There are so many reasons to love October. To name a few: the crisp fall air, the beautiful changing leaves, amazing seasonal recipes, Halloween, and for a certain subset of the population, the return of The Walking Dead. Last Sunday kicked off season 3 of the cult-hit drama, which brings to life (or, er… unlife?) the same-named graphic novel about a post-apocalyptic, zombie-ridden world. (Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched the premiere yet.)
After a shocking finale last March — Everyone’s infected! What’s that ominous building looming in the distance? Who is that hooded figure toting around zombie pets? — the premiere did not disappoint, answering some of our questions, and laying the groundwork for an upcoming season of mysteries. Inspired by this revelatory episode, we’ve whipped up a zombie-licious party menu — perfect for Halloween or any Sunday-evening viewing session — that’ll be sure to attract all the walkers in your neighborhood.
We’re all overjoyed that Rick Grimes and the gang are finally off that boring, season-2-stilling farm. Whip up this Farm in a Blanket recipe which plays upon the favorite wrapped hot dog, calling instead for a sweet-and-salty onion, raisin, provolone and salami center.
While foraging for food, Rick and Daryl stumble across that previously foreshadowed building, which turns out to be a massive, fenced-in prison. Sherriff-in-Chief Rick sees it as their salvation and devises a plan that’ll allow them to benefit from the jail’s secure boundaries. Prepare this Bread of the Dead — a traditional food eaten on Día de Los Muertos — to nod towards typical prison fare (and the many undead that surely await within the fortress’s walls).
Meanwhile, Lori is super pregnant. That baby is ready to pop, and, if she has issues while delivering, it might very well zombie-chew its way out of her belly. (Talk about problems.) Make some cayenne-Spiced Pepitas to represent Shane’s devilish seed that got her in this mess in the first place.
The group descends on the prison with military-like precision, staking and sharp-shooting zombies left and right. Then Maggie is surprised by a masked riot-officer-turned-zombie (I screamed at the TV, “Oh no! How is she going to stake him through the head?”). Prepare Nadia G.’s delicious prosciutto, olive and tomato Bocconcini Eyeballs in honor of the goriest and most efficient place to stab a zombie: right through the eyes.
So far, season 3 has seen a record number of zombie kills, resulting in oodles of blood and guts strewn about the prison yard. Help your guests channel their inner zombies by offering them eerily realistic Bloody Brain Shooters. (If the flavors don’t suit you, try this similar Brain Cocktail.)
Despite the cozy bloodied beds in their new home — a cell block of the jail — Rick insists they press on inside the dark labyrinth to find the real gold mine: medical supplies and rations. I’m sorry, but Rick? That is madness. There’s pretty much nothing creepier than an abandoned jail (except maybe an abandoned insane asylum, or, I don’t know, an abandoned jail overrun by zombies). Bake these Snack Bar Madness cookies to enjoy later on.
Suffice it to say, Rick and crew did not make it safely to the prison’s magical supply room, instead finding zombies around every corner, and Hershel’s ankle becomes one walker’s snack. Rick does the only thing he can do to try to save Hershel: chop his leg off. And — surprise! — some ex-prisoners are still alive and watching the whole thing go down. Throw back some Zombie Gut Punch to digest what just happened.
The episode ended with a bang (or really, a chop), laying the foundation for many new (and continued questions): Who are these live prisoners? What’s going to happen to Andrea and her sword-wielding, armless-zombie-toting friend? Will Hershel survive? Serve this lifelike Severed Braciole Arm as a main dish in honor of all the dismemberment from this episode — and surely much more to come.