A delicious new memoir from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry
A family history peppered with recipes, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good offers a humorous and flavorful tale spanning three generations as Kathleen Flinn returns to the mix of food and memoir readers loved in her New York Times bestseller, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. Brimming with tasty anecdotes about Uncle Clarence’s divine cornflake-crusted fried chicken, Grandpa Charles’s spicy San Antonio chili, and Grandma Inez’s birthday-only cinnamon rolls, Flinn—think Ruth Reichl topped with a dollop of Julia Child—shows how meals can be memories, and how cooking can be communication. Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good will inspire readers (and book clubs) to reminisce about their own childhoods—and spend time in their kitchens making new memories of their own.
In Flinn's (The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry) recipe-rich memoir of her childhood in Flint, Mich., food is a source of sustenance and familial affection. Her Irish-Swedish family's long history of living on working farms allowed them to feed themselves when they were broke. Her father would go out in the morning before his full time job and pick whatever looked ready and her mother would can dozens of jars of applesauce, pickles, beans, and jams, (a skill taught by Flinn's maternal grandparents). The time-consuming and arduous task on her hands earned her mother the nickname "The Claw." With five children in the house, this way of life was once commonplace through the first half of the 20th century, but people abandoned the practice for grocery store conveniences and shortcuts. The family worked incredibly hard on the farm and had few luxuries, (a splurge was going to McDonald's and spending money the kids had earned picking strawberries on another farm in the summer). Surrounded by a warm, extended family, Flinn's childhood sounds like a wonderful way to grow up, and her additions of mouthwatering Michigan recipes adds even more flavor to her memoir.