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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cranberry Cobbler | Frankenstein

Cranberry Cobbler
Cranberry Cobbler
It's time for the November edition of the All Vampire Book and a Movie Challenge. I'll admit that I was a bit thrown for a loop when I heard that this month's assignment was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I'll admit that while I know the basic story of Frankenstein (I mean, who doesn't), I'd never actually read the book or seen this movie adaptation. And the whole "vampire" portion had me stumped.

I mentioned that to Kimberly before venturing into either, but she told me to remember the definition of a vampire—a reanimated corpse. Hence, the whole recurring "zombies and vampires are essentially different sides of the same coin" thing that has turned up often during this challenge. I don't know, though. I prefer the whole "being that feeds on the essence of the living (be it blood or energy)" definition of vampire.

But anyhoo, that's the point of this challenge—new discoveries of old folklore and common tropes.

The movie - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994):

The movie starts and ends on the Arctic sea, in the year 1794, with the crew of a ship that has found themselves trapped in ice during an expedition to the North Pole. The seemingly impossible happens when a seemingly crazed man wanders in on the ice, raving about a monster. This man is Victor Frankenstein.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
The captains brings him into his cabin with the hopes of warming and restoring his body (and perhaps mind), when Victor begins telling him the story of his life, and what led him there.

Flashback to Geneva, 1773, and a younger Victor in his family's home. His father is a physician and the family has just adopted a young daughter who lost her own family, and is about the same age as Victor. As they grow up together, it becomes obvious that they are very fond of each other (as more than brother and sister).

Victor's mother gets pregnant when they are already young adults, and wound up dying in childbirth, her husband unable to save her. This makes Victor question death, and why those we love have to die. He sets off to university to follow in his father's footsteps as a physician, but also to go further and discover not only how to heal, but how to shirk death and keep a person alive.

Victor meets a professor (Waldman) who has been experimenting with the same thing, and after his murder, decides to use the professor's studies and notebook to bring him back to life, cobbling him together with body parts from other recently deceased people, consisting mainly of the body of the man who murdered him and the professor's brain.

Victor becomes obsessed, secluding himself in his laboratory and alienating his friends and loved ones, until one night his work is a "success".  But (somewhat oddly), Victor recoils from his creation, thinking it a monster or a demon. There is a struggle and his monster escapes, taking Victor's notebook on his way out. Outside his lab, there is a deadly cholera outbreak, and Victor lets himself believe that no man (therein lies the problem) could survive on his own in that environment.

The monster does survive and escapes to the woods, finding a remote house in which we begin to see the humanity in him as he hides out in the family's barn. He becomes what the family believes is a good spirit of the forest, using his strength to pull root vegetables from the hard, cold earth in the family's "garden", leaving it at their doorstep. He peeks through the cracks as the mother gives the children lessons on reading and writing, learning in secret alongside them.

He is eventually able to read Victor's notebook, realizing that exactly what he was and how he became to be. He vows revenge on the man who, like a father, created him—and then shunned him and left him to fend for himself, alone, in a cruel world. His plan was to either kill Frankenstein or force him to make the monster a female companion.

I'll stop there, so as to not recite the entire movie, but if you know the story of Frankenstein, you probably know where this is going. There isn't much food to speak of in the film, but there were mentions or glimpses of coffee, apples, soup or broth, onion scraps, potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, and cookies.
Cranberry Cobbler inspired by Frankenstein

The book - Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818):

Honestly, I haven't finished the book  yet. It's not very long, but it seems long, due to the language and the time it was written. I had a rough go of getting through the "letters" that it begins with, which correspond with that arctic expedition that I mentioned from the movie above.

I've gotten a little further into the story, learning that Victor's father was not a physician in the book, and his mother did not die in childbirth, but rather from tending her beloved Elizabeth (the adopted sister) through scarlet fever before succumbing to it herself. Victor's reaction was much the same. He headed off to university in Ingolstadt at the age of 17, just after his mother's death, and did meet Professor Waldman.

This is as far as I've gotten in the book at this point. The only mentions of food so far are soup and Brandy.

The Cranberry Cobbler:

While I didn't necessary pull any food from the movie or the book, what better way to represent Frankenstein than with a cobbler?


Roughly assemble or produce something from available parts or elements.

Frankenstein's work was literally cobbling pieces and body parts together to make a whole person. A fruit cobbler consists of cobbling fruit together with some sort of batter or dough. I initially thought I'd use apples as the fruit, since Victor was eating an apple in the movie, but I decided to go with something that I already had in the house, hence the cranberries. I did add a healthy splash of Brandy as a nod to its mention in the book, though.

And hey, if you look at the cobbler with an eye towards the movie, you can sort of see how the cranberry pattern resembles the crude stitching on the monster's face. Right?
Cranberry Cobbler
All Vampire Book and a Movie Challenge
The All Vampire Book and Movie Challenge is hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles, and meets monthly to discuss a predetermined book and movie relating to vampires. Sometimes the book and movie may be the same (or an adaptation), others they may relate in a more obscure manner.

Once we've read the book and watched the movie, we write a blog post discussing them and how they relate or differ, and perhaps share something that it inspired us to make.

This month's assignment was Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (book and movie). If you'd like to join the discussion next month, we'll be reading (book) and watching (movie) Bram Stoker's Dracula, and our posting date will be Sunday, December 25.

Until then, let me know if you'd read this book and/or seen the movie - and what you thought about either. Also, drop by and Coffee and Casseroles to see Kimberly's thoughts on the book and movie!

yield: serves 8print recipe
Cranberry Cobbler

Cranberry Cobbler

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 45 MINStotal time: 60 mins
Fresh cranberries enclosed in a sweet cake-like batter with a thin crust of sugar on top.


  • 1 1/4 cups cranberries, partially thawed if frozen
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • splash of brandy (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a deep-dish 9" pie plate.
  2. Combine cranberries with 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl; toss and set aside for now.
  3. Whisk the remaining sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Scoot the mixture to one side of the bowl, and add the milk, egg, vanilla, and brandy (if using) to the open side. Whisk the liquids until well-combined, then whisk them into the dry mixture.Add the melted butter and whisk until you have a smooth, glossy batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then scatter the cranberries and sugar over the top of the batter.
  5. Slide into the preheated oven and bake until golden and the center springs back when lightly touched, ~45 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Created using The Recipes Generator