Not only will you have a great, simple recipe that’s sure to please the family, you’ll get a laugh out of Joy Smith’s nostalgic family stories.
Joy Smith, a Roanoke native and long-time columnist for the Fort Mill Times in South Carolina, recently released her cookbook “Tell Me a Story, I’ll Bake You a Cake.” This unique cookbook showcases personal recipes collected over the years from family and friends. Even better? Smith starts her cookbook with desserts, working backwards through the meal options.
Stories accompany the 90 varied recipes (approximately 22 of those revolving around Roanoke in some way); readers will be transported to a time when your grandmother ran the kitchen while you played outside ‘til dinnertime. The recipes are simple and straightforward, perfect for chefs of all levels and ages.
“I never really set foot in the kitchen as a kid because my mother was in there!” Smith says with a laugh. “Now people stop me in the streets to ask what I cooked that night.”
Smith, whose father was once minister of Virginia Heights Baptist Church, learned many things about entertaining “from osmosis” by watching her mother.
“A number of the recipes come from my mother and her friends, as well as church friends, and my aunts’ recipes,” she says. “These have become favorite things in our house, so a lot of the recipes go right back to Roanoke.”
Recipes include meals such as Lois’ Breakfast Casserole, Marvin’s Favorite Meatloaf (named for her husband’s dinner pick) and her Aunt Flora’s foolproof roast containing just three ingredients. Smith has shared her recipes and stories in her popular newspaper column, as well as appeared as a guest chef on the Food Network and other media outlets. Her favorite recipe out of the bunch? Peppermint ice cream, with only three ingredients!
“One reason the book is appealing is because nothing in the book is really scary or hard,” Smith says. “Even someone walking into the kitchen for the first time can make these meals.”
The cover depicts Smith’s now 41-year-old daughter Whitney on her first birthday, after smashing her face into a red velvet birthday cake. It seems only right the first recipe in the book would be Peggy’s Red Velvet Cake! Many other images in the book are vintage, plucked from Smith’s own family albums, including several black-and-white family photos.
“Tell Me a Story, I’ll Bake You a Cake” is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and AuthorHouse.com.