The Bak­er’s Four Sea­sons: Bak­ing by the Sea­son, Har­vest and Occasion

Mar­cy Goldman
  • Review
By – May 11, 2015

Mar­cy Goldman’s many cook­books are each a pre­cious gem to own, read, and reread. There is always an upbeat feel­ing when prepar­ing one of her recipes: her cheery and cheer­ing voice comes through. Gold­man a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to The New York Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post, Bon Appétit, and Epi­cu­ri­ous, and her web­site Bet​ter​Bak​ing​.com is an over­flow­ing source of recipes and inspir­ing ideas.

One note about the sea­son­al­i­ty of this book,” Gold­man intro­duces: nev­er feel con­tained or lim­it­ed. Bake what you want when you want it! A Pump­kin Cheese­cake doesn’t need to wait for Thanks­giv­ing to be appreciated.”

Autumn’s offer­ings include Home Blend Pump­kin Pie Spice Mix, Shoe­box Brown­ies, Tof­fee Espres­so Cake (with bour­bon), and Free-Form Rus­tic Apple Tart. I grav­i­tate to friends and apples, both new and those of old­er vin­tage,” Gold­man writes. She helps us eat our veg­eta­bles by the (cake) slice” with her car­rot and zuc­chi­ni cakes. She helps us know if our jam is set with her cold saucer test for done­ness for Clemen­tine Mar­malade and more. There are notes regard­ing short­bread molds and fruit cakes, as well as scone and bis­cuit tricks.

The Win­ter Fruits Hanukkah Man­del­brot is filled with dried fruit, a col­or­ful blend of cher­ries, cran­ber­ries and yel­low raisins. Gold­man asserts that her deli­cious and moist Mex­i­can Dark Choco­late and Hot Chili Cup­cakes are wicked­ly dark.

We come to spring and recipes that exem­pli­fy the mood of renew­al in the kitchen, which rev­els in lighter cof­feecakes, fla­vors of maple, apri­cot, and a lot of straw­ber­ry and rhubarb bak­ing, all to cel­e­brate the change of sea­sons.” Her Pure Straw­ber­ry Pre­serves encom­pass chunks of whole berries. She reminds us that Focac­cia can be sweet as well as savory,” exem­pli­fied in Spring Equinox Cher­ry Focac­cia with fresh (or frozen) pit­ted cher­ries: Bread is gold­en, cher­ries are soft­ened and oozing.”

The Baker’s Four Sea­sons includes a spe­cial tea chap­ter of over forty unique tea recipes, also arranged by sea­son. Includ­ed as well are bak­ing tech­niques, bake­ware rec­om­men­da­tions, and some insights into ingredients.

No mat­ter what the sea­son or the rea­sons,” Gold­man wish­es her read­ers, may it all be sweet.”

Relat­ed Content:

Danièle Gor­lin Lass­ner (wife, moth­er, grand­moth­er) retired after 35 years at Ramaz where she served as Dean of Admis­sions, For­eign Lan­guage Depart­ment chair and teacher of French and Span­ish. She owns hun­dreds of cook­books. She has trans­lat­ed sev­er­al chil­dren’s books from French into Eng­lish. She has recent­ly trans­lat­ed “ A Mem­oir of Sanc­ti­ty “ by May­er Moskowitz (Mazo Pub­lish­ers, Jerusalem, Israel) from Hebrew into Eng­lish. No mat­ter the lan­guage, food is a con­stant.”

Discussion Questions