Today we're pleased to welcome author Kieran Kramer, whose Sweet Talk Me is her first foray into contemporary romance—and it's set in the South, with a sweet-talking guy who makes the heroine all kinds of gooey. A different kind of gooey is found in the Southern snack MoonPies, which Kieran is here to talk about. Thanks, Kieran!
(And be sure to check out Kieran's new website, launching today, and learn more about the MoonPie sweepstakes she's hosting there!)
MoonPies. Yeah, I’m going there…right to the heart of Evil Snack Land, where sugar- and fat-laden delicacies dwell. MoonPies are marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker confections big enough to hold with two hands, so you feel you’re getting your money’s worth. They’re featured in my Southern contemporary romance, Sweet Talk Me, and for good reason. MoonPies are authentic Southern food with a long, colorful history.
If you’re like me, you’re going to want to know something of that history. Why? Because from now on, when you eat MoonPies, instead of feeling guilty, you can say with pride, “I’m supporting a product that has filled the stomachs and lifted the spirits of millions of hardworking people for almost a century.”
Take that, Dr. Oz!
In 1917 coal miners, who often couldn’t break for lunch, asked a salesman for the Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee to invent a big, filling snack. One miner framed the moon with his hands to give the salesman an idea of how big that snack should be, which inspired the name. By the 1930s, the MoonPie had become the Southern labor force’s favored lunchtime treat, cheap enough to buy—they sold for a nickel—even when a man didn’t have much money in his pocket.
During World War II, the Chattanooga Bakery sent MoonPies to the troops overseas, a tradition the company still upholds. In the ‘50s a song was written about America’s gooey favorite: “Give Me an RC Cola and a MoonPie.” In the '60s, the MoonPie was a favored snack in the stands at NASCAR races. In the '70s, floats in Mardi Gras parades on the Gulf Coast were looking for a soft snack to throw to the crowds without hurting anyone, so MoonPies became the go-to parade treat—and still are.
All these years later, the company makes a million MoonPies every single day. What does that tell you about the love affair between Southerners—and all Americans—and their MoonPies?
We can’t live without ‘em, that’s what. They come in different sizes now: big, mini, and double-decker. You can also choose between chocolate, banana, vanilla, and mint flavors. There’s even a crunchy MoonPie! Whichever is your favorite, eat it with relish. The pursuit of happiness is part of the American dream, right?
And MoonPies make us happy.
Here’s a fun, easy recipe to try featuring MoonPies:
Banana MoonPie Trifle
1 5-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cups cold water
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 box of your favorite MoonPie
ripe bananas, however many you want to use
Mix first three ingredients well and refrigerate until set (4hrs to overnight.) After the pudding has set, whip 3 cups heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Then fold pudding into the whipped cream until smooth and creamy. For presentation use a large container to layer pudding, crushed MoonPies, and banana slices. Repeat and top with crushed MoonPies.
Have you tried a MoonPie?
Learn more or order a copy of Sweet Talk Me by Kieran Kramer, available on March 25, 2014:
USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer is a former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher who lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with her family. Game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer, her motto is, “Life rewards action.” Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.kierankramerbooks.com.