Welcome back to the site that aims to please, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're shining the spotlight on the latest release from an author that's known for her cookbooks, but venturing into uncharted territory. The deep sometimes murky waters of Fiction. From the sound of things, she's got it all under control, but I'm not one to lead you blindly to your next reading selection. Take a gander for yourself....
Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.
Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.
Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.
See what I mean?
Not only does it sound tasty, but the story begs to be read. I mean really, what DARK secrets could she possibly have? Also, I'm anxious to read more about how she can "taste" feelings" Speaking of which...
Though I've not had a chance to read this release yet (scheduled for later this summer), I did manage to score a pretty cool share from the author herself (courtesy of Tandem Literary) all about how flavors reveal your true self. Curious? Read on my friend, read on...
Baker’s Dozen: 13 Flavors to Reveal Your Inner Self
Judith Fertig, author of The
are wine tastings, coffee tastings, cheese samplings.
not a “what’s going on with me?” tasting?
I was writing my debut novel The
(Berkley, 2015), I had an “aha” moment early on. What if my
pastry chef heroine could “read” people as flavors? Flavors that
would lead to a feeling—the feeling that was the heart of a
could suffuse her cakes, cupcakes, brownies, pastries, and cookies
with special flavors that would gently help her bakery customers and
wedding cake clients take charge with chocolate and coffee. Get in
the mood with blood orange and raspberry. Lessen their grief with a
little spice. Or recognize their desire to come home, even if just in
spirit, with pumpkin.
Neely says in The Cake
was a flavor that explained you—even to yourself. A flavor whose
truth you recognized when you tasted it. A flavor that answered the
question you didn’t know you had.”
Neely, we can all use flavor as a prompt—or a hyperlink—to reveal
our own emotional cores. The flavors that speak to us, or flavors
that don’t, can be revealing.
can reinforce what we already know about ourselves. Bring to light
longings and yearnings that we’ve suppressed—why? Or reveal a
flavor combination that fits us like a couture gown.
know that when I’m stressed, I want things soft and simple.
Uncomplicated oatmeal in the morning. Plain rice. Vanilla pudding.
Mashed potato. When I crave sweet but almost flavorless white
chocolate, I know I just want to fit in, not stand out.
I want to feel stronger, I turn to chocolate (dark) or coffee (French
roast) for support. After all, raw cacao and coffee beans have to go
through fire in order to be great.
I need to kick start my creativity, I crave an aromatic combination
of orange, cardamom, and fresh mint. I make Creativity
Kickstarter sugar cookies to take to brainstorming meetings, and
it seems these flavors help others, too. Refreshing herbs,
brand-new-day orange, deep cardamom.
I was also working on a new cookbook Bake
Happy (Running Press,
2015) when I was also writing The
Between the cookbook and the novel, you can find dessert
flavors that will resonate with you, too.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Flavors to Reveal Your Inner Self
flavor have its own language, like the language of flowers (and
Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel of the same title)? Yes: think of the
sultriness of warm chocolate, the snarkiness of lemons, voluptuous
vanilla, luxurious caramel.
of us have certain emotional associations we make with the taste of a
dessert, some stemming from the flavor compounds in the food itself
and others from the context in which we eat it.
flavor you crave can tell you something about what you’re yearning
You’re Yearning For
everyday adventure, a break in routine.
Blueberry - Blue-skied
mornings. Wholesomeness. Simplicity.
Caramel - Luxury.
Chocolate - Risk-taking,
mystery, a strong shoulder to lean on, wicked indulgence.
Coconut - Being
whisked away to an exotic locale without the hassle.
Lemon - Greater
clarity. Witty conversation.
Orange - A brand new day, a fresh
Pumpkin - A
Raspberry - Sophistication.
A sexy, little black dress and the life to go with one.
Spice - A
return to the past. The comfort of nostalgia, or lingering emotion.
Strawberry - Youth.
Vanilla - Pillow-y
- A desire to get along with everyone, be unobtrusive.
What do your
flavor cravings reveal about you? Is cake therapy or baking happy in
I hope so!
About the Author:
Cookbook author Judith Fertig grew up
in the Midwest, went to La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and The
Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now lives in Kansas City. Described by
Saveur Magazine as a “heartland cookbook icon,” Fertig
writes cookbooks that reflect her love of bread, baking, barbecue,
and the fabulous foods of the Heartland. Fertig’s food and
lifestyle writing has appeared in more than a dozen publications,
including Bon Appetit, Saveur and The New York Times.
The Cake Therapist (June 2, 2015; Berkley), is her fiction
Special thanks to Meg
at Tandem Literary
for the chance to make this connection and to author Judith Fertig for sharing her lovely insights into this curious topic. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title was released earlier this month via Berkley Trade Paperback, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing. Now then, if you are interested in WINNING a copy of both The Cake Therapist
and her latest cookbook release, Bake Happy
, HERE'S YOUR CHANCE!
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and you're in it to win it...or should I say THEM!
Open to US residents only; no P.O. Boxes please.
Entries accepted through midnight CST on 06/30/15.
Until next time...GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!