by Pam Sissons
Golden Globe Award-winning actress Linda Evans may be best known for her role as the stunning and wealthy “Krystle Carrington” in the long-running TV series Dynasty, but a different image emerges in her new book, Recipes for Life – My Memories. A unique blend of cookbook and memoir of a life well lived, her stories are poignant, intense, funny and reflective, punctuated by her surprisingly robust sense of humor and a graciousness that comes through on every page.
Why a book filled with recipes? Linda Evans loves food; more specifically, she loves sharing good meals and cooking for the people most important to her. What makes this book so interesting is that in addition to her own favorites, each section of stories is highlighted by a recipe – not just her own, but those given by friends, family, and people who play a part in her life. Like bookends to her most memorable experiences, they include Lemon Souffle from Tony Curtis…a Crab Dip recipe courtesy of John Wayne…and a corn pudding recipe from a favorite caterer for the Dynasty cast…all part and parcel of her experience beyond the food.
By any standard, Evans’ life has been filled with amazing experiences, from an incredibly successful acting career, to passionate love affairs, to being surrounded by the best of the best within her industry whom she considers real friends. In the book she shares some intimate portraits of times throughout her life that represented opportunities for growth and change, from the great loves of her life that included actor John Derek, businessman Stan Herman, and the musician Yanni, to funny stories from on and off-set antics.
Even amid the glittering, Cinderella-like lifestyle, she readily admits the public persona was a bit different than the private one; insecurities and discomfort were a part of her life. A defining moment in her life came when the secure fabric of her life began to unravel as a result of a “perfect storm of circumstances”, and much of what she felt defined her was careening out of control. With no choice but to surrender to what life was throwing her way, her take-away from that experience was a new-found freedom born of “walking into the fear and getting beyond it”; her own “recipe for life”.
Evans is quick to point out she is not a great chef, but simply loves to prepare, cook and share her culinary creations with the people around her. The more than 40 recipes in her memoir include an eclectic collection, from “Mom’s Hot Dog Stew” to her own “Hell’s Salmon” recipe that helped her to nab the winning Hell’s Kitchen contest in Britain. Her very first cookbook was the original Julia Childs, where the first recipes she mastered were Hollandaise and Béarnaise Sauce, (included in her recipes along with a dinner party fiasco-turned-learning experience!), and which were the beginning of a love affair with French food that continues to this day.
Stepping out of the spotlight and savoring a different kind of life at her home in the Pacific Northwest, Linda Evans is a woman who embraces change. She believes that we have so much more to contribute as we get older and wisdom replaces winsome. Today she is grateful for circumstances that led her to change her life in a positive way, providing “The wisdom to know that the best things in life are free, and gratitude for having had the opportunity to have so many incredible experiences”.
Beautiful, warm and insightful at the age of 68, Linda Evans is a lifelong learner – a strong, contemporary woman who believes that “Suffering is all about resistance to change”. She is excited and hopeful at the roles today’s women are able to fulfill more than ever before. “I love that we are breaking barriers. This is a magical time for women where we have the freedom to be whatever we choose for ourselves”. Her book project put her face to face with a complete “unknown”, setting her on a brand new course and a learning curve that turned out to be an exhilarating experience.
Her favorite recipe in the book? That still remains a secret, but you can be sure that, if she is preparing and sharing it with someone, it’ s at the top of the list no matter which one it is! Recipes For Life – My Memories is an easy read, a glimpse into a meaningful life journey filled with life lessons, moments hilarious, and the energy of an extraordinary women looking eagerly forward.