Friday, October 30, 2009

Pat Conroy's Love Affair With Food

In the spirit of two of my favorite things -- books from the south & cookbooks -- I recently read Pat Conroy's foray into foodie writing and recipe-sharing, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life.

You'll notice that I said "read," not "browsed." That's because Conroy's cookbook reads like a memoir, with recipes peppered in here and there. Don't get me wrong, Conroy includes plenty of recipes. Recipes for everything from pasta dough and fish stock to creme brulee and stuffed pork chops. But rather than simply listing recipe after recipe, Conroy gives us something more. He gives us the story behind the recipe.

Conroy tells us his history with food and cooking, from his family's move to a place he could finally call home (Beaufort, South Carolina) to his time spent as an ex-pat in Italy. Conroy tells us why he loves to cook and how he learned to cook (his first wife went back to pharmacy school and he was put in charge of nightly dinners for the family). Most of all, he tells us what he loves to cook. And with his recipes in front of us, we get to try our hand at replication.

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