"Sweet Magnolias" cookbook takes favorites from fiction to fact

Tue Oct 2, 2012 4:15am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The town of Serenity, South Carolina, the imaginary setting for author Sherryl Woods's "Sweet Magnolias" novels, now has real food in it.

"The Sweet Magnolias Cookbook" contains 150 recipes inspired by the popular series which follows a coterie of women friends, the sweet magnolias of the title, through life's trials and triumphs, family barbeque days and margarita nights.

Dana Sue's Killer Guacamole, Helen's Lethal Margaritas and Sullivan's Crab Cakes are among the fictional staples made real by chef Teddi Wohlford, who takes a gourmet approach to Southern classics.

"A lot of people who have read the series have been looking for the book because they have wanted to try the recipes," said Woods, who has written more than 100 romance and mystery books.

Woods spoke to Reuters from her home in Virginia about the fact and fiction of friendship, food, and southern comfort.

Q: Is this your first cookbook?

A: "Yes. My contribution is not the recipe part. It's the peripheral world that the sweet magnolias live in that comes out of my series of books. We hired a real southern chef (Teddi Wohlford) to do the recipes so they'd be edible."

Q: How big a role does food play in the "Sweet Magnolias"?   Continued...

Sherryl Woods, author of "Sweet Magnolias Cookbook", poses in this photo taken in Colonial Beach, Virginia May 2008. REUTERS/Nina Subin/Handout