Friday, July 6, 2012

Cookin' and Laughin' with Sandra Bricker

Sandie Bricker is the kind of girl that can make you laugh when she shoots you a three-word email. I'll never know how she does it, but she's got it down to a science.

Known for writing laugh-out-loud Inspirational fiction, she's ventured out into cookbooks. Not just any cookbooks, but ones that come from her heart. She's just released the first two in a three-book series.

I had a chance to talk with her and here's what she had to say:

1. What made you decide to write the cookbooks?

When my mom passed away, she and I were working on compiling her recipes for a family cookbook, which had been her dream for many years. Unfortunately, I lost her before it was all put together, and it was a little too painful to continue so I loaded it all into a box and closed the lid until I could manage to look at it again.

2. What is your favorite dish?

Really?! Just one?! How about if I narrow it down to a few? My mom was sort of a genius when it came to baking and cooking. She used to make these unbelievable cookies made from chocolate and coffee, and they were half-dipped in chocolate. Ahhh-mazing! And then there were the comfort foods like beef stew, dumplings, and stuffed peppers. I could never narrow it down to just one, Julie. I can’t believe you asked me to!

3. What are some of your favorite cooking memories with your Mom?

To tell you the truth, I didn’t learn a lot about cooking from her. Certainly not for lack of trying on her part either! I just don’t have the gift that she had. In fact, there probably isn’t a single dish on earth that I couldn’t ruin with very little effort. But baking! That was our thing. I have such wonderful memories of sitting on a high stool in the kitchen, rolling out dough, using the mixer (and licking the beaters afterward, of course), prepping the pans. I’ll never forget when she taught me how to use the cookie gun. We laughed so hard that day that she had to run out of the kitchen before she peed her pants!

4. Tell us about the wonderful way you came across these recipes. What does it mean to you?

A few weeks after Mom’s funeral, I was going through her things and came across a cookbook she’d made for me. It was red-and-white checkered and held together with a bright red plastic spiral, and inside she’d written down her very favorite recipes in her shaky little handwriting. The note on it said that she didn’t have much to leave me, but she considered her recipes the legacy she had to give. I’ve intended for a long time to do something with them, and for a while we’d discussed doing a cookbook related to the Another Emma Rae Creation series of novels I did for Abingdon Fiction. When they decided against it, I started thinking about how I might pay homage to my mom, and eventually the idea for these e-cookbooks was born.

5. Tell us about the "Hostess with the Mostest," and what you learned from her.

Mom and I were a tag team when it came to hosting the parties and brunches that she loved so much. I would design the tables with flowers and china and centerpieces, and she was the master chef. In my mom’s world, food equaled love. So you can see just by looking at me that I was deeply loved!

6. It sounds like your Mom had parties down to a science. What were some of your favorites?

My mom was the queen of the impromptu neighborhood barbecue because she could put together the most amazing gatherings in no time at all! And she loved to create brunches and cocktail parties where every morsel, every beverage, and every fine detail coordinated the theme or tone she wanted to present. I have such wonderful memories of helping her get ready for them, too. She’d show me her dress and shoes, and then let me dig through her jewelry boxes to choose what she would wear.

7. You are well-known for writing Christian fiction. What recipes do you think some of your characters would like to cook?

Nearly all of the recipes that I used in the Another Emma Rae Creation series came from my mom’s files, so I think those characters would have as hard a time as I do narrowing it down to favorites.

8. What projects are you working on now?

I’m just finishing up the third and final cookbook in the Legacy Recipes series before I complete my book for Abingdon Fiction’s Quilts of Love series. It’s called Raw Edges, and it’s based on the creation of an ovarian cancer memory quilt. Since I’m a survivor, it’s a project very close to my heart. After that, I’ll get started on my second Contemporary Classics novel for River North Fiction. Those books are contemporary takes on fairy tales. The first one was based on Cinderella, and the second will be a new spin on Sleeping Beauty.

9. Where can readers find you on the Web?

Thanks so much for joining us on the blog! I for one look forward to trying out some of these recipes!

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.