Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Good Book

I just finished reading My Life from Scratch: A Sweet Journey of Starting Over, One Cake at a Time by Gesine Bullock-Prado (previously published as Confections of a Closet Master Baker!).  Yes, that Bullock, Sandra's younger sister, but Gesine is no hanger-on basking in the glow of her sibling's success (though she loves and appreciates her sister, clearly).  Gesine is a star in her own right in the world of confections, a lawyer who left the hectic world of Hollywood deal-making to start a bakery, Gesine's Confectionary,  in Montpelier, Vermont.

In this very entertaining book (interesting to a much broader audience than just we bakers), Gesine journals her soul-searching transition, experiences, and life with her husband and dogs.  She writes with candor and honesty, and I found much of what she writes familiar, as if her words came out of my head, oddly!  My friend Alison gave this book to me a few weeks ago, and said "She's written YOUR book!"  I have had a book in my head, soon to make its way out in to the real world, and I identify with Gesine's passion to bake, though we come to our common interest from very different backgrounds.  Gesine follows a maternal line of German women who baked sophisticated pastries, not as a profession, but as a passion, their families the fortunate recipients.

My love of baking was not inherited from a long line of skilled bakers.  Rather, it is a product of my own inspiration, a creative outlet, much like the painting and drawing that once occupied much of my time.  I have always had a craving to create regardless of the medium, and baking was just one passion as I was growing up.  It is the one that has stayed with me.  Oils and watercolors haven't seen the light of day in my home in a long time.  Fondant and gel food colorings have pushed pencils and brushes to the back of the line, though my new home has such beautiful light, I find myself itching to grab a canvas and begin again.

In the meantime, I have a nice little project underway.  Last night I baked a simple white cake, and tonight it gets filled with lemon curd and frosted with buttercream.  It's a gift for two friends who just returned from their honeymoon in Italy, and duplicates (I hope) the cake they had at their wedding.  I'm presenting it to them tomorrow.  Shhhh....it's a surprise!


  1. I've been to her bakery (it's in the middle of no-where!) Fancy but really good!

  2. I ordered this book last week and am 2/3 of the way through already... It's a great read - thanks so much for the suggestion! It's the first book I've read for pleasure since finishing graduate school. It's grand to relax with a good book! :)

  3. Colleen, I know what you mean! For months after finishing my masters, I felt guilty any time I picked up a magazine or a non-academic book! And I always felt like there was research or a paper waiting... It's such a revelation to know you can just read for pleasure! I love this book because she wrties with so much honesty and integrity. Really relate to the way she thinks and writes. Bet you do, too! Thanks for posting!