Simply Divine owner publishes cookbook

Published 10:59 am Saturday, March 17, 2012

Liz Britt holds up her cookbook, "Child, This is Cooking: Recipes and Memoirs." -- Stephen H. Cowles | TIdewater News

Herbert Britt with his wife, Liz, at a recent signing of her cookbook, “Child, This is Cooking: Recipes and Memoirs.” Don Bridgers | Tidewater News


FRANKLIN—The threat of grave robbery inspired a cookbook.

Liz Britt, owner of Simply Divine in downtown Franklin, recalled the moment with a laugh.

“One day in the parking lot at Walmart, my friend Rachel Smith rushed over and said, ‘I’ve got to get that recipe on fruitcake. If you die without telling me, I’m going to dig you up!’”

Thankfully for Britt, such an act will be unnecessary because she’s included the no-bake treat in her cookbook titled “Child, This is Cooking! Recipes and Memoirs.”

“All the years I’ve been cooking, people would tell me, ‘I’d love to have the recipe,’” she said.

Like a magician, Britt wouldn’t readily surrender her culinary secrets. Yet the encounter at Walmart about two years ago inspired her. Factoring in age, she decided she was ready “to give all my secrets away.”

“At this age it doesn’t matter,” the 69-year-old said.

When she announced the plan to her husband, Herbert, he reportedly uttered a familiar and favorite refrain: “You’re going to do what?”

As with all her other ventures, Herbert Britt has been ever supportive, as have their three sons.

With hundreds of recipes, the project was not dashed off in a weekend. Liz Britt was busy opening a business, and could only make notes and write when time permitted.

Reading the memories is like talking with her; the amiable style is evident. She credits friend Madison Spivey for bringing the personable to the page.

“It’s just like me talking,” said Britt. “I think my stories are as much fun as my recipes.”

For example, Keith Edwards, her manager, gets the credit for the cookbook title. When asked for an idea, he suggested using her favorite term of endearment, “child.”

Britt exclaimed, “Bingo! That’s it!”

How that expression of “child” first came into her vocabulary is another story, and best saved for when you’re reading your own copy of the cookbook.

There you’ll also learn the roots of Britt’s experiences in cooking and operating restaurants and other business ventures.

There are the 100-plus recipes ranging from Liz’s Famous Crab Cake to hot fudge sauce. Several of the entries include a comment or anecdote.

“Pam Wiggins helped me do the printing,” Britt said. “She lined it all up and had it put together for me.”

The cookbook’s dedication is to all customers past and present, in good times and bad.

“They are the backbone of every venture I’ve done, and I would not have done as well without them,” said Britt.

She had the completed work in hand on Valentine’s Day, and 54 of the 250 copies of her book were sold the first day, with a book-signing four days later. Another printing is anticipated.

Three days afterward, knee surgery tempered the elation. Still, you’ll find her steadily moving about the restaurant she opened almost 1½ years ago in the former Parker’s Drug building on Main Street..

When her place first opened, there were three employees. Today there are 14.

Britt looks forward to painting the place this spring, and hopes to add al fresco dining.

Cookbooks are available at the restaurant at 102 N. Main St.