Lickable wallpaper, wormy spaghetti, fresh mudburgers, stink bugs’ eggs, there are so many clever, ‘eww’-inducing finds in Roald Dahl’s cookbook, Revolting Recipes. While I didn’t have much luck with the recipes themselves, looking through the cookbook gave me plenty of ideas about what kinds of things you can pull together in the kitchen to create your own revolting recipes. Note: this is the first cookbook my youngest asked to borrow and stayed up late in bed just looking through it–there are illustrations for each recipe.

But here are a few ideas I had after flipping through Revolting Recipes:

Poppy seeds and sesame seeds make for great bug stand-ins. Dahl uses them as ‘mosquito toes’ in his recipe for Mosquitoes’ Toes and Wampfish Roes Most Delicately Fried from James and the Giant Peach and to create Snozzcumbers from¬† The BFG.

Quick ideas

  • Brush egg white on rolls before baking and put poppy seeds in clumps and tell your kids you’re having ‘bug toe buns’ with dinner.
  • Sprinkle poppy seeds on buttered noodles and explain to your wide-eyed kids that something might have sneaked into the pasta.
  • Make a trail using a clean paintbrush and either mayo or ranch dressing to create a line on a plate then sprinkle little “bugs” (poppy seeds) leading to cucumbers on your kids’ veggie dish. Make sure to shake the excess poppy seeds off the plate so it really looks like the bugs are making their way to the food.

Bird legs can be tasty. In Dahl’s version of Bird Pie from The Twits, he baked a chicken potpie and then fashioned pipe cleaners to look like legs. I wanted a more edible version so I used chard, with its nearly neon pink and yellow stalks. Slice with a knife or cut ‘toes’ into one of the stalk’s ends. You can read more about how I created my own Bird Pie. But bird legs can turn up in other places too.

Quick ideas

  • Use chard ‘bird legs’ in a salad (adhere them to a dollop of chicken salad, if you want).
  • Make bird leg tostadas or tacos and let the chard ‘bird legs’ stick out.

Lickable wallpaper is easy. Another idea from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dahl suggests fruit strips made from apples, brown sugar and gelatin.

Quick idea

Make a easier, healthier version of lickable wallpaper by making a thick version of fruit leathers. Then stick dried fruit to the fruit leather to create a design in your ‘wallpaper.’

Fruit leather tongue!

You can find more Halloween treat ideas inspired by Roald Dahl at my post at

Your turn–what’s your favorite food idea inspired from a children’s book?

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