Get Back in the Kitchen with Classic Home Desserts

November is the beginning of winter here in Canada and once the temperature drops, it puts me in the mood to stay home and bake.

There is something so rewarding about creating a great dessert for family and loved ones and so I am trying to overcome my fear of baking (without a sweet tooth of any kind, it's hard for me to gauge how it turned out). That's why I've put my trust into Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts: A Treasury of Heirloom and Contemporary Recipes.

It's a doozy for many reasons:

- Richard was the founding chef and director of Food & Wine's Test Kitchen and wrote about food in every way - cookbooks, restaurant and book reviews, articles (he died in 1995)

- It won both a James Beard Foundation Book and IACP Cookbook award

- It has a forward by one of my favourite cookbook authors, Dorie Greenspan

- There are over 350 of the world's best desserts that took author Richard Sax over 10 years to collect and refine

- 19 chapters of desserts from cobblers and crisps to cakes and cookies, puddings and souffl├ęs, pies and pastries, ice creams and sauces means you'll never have to scramble for another bake sale, PTA meeting or book club event again!

- Extra tidbits along the sidebars offer quotes, old recipes ("To Make Fine Little Cakes") and other fun information will keep you smiling while your crust browns or your sauce thickens

And there is something for every level of baker: Current-Orange Pound Cake is something someone at my level can tackle, but I've have to work my way up to Commander's Palace Bread Pudding Souffle. I am curious to give Ricotta Bavarian a go, as well as Mother Church's Spirited Dark Fruitcake for the holidays. I've never heard of Fresh Grape Pie, so of course I'll have to try that and I'm torn between doing Pennsylvania Dutch Butter Semmels and Hamantaschen (because I don't know what either of them are), so I'll just have to do both.

That's what makes this book so vital - it's got a bit of everything and a ton of stuff I bet you've never heard of. What fun!

Stephanie Dickison

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