Weekend Reading: Consuming Passions: A Food-Obsessed Life

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?


About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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13 Responses to Weekend Reading: Consuming Passions: A Food-Obsessed Life

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    This sounds good to me! Food is a big part of life in the South for sure!

  2. Eating dirt? That really is a consuming passion. Hope your migraines have left!

  3. I go crazy over buttermilk biscuits, and cheesy grits. And peanuts! There’s all kinds of southern food I love. …although not all of it is exactly compatible with a family cholesterol problem….

  4. Margot says:

    This sounds delightful. I come from a family of midwesterners who have always been food obsessed. We’ve also eaten our share of childhood dirt.

  5. TheBookGirl says:

    Sorry to hear you are suffering with migraines…hope you are past them soon.

    I can see why this book would be good company when you’re feeling ick…it sounds delightful. I’m going to see if my library has this one.

  6. Kailana says:

    I remember the mud pie days, but we didn’t eat them….

  7. Beth F says:

    I never ate my mud pies, but I do love food — though it does tend to run up my credit card (sometimes I can’t resist that exotic spice, special tea, interesting grain ….).

  8. Uniflame says:

    This does sound like an enjoyable book 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Love the first quote! This sounds yummy.

  10. zibilee says:

    I love foodie books, and am always on the lookout for them, This one sounds excellent, and like something that I would love, so I am going to have to keep an eye out for it. I love the bit about the mud pies, that was wonderful! Hope you feel better soon over there my friend!

  11. Kathleen says:

    Oh my, I don’t think I can read this one while I am trying to lose weight. The descriptions of those buttermilk biscuits would have me way off track!

  12. Terrific quotes. And I hope you are feeling better soon!

  13. Pingback: It’s Monday! What are you reading? « 1330v

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