A straightforward, easy-to-use reference for home bakers.




A handbook of common (and not-so-common) baking substitutions.

The fourth entry in MacLeod’s (The Waste-Wise Kitchen Companion, 2017, etc.) ongoing series on kitchen tips and tricks focuses on baking. As in previous volumes, she presents an alphabetical list of ingredients both familiar and unusual, from açai to zereshk, with brief explanations of appropriate substitutions. Many entries are quite detailed, with information on which swaps are appropriate for which types of recipes. The entries on flour, sugar, and chocolate and cocoa are particularly comprehensive, with MacLeod dedicating more than a dozen pages to discussing the various types of flour, from the basic all-purpose variety to more specialized variations, such as amaranth, teff, and popcorn flour. Many suggestions will help cooks who want to adapt recipes to be vegan or gluten-free. Other tips could save the day for those who discover that their cupboard is bare of basic items, such as baking powder (use a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda, instead, MacLeod says) or brown sugar (mix granulated sugar with molasses). Egg alternatives include tofu, yogurt, or chia seeds, depending on the recipe. The book also includes a helpful list of food equivalents and yields, which will be especially useful for those who lack a food scale or are unsure of how much of a particular item to buy. For example, one ounce of cocoa powder, she says, is equivalent to five tablespoons plus one teaspoon. A list of baking-pan equivalents is also practical for those whose kitchens aren’t stocked with a wide variety of cake pans, and a list of oven-temperature equivalents will aid those who want to translate recipe instructions from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Finally, the author’s comprehensive bibliography points readers to cookbooks and other references to further assist them in their culinary efforts. Those who are familiar with MacLeod’s previous works will notice some repetition here; the entries for vanilla extract and date paste, for instance, are identical to those in Seasoning Substitutions. However, there’s enough variation between the two texts to make this a worthy stand-alone.

A straightforward, easy-to-use reference for home bakers.

Pub Date: July 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9974464-4-9

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2018

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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