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Gretchen’s Cookbook

Whining and Dining with Samantha Cardimon

Vampire Avoidance Tactics

Thank goodness. It’s almost Halloween. The one and only time of year we can scare the crap out of children - and get away with it!

Let's face it: you’ve got to do something fun at this time of the year to distract you from the fact that it's getting darker and colder and Christmas bills loom on the horizon like buzzards circling road kill. Even worse, Halloween is the time when the veil between this world and the next is thin enough for the dead to get through. We're bombarded with enough useless stuff from the living (phones, faxes, e-mail, political pollsters at the door). Now we've got to contend with dead guys slipping over the border? Great. Do I need this? One advantage to the dead, though: they can't send us spam.

This time of year really makes you confront your fears. Will I have enough food for today’s lunch the winter? Can I pay my Bloomingdale’s electric bill this month? Do I have an appropriate piece of equipment for the coming zombie invasion? What IS an appropriate piece of equipment for a zombie invasion?

As you can see, I am all about the planning. And you can also see that, much like Charlie Brown, I have pantophobia—the fear of everything. In the long run, though, I guess I really needn’t worry about all this nonsense. Because I have a master plan: I’m going to get bitten by a vampire and live forever. Frankly, I see no downsides to this. You don’t age, you get to wear black all the time, and let’s face it, your meals are pretty much all planned out for you for eternity. Talk about convenient!

If for some strange reason you feel the need to avoid vampires, you might try this week’s recipe. Don’t know how it will work out for the zombies, though.

Cream of Roasted Garlic Soup

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