For years Molly Ivins was a force to be reckoned with as a columnist for various publications including The Dallas Morning News. She was often interviewed by the print and television media in herself described role of “professional Texan.” You never knew what she would say but you knew that it would often be caustically funny. Sadly, cancer did what political power brokers and others could not do and silenced the legendary Molly Ivins.
Many did not know the other non-public side of Molly Ivins. For her lucky friends who spent time with her in unguarded moments away the media stage there was a lot more to Molly Ivins than the rest of us saw on our television screens or in her many columns. One of those things that escaped public scrutiny was her deep interested in the culinary arts.
Her interest ranged from the most basic to the most advanced and complex dishes. Thanks to her friends and fellow cook Ellen Sweets, readers now have via Stirring It Up with Molly Ivins: A Memoir with Recipes some idea of that interest. Often funny, occasionally sad, the book is a fun 272 pages (including index) read containing numerous recipes, photographs, and hundreds of memories. Simply put it chronicles a life well lived.
Published by the University of Texas Press the book is broken into chapters detailing the various events in Molly Ivins life as well as the life of her friend Ellen Sweets. Black and white pictures abound in the book as do the recipes for items such as “Melba’s Baked Pork Chops” (page 85) and “Ouefs Brouille” (page 115) and “Smothered Chicken in Onion Gravy” (page 144) among other dishes. Nutritional information is not present nor are there pictures of the finished dishes.
Not so much a cookbook but a book of love regarding a dear and cherished friend. The book is filled with memories and reminisces that often result in laugh out loud moments and the occasional sigh of pain. The book wonderfully tells another side to Molly Ivins that most of us never saw or even had a glimpse of over the years. If you thought you knew all about her based on her public personae, take a look at this book and be pleasantly surprised.
Stirring It Up With Molly Ivins: A Memoir with Recipes
University of Texas Press
Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2012