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Sunday, May 16, 2010

But I want Raspberry Meringues!!!

So the other day, I'm rushing through the library (10 minutes 'til closing!) and I randomly pluck this book off the shelf:
I didn't really take time to check it out, but a memoir about "One Woman's Sweet Journey from Unhappy Hollywood Executive to Contented Country Baker" sounded interesting enough to me.

It ended up being my favorite book in quite a while.

First of all, this author is FUNNY. Not comedian funny, but irreverent smart ass funny. Which I love. Nothing better than chortling and snorting through an otherwise boring commute. Second of all, she manages to write about her love for baking and eating pastries, sweets, cakes, tarts, etc. in a way that makes you want to call out of work so you can spend the whole day baking. And although this self-described "socially retarded misanthrope" is nearly religious about baking the real way...from scratch, with quality ingredients...she still pens a chapter entitled "Ode to the Oreo." Now that's a philosophy I can get behind.

Surprising tidbit? She's Sandra Bullock's sister. It took 2 chapters before it dawned on me that the famous actress sister "Sandy" she kept referring to is none other than America's sweetheart. (Work.It.Out., LT)

But the real surprise about this sassy, generally light hearted memoir is how earnestly the author ties baking to memories of her late mother and grandmother, and how she brings them back with the smells and tastes of her childhood. Choked me right up. Several times. (In fact, I finished the book during my morning commute, and was still feeling all verklempt about it as I went down the stairs at South Station to catch the red line. And what greets me as I make my way down the steps? A busker playing Schubert's Ave Maria--one of the most beautiful and moving songs ever-- on his acoustic guitar. What? I had something in my eye! It's really dusty down there!)

So anyways...I loved the book. And I got all excited because the bakery in question is in Vermont!!! And I'm going to Vermont in a couple weeks!!! And Montpelier is on the way to Burlington!!! It's the perfect pit stop...I can sample the delectable meringues and tarts I've been reading about, and wash it down with a fantastic coffee!!!

Alas, a little googlage informs me that the retail bakery has been closed, and is now a commercial mail-order operation. (Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!)

I guess I will just have to settle for reading the Confections of a Closet Master Baker blog, baking something from the recipe section, and enjoying the results while watching The Proposal. To get a little bit of Bullock, of course. Nothing to do with Ryan Reynolds...

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