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!