marinee , Saucy Cherry – Chicken liver risotto […]

  15. […] Chicken Carol of Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab Erica of Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster  Susie of Bittersweet Susie – Carolina Deviled Clams Lisa of Beyond the Fringes – Calf’s […]

  16. Will definitely try that cheese dip

  17. […] Chicken Carol of Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab Erica of Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster  Susie of Bittersweet Susie – Carolina Deviled Clams Lisa of Beyond the Fringes – Calf’s […]

  18. […] to be outdone, ghoulish gourmet Vincent Price has a recipe for a “Melon Monster” under his belt. Although no horror stars are associated with them, I did get a kick out of these […]


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