Many hundreds of years ago, when I was a small girl, I used to eat dirt. I would squat in a Louisiana ditch, a dark-haired child in a yellow dress, busily whipping up a mud pie. Using a spoon from my mama’s best silver, Francis 1st, I added a little ditch water. Then I swooned, overcome by the color and texture of the mud. It resembled rich brownie batter. Without hesitation I licked the spoon. My pie tasted sour and felt gritty against my teeth. I ate another spoonful, dribbling mud down my chin. All of a sudden Mama flew out of the house and jerked me up by one arm.
“Stop that!” she cried, plucking the spoon from my hand. “Little girls don’t eat dirt! And they don’t use their mama’s sterling for mud pies, either.”
Michael Lee West’s Consuming Passions is a book that’s keeping me company while I lay in bed, trying to get over the effects of repeated migraines this week. So far this memoir is perfect company. In Consuming Passions West reflects upon her Southern childhood in a family of great cooks and the role food plays in her life. The stories she shares are hilarious and the book is filled with recipes such as fried green tomatoes, pork roast, and buttermilk biscuits from scratch. I love that the recipes West shares are from her family and friends. Here’s one more quote from West then I’m off to bed again:
When people ask why I am obsessed with food, I tell them it’s the perfect companion. It doesn’t whine, gossip, or snore; doesn’t pester you with phone calls and doesn’t leave a ring in your bathtub. It never screams when you bite it. It won’t lie, cheat, or run up bills on your credit card. You can chop it, burn it, beat it, and spit it out. Its intentions never varies. All it wants to do is please the palate and nourish the body.
Are you reading anything food-related this weekend?