Muffins & Mayhem by Suzanne Beecher
Published by Touchstone A Division of Simon & Schuster
At the request of Media Muscle, The Book Trib, a HC was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (partially from book’s jacket): Suzanne has had her own share of troubles to over-come. Left home alone at an early age, she struggled with difficult and distant parents, dealt with heartbreak, became a hard working single mom, and overcame two substance addictions and a physical impairment. But along the way, she found comfort in baking and sharing food with her friend and family. She learned to take the good with the bad, and here life is now inspiring proof that faith and persistence are the keys to her success.
My Thoughts and Opinion: Where do I begin because there are many aspects of this book. Ms. Beecher, an only child of working parents, she took on the role of cook, house cleaner and oversaw all household chores at the early age of eight (8). Her love of baking and her many recipes is how she remembers stages of her life. She shares those recipes in each chapter along with her sense of humor, insecurities and neuroses. I have not tried any recipes yet, but plan to after my recuperation period. Her writing style made me feel that she was talking to me over muffins and coffee. At times, I found myself laughing out loud, the next chapter, rooting for her and the next feeling her emotional pain and empathizing with her. A few tidbits of a look inside this book. Again, the recipes, which I will share one with you. How her mother taught her to put clothes into the freezer straight from the wash before drying and then she could iron them (had never heard of that one). How she battled a physical disability, through her faith and a friendship with a 92 year old woman, Amy, who taught her some tips in the kitchen. And my favorite chapters, entitled In -a-Pickle where she describes incidents that are so funny, I actually was laughing out loud. I loved this book. It wasn’t the usual type of book that I read but thoroughly enjoyed it. Another positive was all the recipes that she shares, this book is going on my shelf with my cook books. Ms. Beecher had me wishing I knew her and could share stories over coffee.
This recipe makes 5 crusts. The name says it all; you just can’t fail when you’re making this piecrust. If you’re a beginner, this is the recipe for you.
4 c. all purpose flour, lightly spooned into a cup
2 tsp salt
1/2 c. water
1 TB sugar
1 3/4 c. shortening (not lard or butter)
1 TB apple cider vinegar
Mix all ingredients well and divide in 5 balls. Slightly flatten each like a giant hamburger, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold if using right away. Or you can freeze for later use (To freeze, wrap each one in wax paper and freeze in a freezer bag-you’ll always have a piecrust on hand. This dough won’t get tough if you re-roll it).