Reese Witherspoon’s new book, “Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love and Baking Biscuits,” is a lot like Elle Woods, her iconic character from the “Legally Blonde” movies.
At first glance, it’s very, very pink.
In this lavish book — part memoir, part cookbook, part etiquette guide — Witherspoon writes that she wants to “spread the gospel of southern living.”
She gives tips for how to monogram any and everything, how to pick wallpaper, how to hot-roller your hair, how to throw a proper dinner party, how to pronounce words the Southern way (business = bidness, government = gubbamint).
There are 48 recipes, for everything from Hoppin’ John to baked brie to sun tea to finger sandwiches.
The book is also a tribute to Witherspoon’s grandmother, Dorothea Draper.
“Dorothea was smart, ambitious and brave,” Witherspoon writes. Holder of two college degrees, Dorothea was a firm believer in women’s right and civil rights. She wanted to travel the world, but as that wasn’t considered proper behavior in her day, she instead taught first grade at a local school.
The title of the book is one of the things Dorothea used to say to her granddaughter: Southern women are like “whiskey in a teacup” — delicate and ornamental on the outside, but strong and fiery on the inside.
Because grandma sayings are one of our favorite forms of wisdom literature, here are five more from Dorothea:
1. “Pretty is as pretty does.”
2. “Better overdressed than underdressed.”
3. “Never be the last person to leave a party.”
4. “Only wear sweatpants when you’re supposed to be sweating.”
5. “The only appropriate place to chew gum is behind a door.”
Listen to the grandmothers.