Word Wednesday

Word Wednesday: ‘The Official Hill Valley Cookbook’

This Week’s Word Is “Gigawatts.”

I learned what a Gigawatt was from watching Back to the Future 35 years ago, but that’s by the by. The film is one of my all-time favorites, one of the few I can watch over and over. For this week’s post, I’m going “bake to the future,” as I review Back to the Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook. 

I must confess I’m not a huge user of cookbooks, especially in the age of food bloggers. Sure, food bloggers are annoying; I don’t need to know what you did on the morning you bought your spice-blend from that delightful market, just give me the ingredients and the order in which to mix them together, please. Once you’ve scrolled beyond 2,000 words of irrelevance, however, you can find some great recipes. If I don’t go in for cookbooks, I certainly don’t go in for gimmicky cookbooks, because, in the words of food blogger Bilbo Baggins, they “feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Yet here I am, against my better judgment, with The Official Hill Valley Cookbook, because… well, because Back to the Future.

I have to say this is a pretty great cookbook; perfectly on theme. It combines great-tasting and fine-looking food with an added dash of nostalgia. No. Not a dash; this book is soaked in nostalgia gravy. To stir in another metaphor, there is ample butter for the bread.

Great Scott! Look at all those recipes.

What Is The Official Hill Valley Cookbook?

The book contains over 60 recipes and after a brief introduction and a quick glossary of cooking terms, the book launches into it how to cook its Hill Valley–inspired treats. 

It’s broken down into several sections, each one pertaining to a given year in the movie franchise. 

So we have:

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  • 1985.
  • 1955.
  • 2015. (The extrapolated one, not the actual one (there’s no One Direction Confection.))
  • Alternate 1985.
  • 1885.

The book then closes out with “Hosting a Back to the Future Movie Marathon.” This offers some ideas for menu plans, what to have during breaks and offers up that the running time of the trilogy is 5 hours 42 mins.

It’s impossible to see this recipe and not hum the ‘Back to the Future’ theme.

Why Try The Official Hill Valley Cookbook?

This is a fun book that treats its source material with the love and fealty it deserves. There are some classics in here, “Uncle Joey’s Parole Cake,’ as well as some clever themed sidesteps “Clint Eastwood’s Cowboy Punch” and the “What are you, Chicken? Sandwich.”

As you might expect, the 2015 section has some of the most fun recipes, like “Hoverboard Cookies” and the “Jaws 19 Spicy Grilled Shark Steaks.” My personal favorite is “Chicken Cordon Biff” from the alternate 1985. If you’re looking for some more traditional old-style cooking then head straight to 1885!

The Official Hill Valley Cookbook is very nicely presented. The 1885 pages are set on sepia-toned paper and 2015 has a funky futuristic font for its headings. The book is peppered throughout with pictures of the food, along with stills from the movies, providing that all-important nostalgia ingredient. On the cover sits the very tasty and amazing looking (if you get it right) “Doc Brown’s Time-Altering Chicken Pot Pie.” If there is one thing better than chicken pot pie, it’s chicken pot pie with a flux capacitor on it. 

If you have a Back to the Future fan in your life, who also happens to know their way around the kitchen, this would make a great holiday gift. You’d make them very happy, and they’d make you some tasty food; it’s win-win. 

If you’d like to pick up a copy of The Official Hill Valley Cookbook you can do do here, in the US, and here, in the UK. (Affiliate Links)

If you enjoyed this review, do check out my other Word Wednesday posts. 

Iconic biscuits. Don’t eat them over water.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in order to write this review.

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This post was last modified on December 9, 2020 1:01 am

Robin Brooks

Dad of boys, player of games, and reader of books. GeekDad and one half of Agents of Sigmar. Prone to starting things I can't fin

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