Delicious Horror: KP Kulski

Today I am very excited to bring you K.P. Kulski’s other two contributions to Delicious Horror! If you missed her first one, which was a dinner inspired by Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts, check out that post here, which also features Becca’s very yummy ghostly cupcakes. You can also check out submission guidelines here if you want to contribute to Delicious Horror.

Today, K.P. brings us treats inspired by Sara Gran’s Come Closer and Hailey Piper’s Benny Rose, The Cannibal King. Speaking of Hailey, she might just have a Delicious Horror post of her own this week, so stay tuned! Enjoy the posts below as K.P. takes us deeper into each book.

K.P. Kulski’s short fiction has appeared in Unnerving Magazine, anthologies Not All Monsters and Typhon Vol. 2. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, an MA in History and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. She has a special interest in feminist horror, historical horror and stories that examine Korean-American experiences. Her debut novel, Fairest Flesh will be released by Strangehouse Books in December.

She can be found at www.garnetonwinter.com or via twitter @garnetonwinter.

KP: Come Closer. Can a book title be more tantalizing? Then you figure out that it’s about demonic possession and holy, GIVEMETHATBOOKNOWTYVM. I love that Sara Gran’s Come Closer gives us a glimpse into the protagonist’s internal fight for control. This is the heart of the terror because as a reader we identify with Amanda, yet with each step she slips away. Or does she?

Naamah, a demon found in Jewish mysticism is all about seduction and taking what she wants. There’s a point that the edges of the demon, Naamah and Amanda blur. Come Closer is a brilliant little read and probably a bit too identifiable for many women who have learned to embody the empty patriarchal pursuit of being good girls. Naamah finds that emptiness and fills it with decadence, impulsivity and pleasure.

Because of this I felt that what I paired with Come Closer had to give off the same feeling. There needed to be alcohol involved and then in my mind, I could see a glass of deep red Sangria in Naamah’s uplifted grip. It seemed just right.

I don’t know about everyone, but Sangria has a tendency to sneak up on me if I’m not careful. It’s refreshing sweetness makes it too easy to feel like I’m drinking fancy juice and it isn’t hard to drink too much without realizing it, not all that different from Amanda’s harrowing experience with Naamah. I opted for frozen dark red cherries and cherry infused apple juice with a solid red wine to give it a deep scarlet color. I added the cherries still frozen to help chill the Sangria. You can add grenadine if you like more sweetness. I’m pretty sure Naamah would have used grenadine.

I purchased with the best contact-free delivery red wine (look I’m on a budget) and cherry apple juice. The ratio of wine to juice is all your judgement call. I used the bottle of wine with 2/3 of the bottle of juice. But really the thing that makes this simple Sangria is the dark red cherries. These soak up the wine, combining to create a treat to consume after you’ve drained the glass. I used one apple and about half an orange, mostly for the contrast in color. Cut these up, then add the cherries. Go ahead, free yourself, pour as many of those beauties as you’d think Naamah would like, I mean you. YOU would like.

As you sip your glass, think about what it would mean for you to be free and what exactly are your true desires? Perhaps what Naamah really means to show us is that if we don’t indulge sometimes, we become easy husks for her to bring back to life. But her way includes much more blood.

So go ahead. Enjoy the Sangria. Live a little.

KP: If you haven’t heard of Hailey Piper, you will.

I eagerly await her upcoming novella, The Worm and His Kings from Off Limits Press. But this pairing is all about Benny Rose, the Cannibal King. Guys, Benny is indeed the king of cannibals and this novella is a work of gory fun. You can’t help but enjoy the ride and then at some point you realize, oh shit, Piper is telling us something more. I can’t share with you exactly what, that is something you’ll just have to read to find out.

BUT I can tell you, it is this that made me fall in love with the book. It is more than entertainment and I always dig stories that give me something deeper to ponder. My pairing… you see, there is a particular scene that has stuck with me where Benny takes a bite out of someone’s head and well, I KNEW that I had to make candy apples for Benny and they had to be pale like Benny’s naked belly. *shiver*

All the credit for this recipe goes to the 1 Fine Cookie food blog. Now this is my first time making candy apples, so my little project pales in comparison. Nonetheless, I’m still quite proud of the blood-splattered dead-flesh, I mean white chocolate with red “festive” flecks apples. The nice thing about working with the white chocolate is that it coats the apples rather easily. You want to be sure to let that coating sit and harden before adding the flecks, or drips if you prefer to give off that Halloween vibe. My daughter wouldn’t eat these particular apples because they were “way too creepy.” So I think Benny would approve. (I used some sprinkles for the other apples so my daughter would consider them acceptable food.)

Excuse me now. Time for a snack before dinner.

Oh, and, have a bloody good Halloween.

Delicious Horror: K.P. Kulski and Becca (astoldbybex)

Today I have two fabulous posts covering one of my own favorite books, A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. Who knew you could plan a whole meal around the horrors experienced by Merry and Marjorie? Let’s get to it! Also, K.P. Kulski actually has two more delicious horror posts coming soon, so stay tuned in the next week or so to see what else she created!

K.P. Kulski

K.P. Kulski’s short fiction has appeared in Unnerving Magazine, anthologies Not All Monsters and Typhon Vol. 2. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, an MA in History and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and Air Force. She has a special interest in feminist horror, historical horror and stories that examine Korean-American experiences. Her debut novel, Fairest Flesh will be released by Strangehouse Books in December.

She can be found at www.garnetonwinter.com or via twitter @garnetonwinter.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

When deciding on which books I wanted to use for these blog articles, my husband suggested I should pair Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts with spaghetti sauce. If you’ve read the book, then you know why I promptly laugh-snorted. After I regained my composure, I realized this husband of mine was on to something. I happen to love this book and well… pasta features prominently in it, rendering it a perfect Delicious Horror candidate.

On the surface A Head Full of Ghosts is about a family facing the possible possession of one of their daughters, Marjorie, told from the perspective of the younger daughter, Merry. This is great example of a horror that makes the reader think on a deeper level and I adore it for this reason. There is so much to think about, gender and family dynamics, coming of age, reality television and social media. That’s just scratching the surface. It is just so well done and everyone should read it. (Seriously, get thee a copy now if you don’t already have one.)

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

I opted to go for a pasta dish that didn’t include spaghetti sauce, for reasons you’ll have to read the book to find out. I settled on Carbonara because 1. I love bacon and 2. Yum. I’ve never made Carbonara before and I’m sure I committed many sins against the dish in my process. I used the recipe I found on bon appetit website, finding it rather straightforward. I felt ready and rolled up my sleeves to create deliciousness.

Then I realized.

I had forgotten to pick up spaghetti noodles.

Friends, I am not easily deterred from making (and therefore eating) dishes that include bacon. I searched my pantry for a solution and ended up using what I had on hand, ziti noodles. While I’m sure I violated some sort of cooking rule, the dish came out quite tasty.

There you have it. My sauce-less pasta creation. May it give you long life.

“Merry” Halloween!

Becca (astoldbybex)

Mother of cats, baker of treats and crafter of… crafts.

Becca lives in Michigan where she spends a majority of her time surrounded by her four-legged pals, devouring the horror genre in all of its beautiful mediums and playing video games. Since she was raised by a horror-obsessed father, Becca was introduced to the genre at a very young age. She remembers her tiny hands typing blood-soaked poetry on her family’s 98 Windows desktop and publishing them in various Yahoo! groups for the world to see.

Now, Becca just wants to spend her time screaming about her favorite genre while supporting the wonderful humans that continue to conjure up nightmares. You can catch Becca on her blog As Told By Bex and Divination Hollow Reviews sharing book reviews & all things horror! She’s also 1/3 of The PikeCast, a podcast that dives into the world of Christopher Pike.

Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:

When someone asks for a horror book recommendation, I’m always quick to choose The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. I’m sure to a lot of my pals, I sound like a broken record. And for that reason, I decided to step out for this project and recommend something a bit more modern, but similar.

A Head Full of Ghosts introduces us to the suburban New England family, The Barretts. Everything seems normal, until their fourteen-year old daughter, Marjorie, begins to show symptoms of schizophrenia. From there, things go off the rails; Catholic priests are called in, exorcisms are recommended and the Barretts find themselves the stars of a new reality television show, The Possession.

There’s two things that I love about A Head Full of Ghosts. One would be the format in which Tremblay tells this story. We not only get Merry’s (Marjorie’s younger sister) first-person narrative of the events unfolding, we also get to listen to an interview with an adult Merry, as she discusses what happened. And throughout the read, we get blog posts recapping episodes of The Possession. Having all three perspectives really helps the reader to get even deeper into what’s really happening in the Barrett family.

The second thing I love is something Tremblay often does in his books – leaving the book up to the reader’s interpretation. Was Marjorie possessed? Did she have schizophrenia? It depends on what reader you ask. A Head Full of Ghosts gets inside your head and leaves you feeling extremely uncomfortable, long after you close the book. If you’ve yet to read A Head Full of Ghosts, I strongly urge you to throw it in your cart the next time that you go book shopping.

And, horror fans, Stephen King even says this book scared him – so, if you’re not going to listen to me, at least listen to him.

What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?

As mentioned above, I usually recommend The Exorcist and let’s be real – there’s one major food pairing I could have gone with if I was to stick with that. Yes, friends, pea soup. But, no one in this house is going to eat that and therefore, it would just be a waste.

Once I decided that I was going to recommend A Head Full Of Ghosts, I started to remember the ridiculous amounts of Halloween baking/decorating supplies that I’ve purchased in the past and realized that I had so many candy ghosts lying around. And, reader, what’s cuter than a cupcake full of ghosts?

So, no – there’s nothing especially deep about the pairing of cupcakes and A Head Full of Ghosts. I don’t remember a scene where Marjorie and Merry chow down on some baked goods, prior to (or after) spiraling into demonic possession and exorcisms. Cupcakes are simply good, just like this novel by Paul Tremblay.

Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?

As much as I love baking from scratch, I also enjoy doctoring up a simple box of Betty Crocker Cake Mix. Replacing water with milk, oil with melted butter (but double the amount!) and an extra egg can really give your cake that straight-from-the-bakery-feel!

Thank you SO much to Becca and K.P.! I adore these posts and had so much fun reading their answers. Find out how to submit a Delicious Horror post of your own here!