Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Book Review: Recipes for Life - My Memories by Linda Evans

Electric blue eyes, more than the equivalent of a female Paul Newman and perfectly perfect blonde hair is how most of us remember Linda Evans. Whether you preferred her as a ropin' and ridin' wide-eyed innocent Audra on The Big Valley, or as Krystal Carrington, the sexy secretary-turned-oil-magnate-second-trophy wife on Dynasty, no one could argue she held high court with adoring television fans for years.

Though I have to admit to wanting to know more about the handsome and mysterious John Derek, the author never lets her memoir, Recipes for Life, become a boudoir tell-all or a grocery check-out line tabloid. She does give the reader insight to a few little intimate moments with that romeo-husband, but come on, Linda, I know there was some dirt under that carpet!

Ms. Evans is kind to her friends and even kinder to her enemies (if she even counts them as such), so don't expect to read gossipy trash talk about Hollywood's elite. Linda just doesn't "go there."  Instead, she weaves interesting stories about her leading men and many famous friends and ties wonderful recipes into the tales. From her mother's "Hot Dog Stew," to the much more elegant "Crab and Lobster Cakes with Mustard Beurre Blanc," there's a recipe for everyone to try.

You may not have known Evans loves to cook, but her performance on Hell's Kitchen in 2009 proved she could hold her own with a spoon and a frying pan and look gorgeous and gracious all the while. She is well known to be an animal lover, and when one episode of Hell's Kitchen required her to catch a live eel with her bare hands and follow through with the cleaver dispatching, it might have ended her culinary reality TV career. But Linda challenged herself, stepped up to the plate (and the chopping block) and persevered.

And she won the competition!

If Dynasty and The Big Valley brought her to the forefront as a Hollywood star, Linda Evans is probably equally proud of her stage performance in the play Legends, which also starred Evans' old on-screen nemesis Joan Collins (Alexis Carrington). The play toured the U.S. to sell-out crowds for over nine months, and proved once again that Evans is a well-rounded professional.

It may come as a surprise to a few fans to learn that Evans was the leading spokesperson for President Ronald Reagan's environmental program, "Take Pride in America." The program was such a success, the Bush Adminstration (under George H. Bush) continued it. Evans recounts her disappointment and disillusionment when Bill Clinton as president dismantled it, saying it was a "Republican" program. (And Evans admits she is a Democrat.) But, ever totally gracious, Evans only mildly exhibits her anger over partisan politics.

Recipes for Life is sure to please the die-hard Linda Evans' fans; you'll love getting to go backstage on the Dynasty set. And even if you're too young to remember the early years, Evans still is a fascinating woman in her own right with a lifetime of experiences to share.

Besides, who can resist a John Wayne recipe for "The Duke's Crab Dip." Bon appetit and fun reading!

You can purchase Recipes for Life at Amazon, and at Barnes and Noble. Be sure to visit Ms. Evans' official website for more links, photos, and info on her new book.

Article first published as Book Review: Recipes For Life: My Memories by Linda Evans on Blogcritics.


Anonymous said...

Pattie--Although I don't believe I've ever seen Ms Evans on TV (she was probably on during the years in which I had no set!), and I would not have known who the "perfectly perfect blonde hair[ed]" woman in the photo is, you make the book sound enticing.

Now...if only I knew how to cook. lol
Cop Car

Darlene said...

Oh my gosh; Dynasty. I never missed an episode of that nighttime soap opera. I thought Linda was elegant, sweet and kind. It seems that she truly was. That's so nice to know.