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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Lake Lachrymose Cooking School

Unfortunate Cooking

Come for the delicious recipes. Stay for the terrible story.

Lake Lachrymose Cooking School

Lynley Jones

Return to A Series of Unfortunate Recipes homepage.

This week, I cannot bear to tell you what happened at cooking school. And a decent person like you should be spending your time at a nicer website anyway.

Read Something Else

If you are the type of person who likes to look at lovely photographs of delicious food, surrounded by happy people pretending to share a meal while drinking beverages from fancy glasses, you should close your browser right now and go find another website to visit.

This photograph, obtained at great risk from the Netflix corporation, is one of the few remaining images of the Town Market and Petting Zoo before Hurricane Herman. It must have been taken shortly before the storm, as evidenced by the many strange characters seen milling about, and the nefariously-bookish fish head vendor in the foreground.

For example, there is a lovely website called Bon Appetit, which is run by a huge corporation filled with charming and good-looking people who only eat delicious food and who spend their days frolicking in fancy, well-lit kitchens. In addition to their useful and pleasant website, the fine folks at Bon Appetit also provide their readers with a monthly magazine, printed on slick, glossy paper, with even more photographs and delightful stories of food and cooking.

The Advanced Baking Course

In fact, whenever I think of Bon Appetit, it reminds me of the time I spent in the Advanced Baking Course at the Lake Lachrymose Cooking School. My oven partner was a handsome and fascinating man who loved to tell witty jokes and entertain everyone by whistling a Miles Davis tune with herb-and-peppercorn crackers in his mouth. If this were a website about me, I might tell you more about how I met this wonderful man, and about the many tantalizingly delicious and deliciously tantalizing things we baked together in that class. I might also tell you about the secret codes we used to send messages to one another, hidden in refrigerators and fortune cookies. And I might tell you that what happened at that cooking school still haunts my dreams to this day.


Even now, as I stand at the wooden table in this dilapidated kitchen, working late into the night baking yet another cake, hoping this time someone will find the message I've hidden in the frosting between the layers, I remember those happier times and I wonder ...why? Why did that terrible accident ever have to happen? Why wasn't the Swiss chard stored next to the Swiss Army knife? Why wasn't the chef more careful with the fondue? Why does prison food have to be so bland? And what ever happened to that sugar bowl?

But of course, this is not a website about me. This is a website about Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire. I cannot bear to tell you what happened at cooking school any more than I can bear to share recipes for the awful food the Baudelaires were forced to endure at the hands of Count Olaf and his treacherous associates, all of whom had terrible taste.

Very Fresh Dill

What I can tell you is this: Very Fresh Dill was always available at the Town Market and Petting Zoo, even in the off-season. It pairs especially well with salmon, of course, which was in plentiful supply in those days because Lake Lachrymose was a Verifiably Fashionable District. When served with a squeeze of lime, it could also help to prevent scurvy, which is a Vigorously Frightful Disease common among seafaring captains who are not villains in disguise.

But unlike Aunt Josephine and her dearly departed husband Ike, you should be careful to wait at least 45 minutes after eating it before swimming in the lake.


Baked Salmon with Very Fresh Dill and Lime

One of the few recipes I learned in the Advanced Baking Course that I can bear to share with you. Fish heads optional. 

If you would like to learn more about Lake Lachrymose in the time immediately before and after Hurricane Herman, something must have gone terribly wrong in your education. I can't do anything about that now. And this book will only make things worse: