Weekend Reading: Blood Cake, A $460 Meal & More

A look at what we're reading, cooking, and eating this weekend.

Lauren Rock/NPR

• Over on NPR.org, I was caught off guard by a shockingly gory blood cake [pictured] cooked up by Peter Ogburn, who tested it along with other offal recipes for a "Blood and Guts"-themed Halloween dinner for his two young boys, with surprisingly positive results. —Cory Baldwin

• What is it that we're really paying for when we drop a lot of money on a special meal? After trying the $460, 19-course tasting menu at Frantzen/Lindeberg in Stockholm, writer Julian Baggiani mulls it over in a thoughtful essay published by Aeon. —Karen Shimizu

• I'm not going to pretend I have the attention span to make tiny, perfect, Halloween-themed cheese crackers (ghosts with tiny black-sesame eyes! I can't handle the cuteness), but I'm really happy that SassyRadish is on the job. If anyone else wants to make them, though, I'm in for the eating part. —Helen Rosner

• There's nothing quite like the aroma of spruce trees while walking through a snowy Maine forest. Sometimes, you just want to drink it all in. And according to an article by Wayne Curtis in the current Atlantic Monthly, you actually can. I plan on ordering a bottle of spruce-infused gin this weekend in hopes that the fragrant gin and tonics it produces will become my go-to drink this holiday season. —Keith Pandolfi

• Has food replaced art as our culture's primary form of expressing values? Over on The Opinion Pages of The New York Times,_William Deresiewcz makes a fascinating case that it has indeed begun to do so, and warns that this may be a dangerous confusion to make. _—Anna Stockwell

• I'd never thought of caramelizing pumpkin puree until I saw this recipe for caramelized pumpkin pudding over on Apt. 2B Baking Co. and now I can't wait to try it out. —Anna Stockwell