Some time ago, Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies had a giveaway for Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado, and guess who won? Go me!
This book was well-reviewed by not only Natashya but one other food blogger whose name I cannot recall right now, but I was really excited about getting to read it, and finally, I did.
Gesine started out as a Hollywood movie executive, and it took me a while to figure out exactly whom she was related to; turns out she is Sandra Bullock's younger sister (um, yeah, the last name should have been a dead give-away but I am slow, I admit!) and for a while she ran Sandra's movie production company. But she was miserable and hated it, and her mind was always on baking and dreamy confections. So, one day after having enough of the Hollywood lifestyle, Gesine and her husband relocated to Vermont and opened a little bakery.
Interwoven with Gesine's tale of starting up the bakery and all that involved and stories of how life has been for her since the opening, are lovely vignettes of Gesine's childhood spent partially in her mother's homeland of Germany, and poignant stories about the women in Gesine's life who helped shape her passion for pastry. Including a collection of her favourite recipes, this book is a wonderful homage to the experiences, people, and flavours of Gesine's life that inspire her baking and keep her wanting to keep ungodly hours at her bakery so that she can do what she loves and is passionate about: feeding people sugary, buttery treats.
This was a light book to read, and it was a joy to read. I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but I have my eye on a couple. This book actually made me think of a lot of the common foods - both baking and savoury - that marked my childhood, too, and it made me appreciate all the more the love of cooking and baking my mother instilled in me, and the nurturing it can do for one's soul.
Thanks, Natashya! This was a great find!