Dirty Sugar Cookies: Culinary Observations, Questionable Taste Paperback – 28 Apr 2006
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Ayun Halliday's fourth book, Dirty Sugar Cookies, takes readers into the unpredictable mind and comical experiences of a true anti-foodie, giving even the most hopeless cooks a moment of relief from self-criticism, and the least discriminating eaters a reality check. Halliday started out a repressed picky eater without so much as a single fast-food-loving sibling to save her from the gourmet ambitions of a mother whose recipe for Far East Celery once received favorable mention in the Indianapolis Star. Her palate has since expanded to the degree that she'll fork down anything from chili-smothered insects that pass for an exotic destination's local delicacies to a peanut found wedged between the cushions of a theater seat. From summer camp's unlimited Pop-Tarts to the post-coital breakfasts of a well-traveled actress-waitress and the frustrating payback of cooking for some finicky offspring of the author's own, Dirty Sugar Cookies is an omnivorous, hilarious chronicle of culinary awakening. "
Top customer reviews
However, if you can get past that, this is a really good read, and many of the sentiments and feelings she describes could apply wherever you're from. I particularly enjoyed the chapter about the amazing birthday cake from a childhood cookbook that she never had herself, and which inspired massive envy when her friend did get it!!
Don't expect anything too gourmet either ('everything tastes better when mixed with mayonnaise'!)This is a book you read really because of the personality of the writer.
A nice easy read (with recipes), parts of which will have you in hysterics.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I was wrong. Dirty Sugar Cookies presents food in new ways and with new attitudes. Moreover, these ways are fun and accessible. Too many of my fellow cooks seem to have lost the concept that food is for the people and not just the people who must have the costliest of everything, even if it means shaving the server's tip. Ayun's outlook reminds us that food is all about the joy. Her recipes are fun and seemingly reliable. Further, she provides down home instructions.
The blurbs on the back cover tell you that you will laugh at Ayun's Ms. adventures and this is true. My favorite parts are how she illustrates, through food, her life's development and how four generations of primarily female Ayunians have grown - and show every sign of continuing to do so.
But in addition to what Ayun says, please also notice and praise how she says it. Her always unique voicing seems to have reached a new level of consistency, ease and phrasing. When I read a chapter on a segment of her teen years, I felt as if I had attended high school in Indiana during the early 80's. It is this sense of time and place she provides that makes this book so much fun to read.
Anyhoo. I woke up this morning determine to finish this long, delicious meal. After enjoying the index, (Ayun, you crack me up! Did you index it your ownself?) I flipped through to the two pages before the last page to find an amazing replica of a squashed pill bug. I thought, dang, whoever designed this book has quite a sense of humor...realistic drawings of flies lighting on the first page of each chapter and now this life-like bug at the end. Jeeze it looks so real, it's almost 3-D. Wait a minute...it was 3-D...I flicked the squashed pill bug out of the back of my copy and just had to laugh. Very ironic. He must have crawled aboard on one of those nights the book got kicked to the floor. The pill bug skeleton is lurking with the dust bunnies under my bed, but the stain remains!
Anyway...thanks again for another great read, Ayun!
(P.S. I loved the cover!!!!! Disgusting AND sweet. You should have seen the looks I got in the doctor's office waiting room...)
...plus it's so good to know I'm not the only one with a child whose whole acceptable meal plan is exhausted in less than 48 hours....!
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