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Cooking in Oz: Kitchen Wizardry from America's Favorite Fairy Tale Paperback – November 1, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A time-capsule... twists and turns in its journey down the yellow brick road...cleverly written and assembled by Oz historians " -- Cult Movies magazine, 1999

"Cooking in Oz" will keep fans of the Oz legends eagerly turning the paperback's pages even if they never go near the kitchen. Authors Elaine Willingham and Steve Cox have assembled not only recipes but also an assortment of anecdotes, memories and photos from a wide range of people connected with the story since its first appearance 100 years ago. The orginal, "The Wizard of Oz," by L. Frank Baum, was published as a children's book in 1900. It turned into a 20th-century cultural phenomenon, immortalized in the classic 1939 film, and subsequent film, television and musical-theater versions. That adds up to a huge cast of collaborators, and their families and descendants, with stories to tell and favorite foods to offer. -- The Associated Press

If you are a "Wizard" fan you will enjoy this book full of pictures of Garland and other Oz characters. -- Enid News and Eagle, April 28, 2000

About the Author

Elaine Willingham has owned and operated Beyond the Rainbow, a mail-order business devoted to Oz, for more than ten years. From her offices in St. Louis, she maintains a popular Wizard of Oz Web site, the best of its kind. Steve Cox is the author of eleven books on film and television, including the hugely successful "Munchkins of Oz," "The Abbott & Costello Story," "The Beverly Hillbillies," and "The Addams Chronicles." A frequent contributor to the "Los Angeles Times," he lives in California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing; First Edition edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581820518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581820515
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
From its "Son of a Witch" section to Bill Cosby's Jello recipes, you'll be thoroughly entertained as this fascinating cookbook serves up delicious trivia. Metaphor now complete, the point's valid; Cox and Willingham have done an admirable job of identifying celebrity candidates from the saga of Oz, tracked them down (surely no easy task itself) and solicited recipes worth sharing.
But the recipes are just the beginning. This is really a book about Oz. A funny, clever, fascinating book that illustrates America's love affair with this marvelous story.
The Oz connections are explained in a direct style that will be a real eye opener for anyone unaware for the extent to which this classic fairy tale has penetrated our culture. The sidebars, photos, photo captions and text take you through a full 100 years of Oz history just as the turn-of-the-century fairytale marks its centennial year.
Background information is short enough to be an easy read, yet detailed enough to say something meaningful. For example, a quote from a vintage interview with the author's wife includes that she thought Baum, who didn't live to see the MGM film, would have regreted the portrayal of his book's rather comic character, the Wicked Witch of the West, as a scary witch. "Frank wouldn't have liked the witch part. He never wrote anything that might frighten children," she says.
The classic MGM film is just one of the stage/screen productions honored in this book. Talented cast and crew members behind animated Oz films, merchandise creators, recording artists, even stars from television series that included an Oz theme in an episode all get their share of attention.
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Format: Paperback
My first thought about "Cooking in Oz" was, how could there possibly be another book related to the topic of Oz that hasn't covered everything out there? Well, there is!
This book is not 'about' Oz per se, but gives the reader insight into the personal home recipes of some of Hollywood and Ozdome's most enduring personalities ever to appear or be involved in an 'Oz' project.
This includes the 1939 film cast, their kids, International Wizard of Oz Club personalities, members of the Baum family, celebs that appeared in stage productions of 'Oz' you name it, they're here!
In addition to the oodles of recipes, this book includes extremely rare photos of the cast and crews of the above in Ozzy food scenarios and sitchy-ations, in addition to new insights of oft-overlooked Oz rarities like the Oz TV shows, photos of the MGM cast in other food related arenas (like Bert Lahr advertising for Frito-Lay), etc.
Elaine Willingham and Steve Cox have provided the reader with a plethora of fun recipe tips that have personally come from the homes (and kids homes) of the celebs who used them. All the recipes have 'Ozzy' names attached to them, like:
Winkie Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, Wicked Witch's Mint Squares, (Margaret) Hamilton's Wilted Lettuce Salad, (Al) Hirschfeld's Caviar Appetizer, Lena Horne's Bitey Beans
I recommend this book to anyone with a love for Oz and a love for food. It's a wonderful combination creatively mixed and served up by the Oz personalities themselves.
You can't get any more personal than that!
I really enjoyed this book and plan to use some of these recipes myself.
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Format: Paperback
It is a well orchestrated balance of interesting stories from the film as well as the book with recipes from many of the people connected to Oz and re-incarnations of Oz through film, stage, TV, music etc. To see so many celebrities, some well known for their Oz connection and some quite surprising is astonishing. It is easy to read and put together in an interesting way. You have no trouble going from stories and pictures to recipes. Recipes from the families of cast members and the Baum family are such a treasure to have.
How especially nice to see so much history of L. Frank Baum from members of his family as well as their family tree. How gracious of them to share treasured family recipes with the authors.
Add all that to a neat arrangement of never before seen pictures, some contributed by the Baum family, makes this truly an Oz book everyone should have. Steve Cox and Elaine Willingham did their research well and have designed a great book.
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By A Customer on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. I have loved the movie The Wizard of Oz since I was a child and I stumbled upon this book in the cookbook aisle and grabbed it up in a heart beat. I never knew there was so much to the lasting legacy of Oz. I think this is beautifully presented cookbook and trivia book with some very nice comments from celebrities and Oz cast members inside. I especially loved the photographs of Margaret Hamilton with her son, appearing on Mr. Rogers show, and as she got older. Go Maggie! Luv that witch, and I love this book.
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By A Customer on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm really not into cookbooks, but a friend gave me this for my birthday and I'm simply crazy about it. The best part of the book are the rare pictures in the center: photographs which, I believe, have never been seen, of the Wizard of Oz sets. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry's house without them in it! The book is full of trivia and things I never knew about Oz. This is a treasure, and it really is a memory book. If you have any doubts from the dubious reviews on this page, then go check out the book yourself. You'll be glad you did. Any self-respecting Oz collector should not be without this bonanza. It overflows with interesting material you will find in no other Oz book...and imagine, all in a clever cookbook like this. Was I surprised at what I found. The Foreword by a Munchkin from the movie was probably my favorite part. The recipes from L.Frank Baum's relatives and their personal recollections were a rare treat for me. I felt like I got to know them and I know I got to know Oz better from this book. Christmas is coming and my shopping is done. I'm ordering several for my friends. One suggestion, try the recipe called Jack Pumpkinhead's Cobbler. It's easy and it'll melt in your mouth. A Delicious recipe from a delicious book. A Plus!
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