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Writers love to tell stories, so when L. Elisabeth Beattie remarked that her next book ought to be a Kentucky writers' cookbook, Betty Layman Receveur replied, "Actually, all my sons ever demand of me is my pound cake." Adding a cup of this and a pinch of that, Beattie cooked up Savory Memories, a collection of twenty-two essays about particular dishes that call up warm memories in the writers.
Featuring recipes and memories from writers such as Joy Bale Boone, George Ella Lyon, Ronni Ludy, Ed McClanahan, Sena Jeter Naslund, and Richard Taylor, this is both a cookbook and a compendium of sentiments. This warm and enjoyable blending of essays, illustrations, and recipes is leavened with humor and laden with nostalgia. As much as the food, these writers celebrate the personalities who lovingly prepared and provided their favorite dishes, sustaining life and helping to shape the personas of the authors themselves.
A collection of highly personal recollections, Savory Memories is a veritable smorgasbord of delights.
L. Elisabeth Beattie is associate professor of English at Elizabethtown Community College and the editor of Conversations with Kentucky Writers.
"If beyond the pearly gates, I am permitted to select my place at the table, it will be among Kentuckians."—Thomas D. Clark
“To read Savory Memories is to rediscover one's own memories: memories of food, specific dishes or great groaning boards of it; memories of occasions, intimate, familial or communal, where food was served; and memories of people, individuals and groups of them."—Bowling Green Daily News
“This is a lovely book with good old-fashioned recipes"—Chattanooga Free Press
"Within each recipe, there is a tradition and a bond to the family that will forever be etched into the memory of the author. As the reader, we too get a taste of their recollections"—Independent Publisher
“Will doubtlessly serve as a treasure in many a collection. It has interesting recipes that are usually tasty but occasionally edible only with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The recipes are accompanied by sometimes sweet and always poignant memories that serve to help us transcend time and place."—Lexington Herald-Leader
“If you never prepare even one of the recipes (and I don't think you'll be able to resist), the warm reminiscences will spark your own, and will be enjoyable (almost) as the family favorites found here."—Library Lane
“Vivid with memories of the rural South: flocks of guineas, cast-iron stoves, Sunday dinners, harvest feasts, blackberry cobblers, and holiday dinners."—Mississippi Quarterly
“Beattie has provided a documentary and a collection of memories of people and places that preserve the past through 'breaking bread together. Through the 'party of memories,' as R.W.B. Lewis puts it, we are reminded of how dining together forms connections, brotherhood, camaraderie, belonging, pleasure, and comfort."—Southern Quarterly
"What could be more pleasurable than a book that provides the two things one most loves to digest: good food and good literature?"—Southern Seen
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Cooking, American authors, Kentucky, Culinary history
Beattie, L. Elisabeth, "Savory Memories" (1998). Cultural History. 24.