Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy – if Disorderly – Life
From the publisher: In MUFFINS and MAYHEM, author Suzanne Beecher uses her quirky, homespun magic to transport the reader through her tumultuous journey from her childhood in the very small town of Cuba City, WI to single, teenage mother to successful businesswoman, mother, grandmother, and wife of her best friend. MUFFINS and MAYHEM is refreshingly humorous and honest, and a perfect summer read that celebrates food, friends, and family.
Pull up a chair and dig into this delicious dish of confessions and reminiscences from an everyday person who had big dreams. In Muffins and Mayhem: Recipes for a Happy – if Disorderly – Life (Touchstone; June 1, 2010), Suzanne Beecher, beloved creator of the hugely successful online book club DearReader.com, rediscovers her path to the present through a recipe box and opens her heart to her readers.
Raised in Cuba City, Wisconsin, boasting 2,000 people, with a firm appreciation for hard work, Suzanne recalls her own arduous childhood years followed by her evolution from single, drug addicted, teenage mother to successful businesswoman, mother, grandmother, and wife of her best friend – the man of her dreams. Tracing memories evoked by the recipes she loves to cook, Suzanne reassures us that with love and dedication even the most challenging obstacles will be overcome.
Muffins and Mayhem was inspired by a reader who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and was wondering how to leave a legacy to her children. Suzanne suggested a recipe box filled with memories and family stories. Helping this reader turned out to be a gift to Suzanne as well, and she decided to share the stories and recipes that help keep her grounded in today’s unpredictable world.
Dished up with a healthy portion of hilarity; whether she’s ironing the clothing her mother deliberately froze solid, being the only girl in an auto mechanics course, or getting her pearl chandelier earring stuck between her teeth while driving, Suzanne’s personal tales remind us to take life lightly and enjoy our time with those we love.
So bake up some of Suzanne’s blueberry muffins, pour a tall glass of tea and take some time to savor the days when all food was slow food and people came together to enrich the quality of each other’s lives.
Muffins and Mayhem is a ticket back home.
My take: To begin with, I loved the style of this book – Suzanne wrote this book as if I, the reader, was sitting down at her kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee with her while holding a little “Kaffeeklatsch”; it was just like sitting down with my best friend, taking a bit of life advice while indulging in, well, “muffins and mayhem!” With complementing recipes in each chapter, Suzanne leads you on a journey through her life (a troubled childhood, a troubled adulthood but finally the rousing success she so undoubtedly earned and deserves). I literally “gobbled up” this book, reluctantly putting it down to sleep and let me tell you, I rarely do that with non-fiction! And not only did I take away some life lessons, I now have some new awesome recipes to try – and the feeling I made a new friend. I highly recommend this book. ★★★★★
This post was written for Touchstone/Simon and Schuster who provided the book for review. I was not compensated in any way except for the complimentary book.
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