Confections of a Closet Master Baker, by Gesine Bullock-PradoFirst things first. This book could’ve gotten more checkouts from the library with a better cover. A baking memoir DESERVES something scrumptious or at least pretty on the cover, doesn’t it? How else are you going to know that there are some precious recipes in the book?

Second, the author is Sandra Bullock’s sister. Yes, the star. I get how it must be really annoying for her to never be known as anything but, but when you’re trying to sell books, every little publicity corner counts. And this fact ain’t little. Imagine how many more people would be picking out your book over others when they see your celebrity sister’s name on the cover. You have made it clear enough throughout the book that you’re more than “Sandy’s” little sister, but at least get the audience there so they may read it for themselves, no?

That said, Gesine Bullock-Prado’s culinary memoir outlining her journey from a H-town executive to a small-town Vermont baker is thoroughly entertaining. (I have to admit: even after she’s explained how to pronounce her name in the pages, I’m not saying it right. What’s a hard-G?!) It totally comes across how painfully shy, to the point of rude, Gesine is (I have one of those offpsrings too), and how baking is her soul career. There is no escaping her mom-fixation, even well into adulthood, so much so that sometimes this book reads like an ode to her mama with a few recipes thrown in.

About the recipes, though, some have been described so well that I want to get in the kitchen and crank up my oven right away. (With baking season upon us, who knows, I very well may.) The ones for Golden Eggs (a simple vanilla cake), Focaccia and Apple Pie are particularly beguiling. (I will keep you updated if I ever get to making these.)

If you’re looking for a food memoir to read or bake from, this book might be a good bet. Just don’t judge it by its cover.


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