Zombiefest ’15 for The Walking Dead Season 6 Premiere with a Potato Puffs Recipe for Deanna’s Dinner Party
For this year’s creepy October party, my husband and I surprised our boys for The Walking Dead’s Season 6 Premiere by doing our best to recreate what we imagined the welcome dinner party Deanna threw for the survivors group would have been like.
We watched the episode a few times, trying hard to determine what the attendees were eating. As it turns out, other than a table laden with multiple bottles of alcoholic beverages, none of the foods any of the party goers were eating were shown, and only three food items were mentioned, as far as we could tell.
The now famous Carol’s Cookies (Creepy Carol’s Cookies or Carol’s Creepy Cookies…appropriately dubbed in our family) were a large part of that episode. So we were sure to make a small batch of them, as we did for the mid-season premiere earlier in the year. They are a cinch to make, though I always snitch an extra quarter chocolate bar from the pantry to improve them. Which reminds me…am I the only one who has noticed that the girl in charge of the pantry is one of the few overweight apocalypse survivors? Something fishy’s going on there. But anyway, in the real world, the recipe for Carol’s Cookies is a cinch to find, right on the AMC website. And those silly eggless things are good! And both times I’ve made them I’ve used whole wheat flour because I rarely buy white so only had whole wheat on hand, which is kinda the point with Carol’s Cookies, isn’t it? She makes them out of what she has to work with. And that idea is what led us to go with a “scavenged food supply” theme for this year’s Zombiefest.
My husband and I had so much fun running around, store to store, trying to find just the right foods that the scavenging teams would have brought back to Alexandria on supply runs. It had to all be pre-packaged, which is not something we are used to buying. We were even surprised at small town store #4 to find a #10 can of chocolate pudding, big enough to feed a town.
After watching and rewatching the dinner party episode, we heard a woman telling Carol one of her recipes, though the name of the dish wasn’t mentioned, just the ingredients…lima beans, cocoa, sweetener. I had no idea what the finished product was supposed to be, but I whipped together the ingredients and added it to “Deanna’s” table. Fudge, maybe? Chocolate frosting? I’m sure a vegan/dairy free type could tell me.
The only other dish I could catch mentioned in conversations, other than the homemade pasta Mrs. Niedermeyer wanted to make with the pasta maker she kept asking supply runners to look for, was potato puffs. In the episode, Abraham is watching Michone eyeing a mini plastic sword and says something like, its only good for skewering potato puffs. The point was that she had hung up her katana, possibly for good, and they were both thinking and hoping she may not need to use it again, now that they’d found Alexandria.
Potato puffs. What the heck is a potato puff, I wondered and wondered. I quit wondering and put instant mashed potatoes on my party grocery list, with the intention of inventing my own potato puffs from a scavenged food item the survivors might have had in their pantry. I hadn’t seen a garden anywhere inside the complex, not that the sheltered city slickers of Alexandria would have known what to do with one, so wasn’t feeling hopeful that they’d have any fresh potatoes on hand.
Because I’m a foodie, I had trouble grabbing just any old box of the nasty potatoes I generally despise, so bought a sour cream and onion flavored box of potato flakes and got busy. Ew. It wasn’t pretty. But I did manage to make what would be, in an apocalypse, a pretty tasty, though pasty, baked hors d’ oeuvre by pulling out my little cake pop maker.
Here is how I imagined Deanna would have made her potato puffs.
Scavenger Potato Puffs
3/4 c. unprepared sour cream and onion instant mashed potatoes
3/4 c. water
2 T flour (I used quinoa because it was the only “white” flour I had on hand.)
1/2 tsp. baking powder (Cross your fingers that it will still activate if you’re in an apocalypse.)
3 robin eggs (If you’re a lucky Alexandriaite, Daryl and Aaron will get them for you next time they head out. But if you have chickens, use one medium chicken egg.)
1 T parmesan cheese. (The weird powdery kind that comes in a plastic shaker jar and doesn’t require refrigeration, probably the only kind TWD survivors would have.)
Whisk together the flour, instant potatoes, baking powder, and parmesan.
Beat together the water and eggs. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Heat a cake pop maker and lightly oil it. Drop the potato puff batter by hefty teaspoons into each cake pop hole.
Cook according to your unit’s instructions.
Place the finished puffs on a serving platter and skewer each with a mini plastic cocktail sword, or a toothpick if that’s all you have.
The puffs were a little bland, but fun to eat while imagining them at Deanna’s table among other survivor foods in cans, as depicted in Episode 513. I think that some time in the future I’ll make them with real mashed potatoes with added flavor, like green onion slices and aged cheddar. This recipe made about 2 dozen puffs.
Some other “scavenged” food items we had on our creepy illuminated dinner party table were potted meat, spam, and canned ham.
I just cubed the ham and stuck a toothpick in each cube. Fancy!
We also “scavenged” cupcakes with creepy gummy eyeballs and fondant severed finger decorations, both found in the holiday cake decorating section of Walmart.
Carl’s chocolate puddin’. You can see a picture of the house that was featured in TWD‘s chocolate pudding episode here in my self-guided TWD film location’s tour post, along with many other film locations from earlier seasons.
We also had beverages in cool looking bottles, like whiskey sour mix to be added to lemon-lime soda, Arizona iced teas in amber bottles, and canned sodas, with maraschino cherries for adding to fun concoctions.
I put ghost marshmallow Peeps on candy apple sticks so I could play with them and make them “flit” around…because I’m a dork.
We served a can of fruit cocktail…
…processed cheese, beef sticks, and crackers packages…
…and to continue the scavenged theme, we stocked back-up dinner party supplies on the buffet behind the serving table…dog food, cat food, hominy, more potted meat, and packages of Top Ramen. No, we didn’t eat the pet foods, we were just trying to make our boys laugh. Mission accomplished! Though I imagine, in an apocalypse, if I was hungry enough, I’d eat just about anything in a can. The hominy went in our pantry to await being made into Chicken and Green Tomato Pozole.
We also served Feral Dog Barbecue Sandwiches (pork, of course) inspired by the group’s encounter with a pack of feral dogs in Season 5, and of course we had to have spaghetti on the table as a nod to Daryl’s dinner at Aaron and Eric’s house…”scavenged” spaghetti…in a can.
As usual, we had a blast with our boys, nibbling while we anxiously watched to see what would befall our beloved survivors at the start of a new season. And now that I’ve watched the latest episode (***Spoiler alert for anyone who happened to be living under a rock this past week.***), Glen on a dumpster with a guy he never should have troubled himself with, I kind of wish I’d skipped this season. I’m heartbroken, as I’m sure all of my fellow Dead fans are, and hoping there is still hope for one my favorite characters. And now Rick…stuck in an RV that won’t start…and the herd fast approaching. Ugh. I’ll be watching through my fingers and chanting, “It’s just a show. It’s just a show. It’s just a show.”
Check out the other fun Halloween parties and creepy recipes we have created for our boys over the years:
~ Chocolate Mint Zombie Cookies: made from gingerbread men and women cookie cutters
~ Brie Cheese Coffin with Raspberry Jam, for gore, with baguette slices
~ Zombie Fingers: tiny bratwurst sausages
~ Pumpkin Shaped Cheese ball
~ Cat Tails: Hot dogs on bamboo skewers with scallion greens to simulate foraged cat tail stalks
~ Edible Skin: beef jerky
~ “Eugene’s Antidote”: green Kool-Aid and Sierra Mist
~ Rotten Robin Eggs: gross green deviled eggs
~ Sweet ‘n’ Sour Meatball Eyeballs: ground beef meatballs stuffed with green olives, braised in sweet and sour sauce
~ Lab Beakers of Portal’s “Experiment 115”
~ Witch’s Fingers: dried green beans and prosciutto and salami wrapped cheese sticks
~ Sea Monster Eyeballs: green olives
~ Zombie Pig Eyes (my boys were all about “zombie pigs” for a while that year): black olives
~ Graveyard Cake with Oreo dirt and Vienna Finger headstones.
Always so much fun. I can hardly wait till next year!! Happy Halloween!