Holiday baking books recommended by Megan Kocher


Hi, I’m Lisa Von Drasek from the Archives
and Special Collections of the University of Minnesota. I am the curator of Children’s
Literature and today we have– Megan Kocher and I’m the curator of the Doris
Kirschner Cookbook Collection in Magrath Library on the St. Paul Campus.
And today, you brought two books to talk about. Yes.
You’re saying giving, for presents for the holi–
Yes, these would make great gifts, and possibly early gifts if people like to do holiday baking
– was my theme – and so the first one I brought was one of this year’s James Beard
Award winners Suqar by Greg and Lucy Malouf and this is a book of Middle Eastern inspired
desserts. And everything in here looks gorgeous. I’m going to hold that up.
So there’s some chocolate-halva ice cream. Oh, my.
Yeah, and let’s find the page we were looking at–
Say a few words about what halva is– Okay, then I will.
You do it! I’m in love with halva. It’s a candy sweet
made from ground sesame seeds. Yes!
And it is so delicious and now you can go to the grocery store and you can get halva.
Usually you had to go to a delicatessen. Ahh.
And so this is halva ice cream, I can’t wait. Yeah. And then here we were looking at, this
is a plum souffle and strawberry rose pavlovas, there’s a pana cotta, there are some candies
in the back that would look just gorgeous on a tray. Here’s coffee meringues.
So tell me about this. Have you ever made a meringue?
Yes. They’re actually pretty easy to make. Mostly you just leave them in the oven on
a low temperature for a long time. So it’s egg whites, whipped up.
Yup. Do I need a special blender or anything or
just, mixer? Just a mixer.
Okay! Yeah, I would recommend a mixer and not doing
it by hand. (Laughs) So that’s meringue. So this is, um, Suqar.
I don’t even know who the publisher is– (reads) Hardy Grant.
And if you are giving this for a gift make sure that it’s for someone who really loves
baking and has like a kitchen scale, cause it is– they do use British measurements
so you’ll need to measure out the grams and not just your cups.
That’s an excellent warning. Yes.
It’s a beautiful book. You don’t need to give me one.
(Laughter) And here we have…
This is Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day by our local authors Zoe Francois
and Jeff Hertzberg. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Holiday bread in five
minutes, I don’t get it. Well, if you are not familiar with these books,
Zoe Francois started putting out these books, the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was
the first one, and then it was, you know, this method for spending a little bit of time
each day on your dough to make these great artisan breads.
Oh, it’s a dough you keep around. Yeah. So, um, yes. (Laughs) So with your dough,
here are all of these holiday breads and– Oh, show us the end papers.
Oh, yeah, they’re beautiful. So, so this gives you a hint of what’s coming
up? Yes, there’s beautiful braided breads and–
There’s a challah and, is this a cinnamon bun?
It looks like it? Yeah, there’s some nuts in there, there’s
kolachi, there’s um– Wait, what’s kolachi?
It is like a little seed-filled… There’s donuts, I just passed. Um, ooh look at that.
Let’s show a picture. So this looks like an Easter Bread.
Yes. So these are for, you know, it is all kinds of holidays and celebrations that are
covered in here so you’ll find all sorts of things.
It’s a hardy book too. It is, but if you have someone in your life
who loves to do the holiday baking, this is a great book to have.
And someone who perhaps has been giving you beautiful homemade bread, this would be the
perfect gift for them. Yes.
Ah, well, thank you. That’s all the time we have for this episode of Read This Book, and
I look forward to our next visit. All right.

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