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Beyond Delicious: The Ghost Whisperer's Cookbook: More than 100 Recipes from the Dearly Departed Paperback – September 13, 2011


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Beyond Delicious: The Ghost Whisperer's Cookbook: More than 100 Recipes from the Dearly Departed + As Alive, So Dead: Investigating the Paranormal + When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Clerisy Press (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578604990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578604999
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Whether you believe or not, the recipes themselves look appealing to those of us on earth, who still have use of our taste buds. NewsFeed has to give Winkowski props for originality." - Time Newsfeed October 2011

"The stories in Beyond Delicious are quick, interesting reads. There’s not a scary ghost story in the bunch. The recipes are old-fashioned family favorites, the kind that typically would be passed down through the generations, and can be enjoyed by believers and nonbelievers alike." - The Wichita Eagle October 2011

"This book is excellent and will make you want to share your recipies with those you love and who are alive for countless centuries." - TheExaminer.com January 2012

" If 'all things creepy' is just your style, here's a thought. When you're planning tonight's Halloween supper, why not include a couple of recipes from ghosts? Weird? Well, yeah! But impossible? Not necessarily . . . assuming you're a follower of Mary Ann Winkowski, Cleveland's "Ghost Whisperer." In Beyond Delicious: The Ghost Whisperer's Cookbook, Winkowski tells tales of more than 100 spirits who had stories to share -- and recipes to go along with them. " -- Joe Crea, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

From the Back Cover


EXCERPTS

INTRODUCTION

When I first started helping people communicate with earthbound spirits and helping those spirits cross over, I had very little to go on. At first, my grandmother was always with me because I was just a child, but because Grandma didn’t have the same ability as me, she wasn’t really able to give me much insight into how I should go about things. Along the way, I picked some things up myself, was told some things directly by the spirits, and had my abilities extended by whatever Power gave me this gift in the first place.

One of the things I picked up from my own experiences was to always take a notepad and pen with me into every job. It seems so obvious now, but back when I first started doing this in earnest, it didn’t occur to me. Usually the spirits were family members and I could just pass their messages on directly, or they were completely unrelated, and, to be frank, no one really cared what they had to say as long as they said goodbye and left them alone.

Bess was the spirit who taught me to keep a notebook and pen with me at all times, and she was also the first ghost to ever give me a recipe. I’d never thought about lost recipes until Bess either. In hindsight, I should have expected both things: the need for paper and pen, and the need to pass along recipes.

Food is everywhere. We have to eat to survive, if nothing else, but for most of us food defines our days. Morning is the time between breakfast and lunch; afternoon comes before dinner. Yet eating is much more than survival or a way to break up the day. It is a social experience. We conduct business lunches, we raise money with pancake breakfasts, and we share the day’s events with loved ones over dinner—and it wasn’t too long ago that eating was only half the experience. The other half was preparation. The size of the kitchen used to be much more important than how much space the living room had for a home theater. It used to be that an average kitchen had stove tops crammed with pots of simmering soup stock, drying racks holding freshly baked bread, and chopping boards festooned with chopped vegetables.

Times have changed. In this new age of toaster-pastry breakfasts, power lunches, and fast-food dinners, eating has become a chore and cooking is considered a hassle. Even so, most of us still define good times and good memories with food: the cookies a favorite aunt baked, or the chicken soup you always had at Grandma’s. I’m sure somewhere out there, some people even fondly remember the aroma of a nut roll made by a woman named Bess.

Eleanor, the woman who called me about Bess, lived alone. Her husband had been dead for years, and since then Eleanor had become more involved with the church. That’s where Bess first ran into her—when she was alive, I assumed. Eleanor loved to bake, and her specialty was nut rolls. There was only one problem, as Bess explained when I got to Eleanor’s house: “She can’t bake worth a tinker’s cuss.”

Bess must have been 80 when she died and she was actively trying to get Eleanor to stop baking her nut rolls: She’d blow out the pilot light on the stove, she’d steal key ingredients, she’d put the butter that Eleanor had left out to soften up back into the fridge—anything she could think of. I couldn’t fully understand it. Eleanor was actually baking the day I went out there, and the house smelled delicious. “She goes around giving those nut rolls of hers away, and everyone just throws them out. I mean, look at them!” Bess offered, motioning to the cooling rack where Eleanor’s signature nut rolls were. I turned and gave them a harder look, and Bess was right. They might smell good, but they sure didn’t look good. They weren’t roll-shaped, for one thing, and they looked more pasty than golden-brown.

“What?” Eleanor wondered, seeing me turn to look at her baking. “What’s the ghost saying?”
Fortunately, I do not have to talk with earthbound spirits out loud. For me, the whole conversation takes place in my head. That has saved me a lot of heartache over the years because it allows me to filter what the spirits are saying. Not that I ever make up things or put words in their mouths, but I can soften the blow when need be. Some ghosts - just like the people they were in life—have very little tact. The things they say can be mean and hurtful, even if they didn’t mean them that way. So talking to them in my head gives me the chance to rephrase things and be more polite, sometimes even more diplomatic.

“Oh, we’re just talking about baking,” I replied carefully. I didn’t quite know how to tell this sweet old woman that her special nut rolls were so bad most people threw them away the second she’d gone. One glance around her kitchen told me that Eleanor derived a lot of pleasure from baking. “Do you only notice things happening when you’re going to bake?” I asked, turning back to Eleanor. “Yes.”

“Well, Bess was a baker, too,” I said. “So that explains that.”
“Does she like my baking?” Eleanor asked hopefully.

“Tell her I like her cooking,” Bess said. ”She makes good meatloaf and decent chili, and her stew doesn’t look bad. She just can’t bake. Can you stop her from baking?”


“No,” I told the ghost. ”It makes her happy. I’m not going to tell her that, and once I’m done here, you won’t be able to bother her anymore. So you might as well go into the White Light once I’ve made it for you.”

We cook because of that connection to food that is always there. We want to cook for sustenance and joy. What I’ve learned over the years in talking with spirits is that this connection with food is not broken after death. In fact, some spirits become earthbound because of food. Perhaps there’s a recipe they didn’t intend to take to the grave, or that was passed on incorrectly, and they need to make sure it survives. Maybe they don’t like a relative’s cooking and are literally haunting them in the hopes of correcting the error. Sometimes they even understand that food can heal in little ways, but only if it’s prepared correctly, with the love and attention and ingredients that should go into every dish. Eleanor certainly had the love and attention to put in her nut rolls; she just didn’t have a good recipe.

“Her nut roll recipe really is just awful,” Bess almost pleaded. “How about I give you my nut roll recipe for her to use?”

“So?” Eleanor cut in. “What’s she saying about my baking?”
“Oh, nothing much, I replied. “Do you have a pen and paper? She’s so thankful that you called and got me out here to help that she wants to give you a recipe - her recipe for nut rolls.”

“A secret recipe?“ Eleanor breathed, her eyes widening and sparkling. She got up breathlessly and fetched me something to write on and with.
“I don’t know if it’s secret, ”I answered truthfully. “But this is the first time a ghost has ever given me a recipe.”

Eleanor smiled broadly, and I could see it in her eyes that this one “secret” recipe summed up for her everything she remembered from her childhood about her family’s cooks, and all the “secret” recipes she wished she had now.

I also have fond memories of the wonderful smells that always came from Grandma’s house. On my mother’s side - the Italian side - it was Grandma’s spaghetti sauce and Grandpa’s pizza. There was homemade wine, with the fragrant aroma of grapes always drifting up from the basement. On my father’s Bohemian side, the food was heavier but just as memorable and delicious: nut rolls and doughnuts and the weighty scent of yeast and hops for Granddad’s beer. Visits were little more than one long excuse to eat and drink and eat some more. The food never ran out, and the beer and wine flowed in an endless stream.

That was the era, though. The women usually stayed home and kept the house, and the week was divided into chores around that: Monday was laundry day, Tuesday was for ironing, Wednesday for cleaning. But Saturday was for cooking and baking for the next week, so when we visited, there was always something fresh and delicious to be had. Cooking, baking, preparing food - that’s just the way it was.

Now we try to pack all those food-related memories into holidays, and we spend a week off work trying to cook from scratch without really knowing what to do. We follow recipes designed not for taste and nutrition, but for efficiency and show. We try to cram everything into one or two special meals, or one big meal a week, and invariably something goes wrong or the food doesn’t come out right or it just doesn’t taste like you remember it tasting when Grandma made it.

This book sets out to right those wrongs that so many earthbound spirits have perceived. These aren’t recipes from TV or created to highlight some trendy ingredient. These are recipes so beloved that the living asked me to get them before a loved one crossed over, or so meaningful that a loved one wanted to make sure it was kept by those they left behind. These are simple dishes from typical homes with basic kitchens, from all over the country. Some recipes are what we’d now call ethnic, while others are tried-and-true recipes with unique twists that add so much to the flavor. The best part is, they can’t help but also inspire the kind of love and attention that fills homes with mouthwatering aromas and creates long-lasting memories for guests.

These are recipes for some of the best home-cooked meals you can find, because they actually came from homes: straight from the kitchens of the mothers, grandmothers, uncles, and grandfathers who prepared - and perfected - them over a lifetime. We say it’s difficult in our modern society to find the time to make a fresh soup, but we still feel like we should try, and for good reason. Nothing will ever beat a home-cooked meal for nutrition, value, and satisfaction - that’s one thing every spirit who has passed on a recipe from beyond agrees on.

Eleanor called a few weeks after my visit and after Bess had crossed over. She was overjoyed but also circumspect. No one had ever asked for her nut roll recipe before, but since she started using Bess’s recipe, suddenly people were, and she didn’t know if she should give it out. In the end, she figured it should remain a secret recipe - but I found out much, much later, when she died herself, that Eleanor shared her secret recipe with almost everyone in the parish!

And now I’m passing on all these “secret” recipes to you. I think you’ll agree with me that everything in this book is beyond delicious.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I got this book for myself and one for my sister and she loves it too.
Judith C Sumutku
I had just read an article about the book and the ghost whisper's story of how she wrote it.
Carey
Some of these recipes sound very good and I am looking forward to trying them.
G. Gowins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Valerie J. Wood VINE VOICE on November 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beyond Delicious is a wonderfully apt title for this cookbook! Mary Ann Winkowski has assembled a collection of recipes she has amassed over the years from those dearly (and perhaps not so dearly)departed whom she has encountered in her work as the original Ghost Whisperer. This is a delightful cookbook to read, as well as use. Each recipe comes complete with the story of how Mary Ann encountered the spirit who shared their beloved special/secret recipe and it is a most charming, insightful read.

I have been pleased with the ones I have tried so far and plan on making several more of the dishes in this marvelous collection. If you've enjoyed Mrs. Winkowski's other books, as I most definitely have, you will love this delicious assortment of dishes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By NitaneeLyon on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've enjoyed reading the stories behind the recipes very much, it was quite interesting to see why loved ones might hang around. My family has always has a bit of sensativity and experiences so I was very interested in others. I could have read a book of the author's experiences all day long.

Some of the recipes sound quite enjoyable, the chicken noodle casserole is one that stands out to me and I'm looking forward to trying them when I shake this head cold.

Now if only the author could hunt up my great aunt and get her polish cookie recipes! I'll be checking out some of the author's other books in the meantime.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. K. Browning on October 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I had a lot of fun reading each recipe and the ghost story accompanying each. I have to admit to a fondness more for the dessert choices, like Ted's Coconut Kisses, Mitzi's Golden Pumpkin Cookies, Lemon Sour Bars, Elderberry Pie, Frying Pan Cake (sort of a pineapple upside down cake in a frying pan)

There were some intriguingly named ones: Hank's Rabbit Pie...take one cleaned rabbit...., Florence's French Pork Pie, Grandma's Cuban Chicken, Toledo Lebanese Meatballs.

There were two that I know I will never ever, no way, nuh-uh make: Grandma's Pickled Beet Soup, Secret Harvard Beets...ask my mom, she'll tell you.

The stories accompanying each recipe were sweet, funny, odd and any mixture thereof. I do hope that Mary Ann does do a travel book sometime like she thought about in the book. I'd love to read about where she goes and the sites she visits, as much as the ghosts she sees every day.

I have a new cookbook for the keeper shelf in the kitchen. I look forward to trying many of these and see what my family thinks. I know the desserts will be a hit. Brown Sugar Refrigerator Cookies or Chocolate Torte to start.....

Four spooky yummy beans....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judith C Sumutku on December 19, 2012
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Enjoying "The Gohost Whiserer's Cookbook!! Made one receipe so far - it was great! I got this book for myself and one for my sister and she loves it too. She also tried several receipes and enjoyed every one on them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Hart on November 27, 2012
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This book was purchased for my Ghost loving sister. It has a story before each recipe and is very interesting indeed! Some of the recipes are so old, some that you might want to try, and others you will not...unless you like possum! LOL! the book is very extraordinary! My sister loved it and read it from front to back. I would suggest this book if you know someone that loves ghosts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Spaeth on July 19, 2013
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Was looking for a book to read and Mary Ann’s books never fail to entertain me. So I figured, why not…let’s try her new recipe book dictated by ghosts. While a lot of the recipes did not titillate my palate, the ghost stories behind them were enjoyable. I love how Mary Ann works her way to the heart of the matter of why the ghosts are still walking the earth and did not go through the white light when they had the chance, as well as their reasons for not doing so. She’s a very clever lady with not only how she handles obstreperous ghosts, but also gets their secret recipes to pass on to us. It’s a unique book worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Gowins on April 5, 2013
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Recipes from ghosts...it doesn't get more unique than that. Some of these recipes sound very good and I am looking forward to trying them. I love the little stories that go with each recipe. Who would have thought there were so many ghosts willing to give away their secret recipes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carey on February 4, 2012
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Chose this as a gift for someone special who is enjoying baking. I had just read an article about the book and the ghost whisper's story of how she wrote it. It made a "fun" gift on a "spooky" level too. My idea that might be fun, would be to bake something from it for a hostess gift and copy the story behind it and attach it to your baked goodies. A great conversation piece and a bit of ghostly fun!
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