Consuming Passions: A Food-Obsessed Life by Michael Lee West

Consuming_passionsOK, here’s an oldie but goody.  Who doesn’t like a good story?  Or good food?  Or good stories about good food?  Or crazy Southern relatives who obsess about good food?  If you like some or all of the above, Consuming Passions is your book.  In this part memoir, part cookbook, and all humor, you will meet author West and all her culinarily blessed (or challenged) extended family.

I loved this book years ago and still do now.  The stories are priceless and so are the recipes for creations as pot roast, coconut cake, potato salads, and such.  The book got me laughing more than anything, and immediately made me want to share it with others – needless to say, my sister got it for her birthday one year, and I still tell anybody who needs cheering up about the book.

I think the appeal of Consuming Passions is that the recipes are geared for the average person, i.e. comfort food, and occasionally, failure.  If you have been to any family gathering or church picnic, a fair amount of these dishes will sound familiar.  The author also shows off a southern charm without being too cloying, and a wonderful sense of humor about the ways of a kitchen that will certainly encourage you to be more forgiving of yourself when you burn something.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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