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Anyone Read Sandra Lee's Memoir?

Maybe this is a case of sympathy for the devil--but has anyone read Sandra Lee's memoir, Made from Scratch?

I'm not a fan of her show, but it sounds like she might actually be a pretty interesting person. I read a bunch of blog posts about her memoir and wrote my own (http://wishboneclover.typepad.com/wis...) based on other reviews and excerpts--but have any Hounds tossed down $19.95 (or whatever) and read through the whole thing? Is it worth a trip to the library?

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  1. You wrote a review of the book with out reading it?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Withnail42

      No, I wrote a reaction to the book without reading it. I'm not a book reviewer.

    2. I saw her chefography and was amazed at her life. She raised herself and I believe a sister from a very young age. She was an entrepeneur with some sort of drapery product. Worked her butt off. She grudgingly earns my respect.

      1 Reply
      1. re: southernitalian

        Just remember who produces the chefographies--the same network on which her show is broadcast. I give her credit for making lemons into lemonade, but a book? I'll pass. I saw the cover and she looked sorta sad. Now I know why.

      2. No, and I do not plan on reading it.

        Other than someone jotting one of her "recipes" down on paper, I cant think of a bigger waste of trees.

        12 Replies
        1. re: swsidejim

          Now Now... Be nice lol!
          I think you're getting a little cranky. See what happens when you eat at a chain restaurant? :-}
          Actually, I read part of her book and I'd have to agree with you. I didn't find her to be nearly as inspiring as she thinks she is.

          1. re: Tay

            hilarious post tay. Damn Claim Jumper must still be in my system(at least I didnt have to pick up the tab, or id be more cranky).... : )

            If I see her show on t.v., I cant switch the channel fast enough, let alone sit down and read about her/written by her... the horror.... ; )

            1. re: swsidejim

              I have no intention of reading the book either. I'm just saying, she's not the vapid blonde she plays on TV. She obviously has a lot of gumption. I have never seen more than 5 minutes of her show but I bet it's better than the FN show that I don't have!

              1. re: southernitalian

                Please don't get the impression that II'm making light of her personal trials and tribulations. I'm not disparaging her personal experiences. I just didn't find her story especially book worthy. If others do, I'm certainly not thinking less of them..

                1. re: Tay

                  You can make light of her all day long and I won't be offended! Swear! I wouldn't read the book if you paid me but my 60 year old mother and all of her friends will tear thru it! :) I was just surprised when I watched the chefography story. Still not a fan, still not interested in the book or the show.

                  1. re: southernitalian

                    Good. I wouldn't want to give the impression I was making light of her personal difficulties. I just didn't find her story all that compelling or(for me,) book worthy.

            2. re: Tay

              "I didn't find her to be nearly as inspiring as she thinks she is."

              I think that about sums it up. I think I'm gonna wait for the books on tape version.

              1. re: Tay

                Tay, did you buy the book or was it in a Dr. office? Please explain yourself!

              2. re: swsidejim

                I feel sorry for her. Her mom was an alcoholic and they were on welfare. It's sad.

                Which is why I am surprised why she is always having a cocktail at every meal

                1. re: stellamystar

                  I heard her interviewed on Joan Hamburg's radio show (WOR NY) and she sounded intelligent. I think her show is ridiculous but then I am a person who loves to cook and bake. Her angle is that there are so many people who want to serve something better than fast food and can't afford the time, or don't have the skill to cook it "from scratch".I can respect that. I also respect how she remade herself and created a commercial product using her looks and drive.

                  1. re: lucyis

                    I read a bit about her on People magazine (I swear -- I was at the doctor's office) and couldn't help to feel sorry for her circumstances. Now, I can't stand her show, but kudos to her for making something of herself.

                  2. re: stellamystar

                    I met someone who use to work on her set and without spreading rude rumors, he said the apple apparently doesn't fall far from the tree in terms of her mother's habits.

                    I just can't believe she got a book deal!

                2. I'll read it right after Anthony Bourdain does.

                  Say no more.....

                  1. I haven't read the book and don't plan to read it. I cannot tolerate her TV show, but have seen it while my Mom was watching. It does occur to me, though, that she's an entrepeneur and so, saw her niche on FN and ran with it. I wonder if she really cooks that way at all. She may just know an opportunity when she sees it.

                    1. I still remember the NYT review of her first book, a semi-homemade cookbook pre-TV show. The Times reviewer was like, these convoluted "shortcuts" using expensive prepared crap take as long or longer than making it from scratch, only s/he was a little more eloquent. I had a good laugh at the review, then almost had a heart attack when I saw she was getting a TV show. Little did I know it was only the beginning of the Food network's slide...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: optimal forager

                        Is this the article you are talking about?


                        Very interesting points raised about both cost and availability of specific ingredients. If the recipes are for beginners and the beginners can't find the specific items, I tend to think they will get all worked up and not be able to figure out what/how to substitute. Let the frustration begin!

                        1. re: Shayna Madel

                          Had to LOL at the last line of the article:

                          "So you can whip up your Gnocchi Dippers with Velveeta and blithely pollute the environment. But hey, your time is worth it. "


                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            And it is interesting that in the paragraph before that one she talks about disposable serving bowls and platters, yet her thing before she got into psuedo-cooking was lifestyle/decorating and she does these "tablescapes." I'm thinking that if I am going to spend the time and effort making my table look beautiful for company, I am not putting out the plastic bowls and trays. (I save the disposables for when I am bringing something to someone else's house, so I do not have to worry about getting back the serving pieces...)

                      2. The book isn't even written "from scratch" -- she used a ghost writer. lol! What could be more Sandy Lee?

                        With people like Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain writing exquisite food memoirs, in truly captivating style, I can't imagine wasting time on SL or her ghostwriter. Amazon reviews indicate significant grammar and spelling issues. Lots of us have overcome difficulties from childhood... I don't think she's the first to write about an alcoholic parent or pull the Rags to Riches card.

                        I also find her cocktail creation and consumption troubling and odd, especially juxtaposed with her "tablescapes" and matching outfits, and those curtain things she used to sell via infomercial. Creepy.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: foxy fairy

                          I thought I was going crazy until I confirmed that each episode's "kitchen accents" were color-coordinated with her outfits. Is that "Semi-Decorating"?

                          1. re: jennywinker

                            Well, with all that time you're saving by semi-cooking, you have time to semi-decorate and coordinate your semi-dressing matching outfit.

                            1. re: Shayna Madel

                              That is just too funny, Shayna! LMAO!

                        2. Tons of people have had lives just like hers..many way worse, and have led sucessful lives. It doesn't mean they are people you'd want to know or hang out with..or even spend money buying "their" products. Her show still bugs me..and the choppy way she talks bugs me even more.

                          I'd rather read a book by an illegal mexican chef at Le Halles...I want to hear about his or her life.

                          1. I don't plan on reading Sandra Lee's memoir, because IMO, she not exceptionally fascinating. Her memoir doesn't tell me anything that makes me go WOW! Many successful people have come from humble (even tragic beginings).

                            I'm not a huge fan of her show, but I do watch it every now and then when nothing else is on. I get a huge laugh at how much she loves her "cocktail time."

                            1. i have too many other books to read, but man! you all are really hard on the woman trying to make a living the best she can! demeaning her is not right.

                              and i'm waiting for all of your fascinating memoirs! think about that....

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: alkapal

                                All due respect, alkapal, but part of the point is that none of us will be writing memoirs because we don't feel they would be worthy reading material. Most people are simply saying that they will not waste their time reading something that does not interest them, not that Sandra Lee is some sort of soulless hack peddling her tragic life story in order to make a little more money. I have no problem with her whatsoever, however I don't think it is wrong for people to form public opinions about her very public life and lifestyle when she has obviously made good money exposing that very story to the public. It's the nature of the beast.

                                1. re: notgreg

                                  Oh I'll say it -- she IS a soulless hack peddling her tragic life story to make money. Actually, it's interesting, because every time she tells the story (both before and after the book) the details change. I think it was time for her to get her version of it out there before an opposition research team did it when Andrew Cuomo (her beau) runs for office in two years.

                                  At least now she's shilling for Waverly, so hopefully she'll transition over to one of the other Scripps networks like DIY or HGTV and stay the hell away from "food" or "cooking."

                                  1. re: FrenchLaundryatHome

                                    She's with Andy Cuomo? Wow. what is there in her story that requires a political preemptive strike? Anyone?

                                  2. re: alkapal

                                    Agreed. Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion and to not read her book, but ouch!
                                    What happened to the golden rule? I beleive it is something like if you don't have anything nice to say that doesn't make it necessary to go out of your way to be mean.
                                    As notgreg said, "it's the nature of the beast", but people on these boards so often tout themselves as more educated, refined, and discerning it surprises me when blatant bashing occurs. I suppose it is just the idealist in me, but I don't see why people can't be slightly more constructive in their criticisms.

                                    1. re: ArikaDawn

                                      Constructive in their criticisms? Doesn't that assume she reads or cares what we say? Celebrities put themselves out there to make money and more power to them, but they have to realize that they are also opening themselves up to attention and opinions, good and bad. As far as the golden rule goes, if it were me, the main thing I'd wish for is that you'd watch my show and buy my book, not that you'd "really like me". What's that expression they use in show biz..."it's when they stop noticing you that you have to be worried".

                                      I think her show is probably fake and that she doesn't even cook that way. She has such a lovely figure, it is hard to imagine that she eats the crap she makes on her show on a regular basis.

                                    2. re: alkapal

                                      That's the point---while I enjoy my life, I don't expect anyone else to find it that fascinating. Therefore I would never actually write my own memoir. (At least at this point---I'll wait til I spread peace on earth and then I'll write it :) )

                                    3. I just thought the cover of the book was fascinating. She got this oddly pathetic expersion on her face. To me it seemed like she was saying "see how sad I am inside. Buy the book and find out just how much I have suffered."

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                        I don't like her show, and I really don't like the fact that people feel they have to say, "Look where I was and now, look how cool and great I am now!" Everybody has their own troubles and tribulations in life - some more than others, but we all have our crosses to bear and feel really lucky to be where we are. I just don't choose to blab about my past trauma and troubles to anyone who might (not that anyone does) want to hear about it. Most people (with the exception of Paris Hilton) have to work hard to get where they are; why is it so much better if you had problems or issues as a child? I just don't get it.

                                      2. I checked her book out at the library (hey, don't be angry, I have the flu!) and was very surprised that I actually enjoyed it. To start, I cannot stand this woman, and refuse to watch her show. But the book was sad. I feel very sorry for the life she had to lead, and greatly respect her ability to bounce back. Do I think she deserves a show? No. But it is definitely worth reading.