Friday, May 11, 2012
This book made me hungry!
Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
I'm going to knock out a few book reviews tonight while I'm on a roll. I recently finished this book from the local library. I had it on my Amazon Wish List for probably over a year; I use it to keep track of all the books I want to read and their release dates. This book has been out since 2009 - so long that Gesine has closed the cafe in the book and moved it to TEXAS! *SNIFF!
The author is the younger sister of movie star Sandra Bullock. There, its been said, now on to the book. Gesine WAS an unhappy executive in her sister's production company in Hollywood. Going all the way back to college, she found baking to be relaxing, restorative, an outlet for creativity and a way to give back to her friends and family. One day she decided to move to the other side of the country and eventually open her own bakery and cafe in Vermont. The book alternates from the past, to the present (during an ordinary day in her cafe) and back to the past again. She shares mouth-watering and downright ambitious recipes of her own and her family from Germany.
I related to Gesine right away since my mother died from cancer as well (her mother died of colon cancer in 2000; my mother died from breast cancer in 2001). And just like me, when Gesine was growing up, she found her mother sometimes embarassing and NOW those are the things we both miss most about our mothers as adults. (I thought my mom's tastes in food were weird and outrageous when I was a kid and they're the same foods I crave as an adult.)
I loved reading about how Gesine picked up her life with her husband, started fresh in Vermont, learned how to mass-produce some of her well-loved recipes, then purchased, gutted, and set up the cafe that became a hit in the small town. She perservered over the years through employee turnover, growing pains and learning experiences of opening a new business, and the constant questions that come with being Sandra Bullock's sister.
I'll be honest, although I found all the recipes mouth-watering and tempting; I'm just not as ambitious baking in the kitchen as I used to be (and they all looked so indulgent as I joined Weight Watchers in January). But I'll definitely remember her book because my mom's side of the family is mostly German (as is Gesine's mother). I'll KNOW to look up her book again if I want honest-to-goodness, indulgent, German sweets!
FTC: I checked out this book from my local library.