Greenville native Speir to sign cookbooks Saturday

Published 5:05 pm Monday, November 30, 2009

A multi-talented Greenville native will be signing copies of her newest endeavor this weekend in the Camellia City.

Eastern Shore resident Dr. Betty Ruth Speir – gynecologist, “hostess with the mostest,” poet, seamstress and clothing designer – has added something new to her long list of accomplishments.

Speir has written a cookbook, “Come Cook with Me,” which is being lauded by southern luminaries the likes of Fannie Flagg (“a delightful book by a delightful lady”) and “Forest Gump” author Winston Groom (“Betty Ruth sets one of the finest tables in the South – maybe the whole country”). The book signing is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at Butler Services-Calhoun Studios on Cedar Street.

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Speir, who has traded her scalpels for saucepans and paring knives, said she is very excited about coming home to Greenville for the event.

“It will be so much fun to be back home and I hope friends will come by for a visit, even if they aren’t interested in a cookbook,” Speir said.

Speir describes her hometown as a place that “always had wonderful cooks.”

“Many of those recipes have followed me and remain favorites as you will see, for many were chosen for my cookbook. I’ve dedicated to my beloved Elmira, 89 years old and still quilting, who taught me how to cook. I still call her for recipes,” Speir said. Recipes in the cookbook include Elmira’s Lane Cake, Sally West’s Croustades and Issy King’s Shrimp.

The cookbook also features several of Speir’s kitchen-inspired poems. “I’ve written poetry for years, but this is the first time I have had any published. I have had so much fun with this project, and I hope people will enjoy using this cookbook as much as I have writing it,” she said.