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October 2013 A Note from Marcy

Dear Friends and Bakers,

It goes without saying,  the Fall is a baker’s ball; it’s homecoming as it were, for we baking folk.  It’s not hard to see why - there’s just so much good stuff going on - from the surfeit of Indian summer weather in the North East, to the bounty of harvest fruits, honey and nuts and a host of holidays and occasions that inspire a plethora of baking. It’s hard to choose one direction to focus on (in the kitchen, let alone, in life).  With that in mind, I’ve included a wonderful classic Pumpkin Pie Classic Pumpkin Pie to start you off.
And what did I bake recently? I went classic and honed my banana bread (in terms of ingredients and technique) and came up with the best-ever banana bread. I created a luscious pumpkin tart that I am in danger of devouring all by myself and I dug out my favorite apple crisp to share with you. In the mix, I may have snuck in a batch of Pecan Waffles that I served with Southern Fried Chicken (and that should be in November’s issue) and a few pans of date squares (no reason – just because).  Add to this that one of my sons is in a competition with me to bake better biscotti or out-soup me. Every other week, we trade batches of something (whoever  thought he would bake?). The lucky recipients of this friendly competition are friends and gym buddies who get white bags packed with sweets and empty pasta jars filled with another new soup (this month you get to sample the Cauliflower and Chick Pea Soup recipe).

Other than the BB test kitchen, I am so embroiled in self-publishing that I forget what the outdoors looks like. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say I’ve already passed through the seven stages of self-publishing. They include: denial (I can’t imagine self-publishing) to  anger (this shouldn’t be happening), abject fear (I can’t do this, there is too much to learn and figure out), acceptance (if I don’t do it myself, my books and recipes will sit in my computer), euphoria (I am doing this! I can figure it out, I am unstoppable, I am a publisher!), exhaustion (no description necessary) and now the final stage of numbness (I will survive if I just keep going a step at a time but overall, I am feeling no pain).

On a related note, my cookbook with Oxmoor House, A Passion for Baking is now a Kindle book. You can pick up a copy at Amazon
If you don’t have a Kindle, there are free apps that make your Kindle purchase suitable for Ipad or whatever device you have. What I like about my new Kindle cookbook (and I had to purchase it too) is that the recipes are all linked in the Index or Table of Contents and I can see what I need in the supermarket before baking. I like a print cookbook but I enjoy the digital back-up and options it gives me. My own cookbook, When Bakers Cook will also be available in Kindle but its initial launch will be in print via Amazon.

Speaking of launches, I arranged a few book signings here in Montreal. I am gratified to be a  guest (dates to be confirmed at Chapters, Bon Appetit for Books, Kitchen Choice (a new store that is acres of cooking and baking heaven) and the new West Elm store on Wellington, in Montreal.

On a purely baking note, I have a question: what spice are you? Are you warm cinnamon, exotic cardamom, soothing vanilla or perky allspice? In fall, you can be a new spice every other day for such is the bounty in this season of hospitality and fireside warmth. The only thing you must not do, when it comes to spices is to use old ones or less than fine quality ones. New harvests demand a fresh batch of spices so freshen up your canisters and jars. Invest in the finest, fragrant spices you can find (and the choices in stores these days, as well as online, are uncanny) to make your recipes swell in flavour and dimension. Don’t use cinnamon or nutmeg without first inhaling the spice for its worthiness. Spices are gold; flour, sugar and butter might be the spine of your recipes but spices are the heart and soul. I buy my spices in various places but online, I generally head over to

With warm wishes for Halloween, Canadian Thanksgiving, Indian Summer or those unexpected times without an occasion or reason appended to them – just glorious, honey-ed moments that sweep you away, in and out of the kitchen,

FREE!!! Classic Pumpkin Pie

Smooth and just the right spice and sweetness, a beautiful way to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving (and American Thanksgiving up ahead)

Best Ever Buttermilk Banana Bread
A classic perfected – this is deeply flavored, moist, stupendous, 4 times tested Banana Bread.
Slice off a hunk and enjoy. I used Greek Yogurt in my recipe and also offer variations.

FREE!! Caramel Apple Cranberry Crisp
Simple, pure and good and rosy with the blush of cranberries.

August Moon Cauliflower Chick Pea Soup
This soup is beyond good, this is a Seinfeld episode.

Caramel Pumpkin Apple Cider Tart

This is one of those recipes that becomes an instant classic the moment you make it. It’s the best of both worlds of pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie and is laced with the warmth of caramel and bourbon and a final decadence of candied walnuts. True, it is a few steps: crust, filling, caramel and some oven-candied walnuts, but oh – what a sensation this is!

Previous Monthly Essays from A Note From Marcy:

Essays to tickle your funny bone, wake up your inner baker, twinge on your heartstrings, or make you smile and say, ‘I’ve know the feeling; I know the place”. If you missed an essay, or a season in baking or inner sensibility, we invite you to stroll through our archived Notes From Marcy.

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