Save Room for Pie Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 3/15/2016
  • Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

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Our best-laid plans will yield to fate.
And we will say, “We lived. We ate.”

Roy Blount Jr. is one of America’s most cherished comic writers. He’s been compared to Mark Twain and James Thurber, and his books have been called everything from “a work of art” (Robert W. Creamer, The New York Times Book Review) to “a book to read till it falls apart” (Newsweek). Now, in Save Room for Pie, he applies his much-praised wit and charm to a rich and fundamental topic: food.

As a lifelong eater, Blount always got along easy with food—he didn’t have to think, he just ate. But food doesn’t exist in a vacuum; there’s the global climate and the global economy to consider, not to mention Blount’s chronic sinusitis, which constricts his sense of smell, and consequently his taste buds. So while he’s always frowned on eating with an ulterior motive, times have changed. Save Room for Pie grapples with these and other food-related questions in Blount’s signature style. Here you’ll find lively meditations on everything from bacon froth to grapefruit, Kobe beef to biscuits. You’ll also find defenses of gizzards, mullet, okra, cane syrup, watermelon, and boiled peanuts; an imagined dialogue between Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; input from Louis Armstrong, Frederick Douglass, and Blaze Starr; and of course some shampooed possums and carjacking turkeys.

In poems and songs, limericks and fake (or sometimes true) news stories, Blount talks about food in surprising and innovative ways, with all the wit and verve that prompted Garrison Keillor, in The Paris Review, to say: “Blount is the best. He can be literate, uncouth, and soulful all in one sentence.”

Author Biography

Roy Blount Jr. is the author of twenty-four books, covering subjects from the Pittsburgh Steelers to what dogs are thinking to the ins and outs of etymology. He is a regular panelist on NPR's Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me!, a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, and a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Born in Indianapolis and raised in Decatur, Georgia, he now divides his time between western Massachusetts, New York City, and New Orleans with his wife, the painter Joan Griswold, and their cat, Jimmy.

Table of Contents

Table d'Contents

I: Why I Eat
It's Good to Eat
But Nothing is Simple
The Way Folks Are Meant to Eat

II: Essentials
Song to the Apple
Animals Eat
Bear Notes
How About Sheep?
Hold the Foam
Song to Decent Pizza
I Could See Just Overalls
The Fall: A One-Act
Song to Hot Dogs
But Ain't Nothing Wrong With a Varsity Dog
Song to Hamburgers
The Lowdown on Southern Hospitality
Song to Grease
Song to Eggs
Ironic Biscuits?
Song to Gumbo
Boiling the F-Thing Down
A Grapefruit Moment
Let the Last Word in Appetite Not Be Petite

Part III: Meat of the Land
Steak, Generally
Song to Beef
Steak, Environmentally
Chicken Medley
More to a Chicken
Song to Ribs
Song to Bacon
Hymn to Ham
Song to Pig Knuckles
Yes to Gizzards

Part IV: Meat of the Waters
Song to Oysters
Born for the Pan
Have a Little River
Song to Catfish
Just Put the Hairdo Out of Your Mind
Fishing Hard (as of 1976)
Sharing Oysters

Part V: Plants
Song to Onions
Song to Okra
Song to Love Apples
A Paean to Southern Peas
Boiled Peanuts: Be Not Afraid
Song to Beans
Song to the Lentil
Song to Legumes in General
Carrot Whimsy
Song to a Nice Baked Potata
Song to Beets
The Fall of Corn
Song to Grits
Hold the Cheese

Part VI: Drink
Song on Drink
Drinking With Kate Smith

Part VII: Food in the Arts
Food Names for Bands, I
Louis, Louis, Louis, Fats and Slim
Food Names for Bands, II
Mississippi Music Notes
For Champion Crickets, No Wheaties
Food Names for Bands, III
Some Spicy Limericks
Pimento Easter Eggss
Food Names for Bands, IV

Part VIII: Incidentals
Ro*Tel It on the Mountain
Song to Catsup
Song to Barbecue Sauce
Brunswick Stew: Scalable?
I Don't Eat Dirt Personally
The W-word
A Dark Sweetness

Part IX: Process
Dream Song
Yellow Squash Crisps
Eating Out of House and Home
Song to Cooking Out Over an Open Fire in the Open Air With Crickets . . .
Compost Happens
Weed-dating May Work For Some
Between Meals Song
Green Pea Lover's Lament
Bees of the Anthropocene

Part X: Trips
What We Ate in Japan
Incident in the Times Square Nathan's
Buttered Kittens
Last Night
Man Here Tried to Be a Good Citizen of the D Train
June, Spoon . . .
Ticks du Pays
Hyenas Feel Good About Themselves
Wild Fish Ripped My Flesh
The Pirate Captain Addresses the Crew
You Can Tell a Good Possum
Thanksgiving Eve: What Happened in the Wood
New Orleans Coming Back, 2007

Part XI: Dessert
Pie: The Quest
Song to Homemade Ice Cream
Song to Peaches
No Sweetness in a Stone
Mark Twain's Pie Dream
Song to Pie

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