The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (And Financial Planner)

( 6 )

Overview

They?re wild, beloved, and all-around fabulous, but with the Sweet Potato Queens, there?re just never enough good times?or enough good eats. Well, now all fabulous women everywhere can have their own mountains of royal fun and food, because bestselling author and Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne is revealing her big-ass top secret recipes?and the events that inspired them?in The Sweet Potato Queens? Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner). And, of course, she?s dishing up plenty ...
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Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (And Financial Planner)

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Overview

They’re wild, beloved, and all-around fabulous, but with the Sweet Potato Queens, there’re just never enough good times—or enough good eats. Well, now all fabulous women everywhere can have their own mountains of royal fun and food, because bestselling author and Boss Queen Jill Conner Browne is revealing her big-ass top secret recipes—and the events that inspired them—in The Sweet Potato Queens’ Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner). And, of course, she’s dishing up plenty of hilarious stories, including:

• Queenly adventures in mothering
•The tiniest bit of plastic surgery
• The all-true story of the Cutest Boy in the World

And, oh yes, as promised:
• Sound financial planning. Tip number one: Hope that Daddy lives forever.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
praise for Jill Conner Browne, the sweet potato Queen

“You don’t have to be from the South . . . you just have to like laughing out loud, a lot.”
—Chicago Tribune

“This is not reading for the faint of heart. You could die laughing.”—St. Petersburg Times

Publishers Weekly
Browne's third tasty outing (following Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love in 1999 and God Save the Sweet Potato Queens in 2001) finds the Boss Queen taking on Betty Crocker (source of "some of the insane ideas we have struggled with and against for the last 50 years") and channeling Suze Orman for financial advice ("There's a lot to be said for rich old guys with bad hearts and no relatives, but you can't always get what you want"). Culinarily challenged readers will be happy to find this book's main course is still Browne's hilarious anecdotes and observations about enjoying life after 40. She caps each escapade with the perfect artery-clogging recipes (with names like "Whatchamacallit Chicken," "Gooiest Cake in the World," "Bitch Bar Bacon Swimps" and "Pig Candy"-bacon rolled in brown sugar). Whether she's dealing with her mother having a stroke, confessing her obsession with buying a cement monkey or waxing on the joys of wigs or her potential second career as a plastic surgery consultant, Browne is riotously funny and human. Fans will be charmed when she falls in love with a younger man ("who totally missed Motown because he wasn't born yet") or reveals the recipe for Nuclia's Secret Weapon Hair Spray: Elmer's glue and water. Browne and her stable of Queens (no one with any taste would utter the word "drag" in their presence) show no signs of abdicating their hold on readers. Long live the Queens! (Jan.) Forecast: Browne's first two books have sold a collective 750,000 copies. She is headed on a 20-city tour to met fans from the more than 1,600 SPQ chapters nationwide (sweetpotatoqueens.com), and will make 20 radio satellite and a number of TV appearances. With a 100,000 first printing, expect a long reign. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609808771
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/7/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 271,080
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Conner Browne
Jill Conner Browne is the author of the bestselling The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love and God Save the Sweet Potato Queens. She is Boss Queen of the Sweet Potato Queens of Jackson, Mississippi, and now tours and speaks full-time about all things Queenly.

Biography

Those without a sense of humor need not read any further.

Now that that's out of the way, welcome to the world of Jill Conner Browne, self-proclaimed "Sweet Potato Queen" and internationally-proclaimed fabulously funny writer of romantic advice, tantalizingly tasty recipes, and -- now, for the first time -- rip-roaring fiction! While Browne is no doubt the queen-bee of the Sweet Potato set, apparently there are factions of other such queens all across the nation. You may even have one in your very own neighborhood; they can always be recognized by their flashy sunglasses, even flashier red fright wigs, their sly pseudonyms of "Tammy" (which they acquire to ‘protect their identities'), and the chilly margaritas inevitably clenched in their hands. The illustrious Sweet Potato Queens have all loved and lost, maybe they're approaching middle-age, and they certainly enjoy a bawdy tale as much as a frosty beverage. As their ranks continue to grow, Jill Conner Browne's popularity and success does, as well -- which is quite an improvement over her less than ideal beginnings.

About fifteen years ago, Browne was awash in financial troubles, twice divorced, and responsible for a little girl and a sickly mother. To combat her less-than-glamorous life, she and a clutch of friends took on the absurdly glamorous personas of the Sweet Potato Queens, parading around the streets of Mississippi in a sweet potato farm truck, dolled up in outrageous tiaras and feather boas. Soon enough the Sweet Potato Queens became something of a local phenomenon, which Browne parlayed into hilariously in-your-face columns about love, life, family, and men. The publication of her very first book The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love followed. The volume was an all-out explosion of ribald, good-natured advice (ex: "The True Magic Words Guaranteed to Get Any Man to Do Your Bidding") and, of course, a smashing recipe for the perfect margarita. With the massive success of Browne's first book, her life suddenly took a turn for the better and she became one of the hottest writers going. Her uproarious sequel God Save the Sweet Potato Queens solidified Browne's status as a role model for other women looking to break out of their shells. The book offered up more advice ("Dating for the advanced, or advancing"; "The joys of marriage -- if you must"), as well as more lip-smacking recipes.

Such recipes were the chief focus of The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner) , a carefree compendium of secret recipes ("The Gooiest Cake in the World"; "Bitch Bar Bacon Swimps") and some tongue-in-cheek financial advice ("Hope that Daddy lives forever").

By now, the Sweet Potato Queens had grown into a veritable nationwide army, eager to devour new titles like The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men and The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide. With The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel, Browne's first foray into fiction, the origin of the Queens is finally (and fictionally) revealed. Publishers Weekly for one hopes that Conner's debut as a novelist is just the beginning of her fiction career, declaring it "a GEN-U-WINE page-turner of a novel" and rhapsodizing, "Browne's hilarious and heartwarming debut sets sturdy groundwork for future fictional follies."

Good To Know

Now that Browne has introduced the world to the Sweet Potato Queens via her hilarious books, she is continuing to spread the word in person. She regularly does public appearance tours in which she speaks "about all things Queenly."

Browne is not the only writer in the Conner clan. Her sister Judy is the author of the similarly humorous Southern Fried Divorce.

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Read an Excerpt

About Betty Crocker

Merciful heavens, where do we even start talking about Miss B? Is it any wonder that over 50 percent of baby boomers are on Prozac? Kelly Goley, one of our favorite SPQ Wannabes, (who sent us the recipe for Love Lard featured elsewhere in this book) went to Restoration Hardware (boomers love this store-it is our childhood) and found the same Betty Crocker cookbook that her very own mom had received for a wedding present and which little Kelly had spent many happy days in her youth poring over. (The Love Lard recipe is clearly a backlash reaction to the early-childhood trauma of being exposed to the Betty Crocker Philosophy of Feminism.)

Kelly bought the book immediately because it gave her that warm, familiar feeling of revisiting her childhood. Only when she opened the pages did she realize the havoc Mrs. Crocker had wrought on Female America, right under our noses. If you are still wondering where we as women got some of the insane ideas we have struggled with and against for the last fifty years-the addle-brained expectations that have been leveled against women from inside our ranks and out-look no further than Betty Crocker. I compared Betty's words with those of the anonymous husband who wrote The Good Wife's Guide, also available in the fifties. (You'll have no trouble seeing why he wouldn't put his own name on the book!)

Witness the "Helpful Hints" Mrs. Crocker offers us, while posing sweetly in a dress with an apron. She exhorts us to "perfect our homemaking skills" by practicing each task until it goes smoothly, thereby developing "techniques" for meal planning, cooking, marketing, sewing, dishwashing, home beautifying, nursing, bed-making, cleaning, and laundering. She left out yard work, auto repair and maintenance, and carpooling. Of course she did; women didn't drive much then and kids walked everywhere. And she also left out supporting the family while doing all the above.

The Good Wife's Guide tells us that our goal is making our home a place of peace, order, and tranquillity, where our husbands can renew themselves in body and spirit. We should, therefore, touch up our makeup right before he comes home from work, we should not greet him with complaints or problems, we should make sure the kids are clean and quiet when he comes in. (He'll want to look at them but that's about all. Don't you know he's tired?) We should not complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. We should count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

Well, all I have to say about that eventuality is that, unless there was an earthquake in which he was personally swallowed up and trapped for fourteen hours without food and water and with the sound of fingernails on a blackboard echoing in his ears the whole time and ants crawling all over him and he couldn't even move his hands to get them out of his nose, then he did not have a bad enough day to warrant him not coming home all night and me not making a peep about it, and whatever it was that did happen during his arduous day is nothing compared to what will happen when he finally does drag his sorry ass home. But that's just me. Maybe we should speak in a low, soothing voice and make him comfortable-possibly have him lie down in a darkened room for a spell (they have a nice one at our funeral home).

Miss Betty helpfully suggests that we develop "good work habits." This includes preparing food for tomorrow while cooking for today. Now, I do cook in vats so we can have my favorite food, leftovers, tomorrow, but Betty was suggesting that we make different dishes all at the same time or, at the very least, make different sauces to go on the same food on different days. (I can't even comment on sauces.) She also decrees that we must never run out of anything we might need in the kitchen. (We do not see her running across three neighbors' lawns with a teaspoon of vanilla and two eggs.)

Betty thought we should wear comfortable clothes (dresses-and not muumuus, either) and "properly fitted shoes" for doing housework. I get a picture of Betty and her contemporaries being "fitted" for their housework shoes. You know the shoe salesman would be vitally interested in all the housewives having comfy shoes-the better to wait on his sorry ass in. Indeed, Mr. Crocker probably personally oversaw Betty's shoe situation-for just the reason he had the oil changed in the car in a timely fashion-to save on costly repair work down the road, not to mention to prevent lost workdays should she, God forbid, get a bunion.

Betty worried about our physical needs, but not a whole lot-just offhandedly said we should eat "proper food for health and vitality." But every morning before our proper breakfast, we should comb our hair and put on makeup, a dash of cologne, and some simple earrings! We should alternate sitting and standing tasks so as not to be on our feet too long, but should we get tired, she recommends that we lie down on the floor (eyes closed) for a full three to five minutes. (Indeed, there she is in the book, sprawled out on the floor-dress and all.) We should always endeavor to harbor pleasant thoughts while working (there was no mention of a wood chipper in the book, so we don't know what she thought about) and to notice humorous and interesting incidents throughout our day so we can relate them over dinner to our shiny, clean, and smiling families.

The Good Wife's Guide suggests that in the cooler months we might want to build a fire for Him to unwind by and that we might just imagine how catering to his comfort will provide us with immense personal satisfaction. Yes, I can just imagine it-can't you?

Betty wanted us to have a simple, appetizing cocktail (chilled in summer and warmed in winter) waiting for our weary husband when he comes home at night. And sure enough, there she is, pouring Mr. Crocker a drink from a pitcher as he sits-grinning like a mule eating briars-with his feet propped up. There is not even a glass for her in evidence-we can only hope that she drained the pitcher off-camera. And the Good Wife guy has one parting shot for us: A good wife always knows her place. I myself imagine it to be somewhere far, far away.

FINANCIAL TIP

If you have been in therapy for the last fifteen years over your failure to live up to this image of Womanhood, not to mention your inexplicable lack of desire to do so, you can save the cost of the therapist and whatever drugs you've been put on by just buying your own copy of Betty Crocker and burning it. You may stomp on it as well, before, during, and/or after the burning, but be sure to wear properly fitted footgear for this activity-your own personal do-it-yourself therapeutic exorcism.

One of the Queens-I'm sure it was Tammy-brought me a little handbook called How to Make Love that we might study it and further educate ourselves and others. (The Queens are dedicated to education in all areas of life, as you know.) This book was written in 1936-and it was in a series of books, all of which I wish I had on account of my thirst for knowledge. They were entitled Fortune Telling by Cards, Facts About Nudism, Sex Facts for Men, Sex Facts for Women (I was relieved to see they had two separate books for these-don't want anybody getting mixed up on something this important), and 84 Card Tricks. It didn't indicate if they were listed by order of importance, but one can make certain inferences, no?

In his introduction, the author surmised that love had begun when the first man looked upon the first woman and "was satisfied with her." He indicated that this happened a very long time ago-no reference was made to her being satisfied with him, no doubt because that has not ever happened yet that anybody has heard about. At any rate, she apparently settled for him and thus Making Love began. Our author questioned how anything people had been doing for such a long time should at this late date (again, 1936) require any instructions whatsoever. However, he determined, "as in everything-man has seldom profited from his experiences of the past." Hmmm . . . I don't think there's anything we can add to that, do you?

The book explains that men were created strong and women were created weak and that, in love, the woman must always be passive. He was created chas-er, we were created chas-ee. This, the author said, accounts for our coyness at times and our illogical habits of "putting our man off." He said that we intuitively realized that in order to make ourselves more desirable, we must make ourselves less accessible. Ah, excuse me, but that sounds an awful lot like "Treat 'em like shit and never give 'em any, and they'll follow you around like a dog," does it not? It would seem that Truth is Truth, down through the ages.

He cautions us to beware mere infatuations. We should not confuse them with True Love even though they feel exactly the same in the beginning. A few questions-for us women-should help us sort things out. Can he take care of us after marriage? (No way to tell if he will, though.) We need to examine his faults and whether or not we can tolerate them. We may be inclined, he cautions, to say to ourselves, So what if he only bathes on Saturday night? I love him and that's all that matters. He wisely counsels us that a few years of breathing his stench and it will matter a lot. Do his virtues outweigh his faults? I would have to say that I can't think of any particular virtues that would weigh more in my mind than stinking to high heaven-you? Bottom line: If you think you love him and he smells like a goat, it's infatuation, not love; just go buy a goat and get happy. (The last part was my advice, not his.)

Along the lines of faults and the correcting thereof, our fellow Queen Gina wrote to us that shortly after marrying her current husband (nearly twenty years ago), she noticed his very annoying habit of not putting his dirty clothes in the hamper but choosing instead to simply pile them on the floor. Knowing as she did that no amount of nagging will have any positive effect on a man, she simply said nothing. No, she didn't wash his clothes, but she did put them away for him-dirty. After about two months, her mother-in-law asked her whether she knew how to launder clothes, on account of her precious boy's clothes had stains on them. Our Gina replied sweetly that yes, ma'am, she did for a fact know how to wash clothes but that he apparently didn't know squat about putting them in the hamper, and that only the clothes actually in the hamper were actually getting washed. To this very day, Mr. Gina not only puts his clothes in that hamper but he even does the laundry and helps clean the house. Makes me kind of tear up, I'm so proud. Don't you just know his mama jerked a fair-sized knot in his ass?

But back to our love guru. He instructs the guys in how to approach us for kissing purposes. It is suggested that they get us to sit on a sofa and wedge us up against the arm of it so we can't edge away. They shouldn't worry if we flinch. They shouldn't worry if we say no. They shouldn't worry if we flinch, say no, and try to get up. They should hold us in place and reassure us and continue on with their plan unless we flinch, say no real loud, try to get up, and commence scratching their eyes out-then, and only then, should they back off and try to get themselves out of a "bad situation." He attributes our reluctance to accept their advances to the fact that we probably still believe that we can get pregnant from kissing. It couldn't possibly be that we would rather kiss our dog's butt.

When it comes to marriage, we are all instructed to marry the healthy. He says that an ailing woman is a menace to any love affair (he clearly had never been nurse to a sick man)-the woman needs to be strong enough to do housework, to bear children, and to help build the house. I think I threw the book across the room about then.

Queen Wendy from West Virginia wrote to sing the praises of her husband, who thoughtfully takes one of the dogs and goes off hunting for a couple of months every year while she stays behind with the house dog, lolling by the fire that he carefully constructed before his departure, drinking beer, eating sweet, salty, fried, and au gratin stuff, and generally Not Doing Jack Shit. She says that husband of hers is cute as a button, was raised by a good mama, and denies Queen Wendy nothing-and no, he ain't for hire. But Wendy has remembered all her life a baby-sitter she had when she was eight years old-Judy. Judy was married to a man who needed killing, but fortunately some other woman lured him away from her before she actually did it.

Wendy remembers, "After the dickhead moved out, he called Judy and asked that she bring him his truck and his clothes. He actually said, 'Oh, and by the way, wash my truck for me before you drop it off.' Judy-nice wife that she was-promptly gathered up his clothes, hangers and all, and carefully put them (in wads) in the back of his pickup. She then loaded all of us kids in the truck with her and we went to the drive-through car wash. Judy has always been a role model for me." As she is for us all.

FINANCIAL TIP

See how smart it was of Judy to combine her tasks like that? Washing the clothes and the truck at the same time saved both time and money. We can all learn from her example.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2006

    Big -A amount of fun!!!

    If I could give this 10 stars, I would. I swear, I think I gained 20 pounds, just from READING this book. This is an absolute must buy, as are all of the Sweet Potato Queen books. I would recommend this to a new bride ... or anyone, for that matter, male or female!!! Jill Conner Browne captures being A) a funny woman B)southern and C) someone who adores food as much as I do in this book. The epitome of funny is right here in the pages of Sweet Potato Queens' Big-A Cookbook and Financial Planner. I say buy one for yourself and someone else while you're at it, because loaning it out makes you miss it! I'm buying 2 more so I always have one in the house!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    Another gem from the mind of a true southern belle

    I've read ever Sweet Potato book Jill Conner Browne has written and each one outdoes the other. She knows the inside working of the Souther male mind(generally through his belly) and how to manipulate him to an art form not seen in my lifetime. You know every woman she describes because she is your mom, aunt, cousin and sister-in-law. You become emershed in her colorful characters and find yourself repeating, "Yeah, cousin Arlene or Aunt Cecile,is just like that." What a wonderful story telling talent. Keep em coming, Jill.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2003

    LAUGHING ALL THE WEIGH

    Jill Conner Browne, popular author of "The Sweet Potato Queens' Book Of Love" and "God Save The Sweet Potato Queens," gives equal measures of sassiness and sense to her rollicking reading of her latest royal report. The author now spends full-time touring and lecturing to her contingents of loyal subjects, and so she should because she is the true voice of the Sweet Potato Queen, whether she is going toe-to-toe with Betty Crocker whom she identifies as responsible for "some of the insane ideas we have struggled with and against for the last 50 years" or urging royalists to combat aging by becoming blond no matter what. As for Ms. Browne's tips on financial planning - who else would recommend starting a trust fund to cover costs associated with menopause? Of this audiobook the author said, "Recording this audiobook was a dream come true. I got hours on end dedicated simply to talking about food and telling stories about my best friends. I had to stop recording a few times when the laughing got out of control, and I hope you'll be laughing along in your kitchen or car." You bet we are!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    Can't wait!

    I love the Sweet Potato Queens and I can't wait til this comes out so my collection can get chunkier! Kisses, Mqp

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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    Posted April 8, 2011

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    Posted June 15, 2011

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