I feel a weekend of baking coming on! Jo Segar’s latest book Jo Segar Bakes has just landed on my desk.
A quick look through my recipe book collection and you will find several Jo Segar books. But more telling than the amount of her book that I own is the fact that most are no longer in pristine condition. In fact some are covered in spills and stains, testament to the fact they are well used.
After a quick peruse of Jo’s latest book I can tell immediately that this too is going to be well used. In true Jo Segar style it is full of wonderful recipes she knows you will use and love, from scones, to chocolate chip cookies, caramel slice to fejoia cake.
This book, as the name suggests, is dedicated to baking but I think this is where Jo is at her best. Many of the recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, like the recipe given to Jo by her Mum on page 133; Fays Mumbles or the Louise cake on page 113 that Jo’s Great Aunt Annie used to make on her coal range. In a lovely touch, tribute is paid to these women in the back of the book.
It’s a sad fact that unlike past generations the skill of baking is no longer one past down, so in Jo Seagar Bakes Jo assumes the role of Mother/Grandmother/teacher, talking you through all the stages of each recipe. She’ll explain the important steps, the shortcuts, techniques and tricky cheats that she has mastered over the last fifty odd years.
Like her family recipes this book also pays homage to a time when baking skills were on show at the local A&P Shows (see the Prizewinning Sponge Cake on page 172) while also including new recipes and ideas, including a few gluten free recipes.
Jo Seagar Bakes would make a wonderful gift but I’m holding on to this copy!
Jo Seagar Bakes,
RRP$55 Released 10th October 2014
Published by Random House