Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury and Women’s Voices

Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford. Tiller, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-982132-67-5
In this debut cookbook, food writers Gunst and Alford collect solid recipes and passionate essays from women suffering through the #MeToo era. Chapters are traditionally organized but given rousing names (one on breads is “Whisk, Fold, Knead, Rise Up”) and illustrated with inspiring photos of women’s marches from the 1960s to the 2000s. Recipes are functional and clever: Vallery Lomas, who won The Great American Baking Show in 2017 only to have the show canceled and not air after a judge was accused of sexual harassment, offers simple lemon bars that don’t require precooking the curd for the filling. The authors often artfully integrate their subjects: Alford provides an honest look at women’s experiences in restaurant kitchens and suggests a maple-walnut pull-apart bread (“what better metaphor for my growing rage as the patriarchy works overtime”), and Katherine Gunst of NPR’s Here & Now recalls her dismay over Maine senator Susan Collins’s yes vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and how baking “temporarily restor[ed] my belief in the positive transformation of things” (she offers LGBTQ-inspired rainbow cookies). Attempts to politicize baked goods, including a tenuous connection between red velvet cake and The Handmaid’s Tale, can read like a reach, but they serve as a primal scream. This volume of accessible recipes squarely hits the target. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/11/2019
Release date: 02/04/2020
Genre: Lifestyle
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