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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

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Salmon Puffs Are In

This week in Books 4, 5 and 6, we visit a miserable mill, Prufrock Preparatory School and 667 Dark Avenue, where we meet Esme Squalor and learn about what's in.

Return to the Series of Unfortunate Cooking Lessons home page here.

Books The Fifth and Sixth

Ms. Lynley reads from  Book 5: The Austere Academy .

Ms. Lynley reads from Book 5: The Austere Academy.

In The Austere Academy, Book the Fifth, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire arrive at Prufrock Preparatory School, their new boarding school. 

Sadly, this austere institution is peopled with ridiculous teachers, a Vice Principal named Nero who does nothing but play the violin, and a snotty girl named Carmelita Spats who insists on calling everyone "cakesniffers."  The school dishes out punishments that make the experience of eating the industrial-style cafeteria food even more unpleasant than it might otherwise be.

As you might have guessed, things go from bad to worse at Prufrock Prep, and in Book 6, The Ersatz Elevator, the children are sent to live in the penthouse apartment of Jerome and Esme Squalor.   

Esme Squalor, Slave to Fashion

Orphans are in. You might not be aware of this if you don't follow fashion as closely as Esme Squalor, but it's true. Orphans are in. Dark is in. Stairs are in. Pinstripe suits are in. (Those horrible clothes you are wearing are out.)

Salmon is In

Cafe Salmonella is one of the innest restaurants in the city, because instead of serving bacteria that make their patrons violently ill, they serve salmon, and salmon is in.

The restaurant had "pictures of salmon on the walls, and drawings of salmon on the menu, and the waiters and waitresses were dressed up in salmon costumes, which made it difficult for them to carry plates and trays. The tables were decorated with vases full of salmon, instead of flowers, and of course all of the food that Cafe Salmonella served had something to do with salmon."

parsley Soda is In, and Now you can be too

One of the few things as in as salmon is parsley soda. You probably didn't know this, because you're not in, but it's true. At the very fashionable auction held at the end of Book 6, guests sip from frosty glasses of parsley soda as they nibble on Salmon Puffs and bid on ersatz items for auction. 

One of the rare bits of good fortune in this otherwise woeful and tragic tale is that now, you can make parsley soda at home. You'll never be as in as Esme, of course, but should it ever be in to pay a visit to people like you, there is a chance she might drop by. And this way, you'll have something to offer her.

The class Let's Make Soda is taught on Skillshare by Magda Diaz, the small-batch home brewer behind Stovetop Brews and She walks you step-by-step through the process of making and bottling your own naturally (lightly) fermented sodas at home, including Parsley Soda, which is refreshing and delicious.

Mixing the salmon filling

Mixing the salmon filling

Ms. Lynley is preparing the puff pastry to be rolled and cut by the children

Ms. Lynley is preparing the puff pastry to be rolled and cut by the children


Salmon Puffs , made in the Adventure Kitchen in October 2015

Salmon Puffs, made in the Adventure Kitchen in October 2015

Salmon Puffs

Cafe Salmonella serves Salmon Puffs at an in event it caters at the end of the book. Ours are made with canned Wild Red Sockeye Salmon, perfectly seasoned and mixed with herbs, nestled in puff pastry. Best of all, they're easy to make.

(Pay no attention to the low-carb police. Puff pastry is in, we promise.)

Get the recipe here.

Next Week: Chicken Enchiladas!