Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Like the Most Roller Coaster-y Book to ever Roller Coaster

The Memory Weaver

Jane Kirkpatrick

     Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. 

     Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother's diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story.

     The Memory Weaver is based heavily on a true story. The story that this book captures is beautiful and less detailed and a heck of a lot longer than this book. This book is so beautiful. 

     I find that in most books what is happening is very clear, people talk their actions through logically and are grounded. I know that most people, including my roommate, would look at me like I was crazy and be like "No not all characters are logical" but they are compared to the rationalizations in this book where there aren't any. The characters, the people, are unabashedly themselves. They don't try to rationalize their behavior or pretend that everything on the journey is going to turn out OK. They are damaged and beautiful and I love them. 

     They were so broken and beautiful that I just wanted to give up on them and the journey that they went on. I am so glad I didn't, because staying out until the end was what gave me the time to appreciate the art that was right in front of my face. Jane Kirkpatrick is a master, and this her greatest gift. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Maybe I Got A Little Too Excited

A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets

George Greenstein, Elaine Greenstein, Julia Greenstein, and Issac Bleicher

George Greenstein has a gift for teaching home bakers to think, work, and bake like the pros with his evocative and tactile descriptions of baking. In A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets, he crafts master dough recipes for Jewish holiday baking and European classics, creating a comprehensive set of building blocks for both beginners and baking enthusiasts. Greenstein's expert guidance for making doughs like bundt, babka, strudel, gugelhopf, stollen, pressburger, puff pastry, and Danish create a jumping-off point for more than 200 variations of classic pastries, including napoleons, coffee cakes, and sweet buns. The book also offers an in-depth guide to ingredients and equipment, including both professional and home ovens, as well as 40 basic recipes for fillings, icings, and glazes. With Greenstein's steady guidance and familiar voice, home bakers and professionals alike will be encouraged to turn out flawless pastry creations for any occasion.

     I was really excited to get this cookbook. I love pastries of all sorts, and particularly ones from eastern europe. This book combines jewish pastries with eastern european ones to make a party for your tongue. The book opens with Rugelach and goes upward from there. 

     Each recipe is accompanied by a small story. This story drags you in and sits you at their kitchen table. It is very hard not to imagine sitting in a warm delicious smelling kitchen with everyone chatting around you. It brings their home to yours. The recipes are all very easy to understand and of course delicious. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.