Food & Drink

S.C. baker brings her cookbook to Southern Women’s Show

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.”