Francine Bryson’s baking career is about dreams that come true. After making it to the finals of “The American Baking Competition” on CBS, the Pickens, S.C., homemaker got a contract for a book, “Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen,” which comes out next week. And she has a recipe in the book that came to her in a risque dream about Bobby Deen, the son of TV chef Paula Deen.
Bryson will sign books at the Southern Women’s Show Sept. 12-13. The show opens Sept. 11. Before she gets here, we called with a few questions – including that pie dream.
Q: First, a question Southern kids remember from the old Ritz Cracker commercial: What do you want when you don’t know what you want?
A: “With me, usually, it’s cake. I’ve never met a cake I didn’t like. But I’m known for pies. Going in the kitchen and whipping up a pie for me is like breathing.”
Q: The eternal question, then: Cake or pie?
A: “Pie. I’m known for pies and I’m always (working on) the perfect pie. With a cake, you’ve got cake and frosting. But with a pie, you can put four or five flavors in one pie. So it lets you get more creative.”
Q: Define redneck.
A: “My idea of redneck is laid back, live off the land, hunt and fish. Don’t take life too seriously. It’s country. It’s a way of life.”
Q: Tell me about the I Dream of Bobby Deen Pie.
A: “You know that book, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’? I was reading that book. I always have a TV going for noise, so I had it on the cooking channel and Bobby Deen was on. So when I dreamed that night, I dreamed I was in a red kitchen with Bobby Deen. Everything was red – red counters, red walls, red floors. And we came up with this pie with a coconut crust. I keep a notebook by the bed, so when I dream a recipe, I can wake up and write it down. I got up the next morning, and I made that pie – and it worked. It’s perfect.”
Q: So: Bobby Deen or Jamie Deen?
A: “Oooh, I have to go with Jamie. He’s tall and older and mature, and he’s got that Southern, country-boy, football-player look. I have to go for the tall ones.”