I have packages mailed to my sister’s house in the suburbs, so I don’t have to worry about signing for stuff (buzzer doesn’t work) or things getting stolen sitting outside my apartment. I come here every week to babysit, and last week, I was greeted with Gesine Bullock–Prado‘s memoir. I read it in three days, and it only took that long because I was heartbroken by the idea of finishing it.
I had ordered the book based on how much I love her blog, and I’m really happy I did. Within this really moving story, she describes so many wonderful sounding pastries, and then at the end of each chapter, she gives a recipe. I had to google a number of German words, and some pastries to be able to follow at times, and I actually thought that made the book really enjoyable.
Basically, in about a week, I went from having this woman’s blog in the back of my mind (after someone suggesting I check it out), to having read her memoir, and waiting patiently for her cookbook (that I pre-ordered) to come in the mail. Actually, if I had been waiting patiently, I probably wouldn’t have ordered a coffee mug bearing her logo in the same week.
The book wasn’t due to come out until early April, but it got released ahead of schedule, and when I arrived at my sister’s house yesterday, there it was. The book, and the mug. Oh yes, and the mug was filled with macaroons. In the last 24 hours, I have read most of the cookbook, and have eaten every single macaroon, except for the mocha flavor (because of that whole ‘no coffee during lent’ thing). When I gave it some thought, I realized that I should have asked in the comments section of my order if they could omit the mocha. They may not have done it, but if they had, I could have eaten so many more cookies. Plus, I’ll probably order more very soon.
I have such big plans for this book. Right now I’m contemplating some rock candy with my oldest nephew, a cake for Easter, and some candies for the people I work with.
Something I’ve noticed about my weird fan-girl obsession with all things GESINE: unlike so many other food bloggers who are also amazingly talented pastry chefs slash food photographers slash their lives look like an Anthropologie catalog, Gesine’s whole schtick is a little different. She embodies most of those things (I don’t think she’s going for the whole Anthropologie thing), but when I read her blog, I don’t find myself wanting to redesign my blog to emulate her style. She does, however, make me feel like I have a story to tell, like she has.
In high school, I was well on my way to becoming a writer. My creative writing teacher told me that I was a good writer, because I wrote. Use it, or lose it. I didn’t use it. I also worked for about a year doing pastries, being the absolute happiest version of myself. I gave that up in favor of trying to move up within a company, always telling myself it’s good practice for when I actually run a bakery some day. Maybe it is, but it feels a lot like trading down. My roommate says I’m a writer even if I’m also lower level management at a grocery store bakery. I’m also a pastry chef.
There’s a part of Gesine’s memoir where she cautions those of us thinking about baking for a living against it. After reading that book, I have never in my life been so sure that this is what I want to do.