CAKEWALK

LOVING SPOONFULS FROM A SOUTHERN KITCHEN

Gourley (a graphic designer at Workman Publishing) does her mentor, Grandmother Mattie, proud in this precious jewel of a cookbook. She walks the reader through each step of these show-stoppers with helpful hints about everything from separating eggs (separate while cold, then bring to room temperature) to licking the bowl (not a good idea if the batter contains raw eggs). Even baking novices will discover that cake-making has nothing to do with alchemy—it's about accurate technique, presented so simply here even for complicated delectables like the infamous Rocky Mountain Fruitcake, which packs a sugar punch with a dried-fruit- and-brown-sugar frosting, or the sophisticated, three-tiered Lady Baltimore, which combines cake, rum-soaked-currant filling, and frosting topped with candied cherries. These are southern recipes, so sometimes subheads, which for the most part offer accurate descriptions (the pineapple Rise and Shine Cake is a ``zingy mixture of fruit and nuts'' and the Bàte Noire is ``wantonly rich''), can also be misleading for those accustomed to less heavy fare: the Hummingbird Cake, described as ``delicate,'' actually satiates after a few bites with its weighty combination of pecans, bananas, and cream cheese. To her credit, she complements these sugar-laden basics of Confederate fare with refreshingly light tea cakes. Gourley's own watercolors appear on every spread, along with personal anecdotes about activities like fall picnics and berry-picking. The beauty of this slim book just might justify paying $15 for only 25 recipes. A sure cure for baking phobia.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-385-47588-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1994

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

more