When I accepted Recipes For Life: My Memories by Linda Evans for review, I had no idea just how much I would love this book. Prior to reading it, I didn’t know that much about Linda Evans. I knew vaguely that she had been in a television soap opera (now in reruns on Soapnet) called Dynasty, that my mother may or may not have watched, and that Linda may or may not have been in a few made-for-tv movies I have seen. As you can see, my knowledge of her was not very firm. I was mainly interested in the book because there were recipes, and I love browsing recipes, but as I began, I discovered that I was in for a much richer experience than I had previously imagined.
Linda Evans was born Linda Evenstad, and I loved reading about her charmed life. Though she had stage fright in high school, she was able to overcome her fear to have a career in acting that has spanned several decades. She has traveled all around the world and has had love relationships and marriages with fascinating and wealthy men – most notably John Derek and Yanni. For a famous Hollywood actress, this is all par for the course, but it’s the way Linda tells her stories and the love, warmth and humbleness that shines through about her, which make these so fabulous and inspiring. Each story she chooses to tell will have you laughing, whether it is about her horrible singing voice, being pulled over by the police or some of the hijinks that ensued in the company of her best friend Bunky. I love that her stories concentrate on the wonderful life she has had and don’t dwell in negativity or gossip. It made me think a lot about my life and the way I would like to remember my past and frame my stories.
Linda connects each happy time with recipes so rich that they are not to be believed. Some are favorites from childhood that she remembers her mother making, and others are variations on recipes created by celebrity chefs, and famous actors and their wives whom Linda befriended. Some are Linda’s own creation. She didn’t start out as much of a cook but was always willing to learn, try new recipes and cook meals for her family and friends. Most of the recipes heavily feature meat, cream, butter, milk and cheese, so fans of richness and dairy will love these recipes. There isn’t much I found that I would cook without modifying – heavily – but this is one book where I was more into the memories than the recipes. None of the food is pictured, instead there are pictures of Linda with family and friends throughout her career.
Recipes for Life is a beautiful book that should have wide appeal whether people are familiar with Linda Evans or not. The stories that she tells are a little like chicken soup for the soul, and she is never anything less than charming, gracious and respectful of the people in her life. The recipes are rich, but for the most part are easy to make and to pair with other dishes for a meal. Highly Recommended.