“Bring on the Cake. We really want to Live.” ~ Maira Kalman
When a cake shows up, it’s party time.
Cakes enjoy stealing the show at our most important celebrations: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, graduations. Fancy and festive, they know how to have fun.
But cakes don’t have to be luscious, layered, and laden with buttercream to make a lasting impression. As Maira Kalman and Barbara Scott-Goodman suggest in Cake (Penguin Press, 2018),it’s more about whom we share our cakes with and why.
The true deliciousness of cake? Baked-in love. For celebrations, yes, but even sweeter for life’s everyday travails.
With warmth, wisdom and her signature panache, Maira serves up a series of short, delectable illustrated vignettes, most culled from cherished family memories. These are interspersed with 17 of Barbara’s scrumptious recipes, each with a delightful headnote, some with Maira’s gouache paintings alongside.
Maira begins with “The First Cake” she remembers, a chocolate cake with a side of grapes, an after beach treat she enjoyed on the “cool stone tiles” of Aunt Shoshana’s terrace in Tel Aviv.
There’s her “Ninth Birthday” cake, part of a stellar celebration where “all the girls wore fancy dresses” and she was easily “the happiest one there,” and “The Broken Heart Cake,” which Shoshana baked to soothe Maira’s teenage soul.
A little sushi, falafel, spicy chili, or a pulled pork sandwich? Wanna wrap your lips around some Brazilian barbecue, dim sum, kimchi tacos, Indian dosas or souvlaki?
If you’re craving something sweet, there’s ice cream, Filipino halo-halo, cupcakes, frozen yogurt, red velvet pancakes, or mini donuts.
What’s that? You’d like a bite of everything? Well, you needn’t drive to a dozen places — just go to the Food Truck Fest!
Brooklyn author Alexandra Penfold and Google Doodles illustrator Mike Dutton joyfully invite readers to rustle up their appetites and sip, slurp, chew, lick and munch right through their tasty new picture book, Food Truck Fest! (FSG, 2018).
Told in rollicking rhyming couplets, this lipsmacking romp details an exciting and oh-so-satisfying outing featuring our favorite kitchens-on-wheels.
“Kindness is the No. 1 quality I look for in a man.” ~ Meghan Markle
“I’ve longed for kids since I was very, very young. And so . . . I’m waiting to find the right person, someone who’s willing to take on the job.” ~ Prince Harry
Get your tiaras and top hats ready!
In just 3-1/2 days, HRH Prince Henry Charles Albert David will marry Rachel Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle!
There’s nothing like a royal wedding to quicken the pulse and lift the spirits. Oh, the history and pageantry! And who doesn’t love a fairy tale romance (they met on a blind date)?
This unconventional union shows the monarchy on a decidedly modern track: Prince Harry will not only be marrying a commoner, but an American actress — a divorcée of mixed race who is three years his senior. Such a thing would have been unthinkable in days of yore.
One can’t help but remember King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson, or Princess Margaret having to refuse Group Captain Peter Townsend’s proposal because as a divorced man he was deemed unsuitable by the Church of England.
How times have changed! It’s good to see more openness, inclusion and forward thinking. 🙂
“Imagine, if you can, what the rest of the evening was like. How they crouched by the fire which blazed and leaped and made so much of itself in the little grate. How they removed the covers of the dishes, and found rich, hot, savory soup, which was a meal in itself, and sandwiches and toast and muffins enough for both of them.” ~ A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Reading Kate Young’s new cookbook is like sitting in the kitchen with a good friend and chatting endlessly about cherished stories while noshing on all manner of sweet and savory homemade treats.
Fancy a Room with a View iced coffee and meringue, a stack of Pippi Longstocking Swedish Pancakes, a slice of Moominland Pear and Lemon Birthday Cake, or a Franny and Zooey Chicken Sandwich?
If you’re a fan of her literary food blog, The Little Library Café, or read her Novel Recipes column in The Guardian, you know Kate is Australia-born, but now lives in London, where she works as a private cook and food writer who caters weddings and hosts regular supper clubs. With her lifelong passion for food in literature, she’s been able to strike a delicious chord with accessible, doable recipes and captivating personal stories.
The Little Library Cookbook: 100 Recipes from Your Favorite Books (Sterling Epicure, 2018),might be the most comprehensive literary cookbook I’ve come across in ten years of blogging, since it includes classic and contemporary works of fiction for both children and adults. It was just as much fun reading about old favorites as it was learning about new-to-me titles, which I’m anxious to read now that I know about all the food they contain. I certainly look forward to some stimulating bookish travel: what about Paris for tea (The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford), Holland for warm cinnamon rolls (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt), or Naples for pizza (My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante)?