Reading food biography and memoir is always a thrill for me. My mother loaned me Paula Deen's It Ain't All About the Cookin (2007) a few months ago and I finally read it in January, even though Deen isn't my very very favorite food personality. It's Nigella, FYI. Her memoir was conversational and colloquial and Deen's voice and phrasing was very evident in the book. So it was almost like being in the kitchen with her chattering away while she cooked yummy, buttery comfort food for you. Actually, before I read it, I knew most of the key points either from my mother or from Blogless Amy's hairdresser who told her all the scuttle butt and then Amy passed it on to me.
The most fascinating part was when Deen talked about her start as the Bag Lady who sold sandwiches to offices around Charleston. From there she catered and opened a restaurant in an economy chain hotel. Learning the progression of her business was delightful, really, and she gives a few good tips about opening your own restaurant, but honestly, I'm sure that she should write a complete and detailed tome on the intricacies of that subject.
Another thing I enjoyed about Deen's memoir was her candidness. She's not one to pretend that her life isn't rosy. Even when she had it made, so to speak, she struggled in her relationship with her step-daughter to be. And the book is peppered with her characteristic and occasional cursing. While it's not heavy reading, it was fun and quick and educational. If you didn't love Deen before reading her memoir, then you should afterwards. There are a few recipes inside, too.
My mom flagged some of the pages and told me she made one of the cakes. Lots of sugar. Lots of butter. And since my sweet mom loaned me her copy (and I was taking way too long with it) and she thought her friend Maggie, who loves Deen, too, would like to read it, she bought her an audiobook so Maggie can listen to it in her car. Her Knoxville commute each day is lengthy. Whew. Can't say much nice at all about Knoxville, oh wait. There are one or two good restaurants there.