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50+ recipes, short essays, and quotes from some of the best bakers, activists, and outspoken women in our country today—this cookbook encourages women to use sugar and sass as a way to defend, resist, and protest.
Since the 2016 election, many women across the country have felt rage, fury, and frustration, wondering how we got here. Some act by calling their senators, some write checks, some join activist groups, march, paint signs, grab their daughters and sons, and raise their voices. But for so many, they also turn to their greatest comfort—their kitchen.
Baking has a new meaning in today’s world. These days, baking can be an outlet for expressing our feelings about the current state of our society. Rage Baking offers more than 50 cookie, cake, tart, and pie recipes as well as inspirational essays, reflections, and interviews with well known bakers and impassioned women and activists including Dorie Greenspan, Ruth Reichl, Carla Hall, Preeti Mistry, Julia Turshen, Pati Jinich, Vallery Lomas, Von Diaz, Genevieve Ko, and writers like Rebecca Traister, Pam Houston, Tess Raffery, Cecile Richards, Ann Friedman, Marti Noxon, and many more.
Timely, fun, and creative, this cookbook speaks to both skilled and beginner bakers who are looking for new ways to use their sweetest skills to combine food and activism. Containing a collection of recipes that are satisfying and delicious, Rage Baking unites like-minded women who are passionate about baking and change.
About the Author
Katherine Alford has a proven track record in food. She ran a New York Times 4-star kitchen, has been a Greenmarket Manager, as well as instructor and director of Peter Kump’s Cooking School (now Institute of Culinary Education). She spent the last twenty years at the Food Network, ultimately, as the Senior Vice President of Culinary, where she led the culinary team for TV, digital, and print. She ran the test kitchen that created multiple cookbooks that were IACP finalists, Food & Wine Best of the Best, and New York Times bestsellers. She oversaw recipe development and had a column in Food Network Magazine, the #1 food magazine with a monthly reach of over 1.3 million readers. She grew up in Washington, DC, in a politically active family; her passions are food and politics.
Kathy Gunst is a James Beard Award–winning journalist and the author of fifteen cookbooks. Her most recent books include Soup Swap and Rage Baking (with coauthor Katherine Alford). She is the award-winning Resident Chef for NPR’s Here and Now, heard on over 550 public radio stations with over 5 million listeners. She writes for many publications, including The Washington Post, EatingWell, Yankee, The New York Times, Food & Wine, and others. Gunst teaches food journalism and cooking at schools and universities around the globe.
"Indeed it is a cookbook, but Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford’s Rage Baking is also a genius idea—the very text that we, an army of citizen bakers, have been waiting for. Among more than 40 contributors to this feisty and inspiring collection of recipes, essays and interviews are luminaries Ruth Reichl, Ani DiFranco, Dorie Greenspan and Rebecca Traister. There are recipes like “Power Muffs” and “No More Sheet Cake.” The recipes, like the women behind them, represent diverse culinary traditions, from cornbread to bulgur flatbread to challah to focaccia. But they all share one ingredient: "I am anger wrapped in hopelessness wrapped in despair wrapped in more anger," writes Tess Rafferty. 'And when I can’t stand it anymore, I cook.' " –BookPage
"In this debut cookbook, food writers Gunst and Alford collect solid recipes and passionate essays from women suffering through the #MeToo era. Chapters are traditionally organized but given rousing names (one on breads is “Whisk, Fold, Knead, Rise Up”) and illustrated with inspiring photos of women’s marches from the 1960s to the 2000s. Recipes are functional and clever: Vallery Lomas, who won The Great American Baking Show in 2017 only to have the show canceled and not air after a judge was accused of sexual harassment, offers simple lemon bars that don’t require precooking the curd for the filling. The authors often artfully integrate their subjects: Alford provides an honest look at women’s experiences in restaurant kitchens and suggests a maple-walnut pull-apart bread (“what better metaphor for my growing rage as the patriarchy works overtime”), and Katherine Gunst of NPR’s Here & Now recalls her dismay over Maine senator Susan Collins’s yes vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and how baking “temporarily restor[ed] my belief in the positive transformation of things” (she offers LGBTQ-inspired rainbow cookies). Attempts to politicize baked goods, including a tenuous connection between red velvet cake and The Handmaid’s Tale, can read like a reach, but they serve as a primal scream. This volume of accessible recipes squarely hits the target." —Publishers Weekly
“Baking, Politics, and the Power of Women Combine in the New Cookbook Rage Baking. It's a book that speaks about the power women can and are finding inside the kitchen and ultimately celebrates women through food…. Rage Baking is much more than a simple cookbook, though. It's a community. There are recipes from renowned bakers like Dorie Greenspan, Carla Hall, and Virginia Willis, as well as from [authors] Gunst and Alford. You'll also find essays, poems, and quotes from a diverse group of women bakers, writers, comedians, and activists…. Some of the writing is serious, some surprisingly funny, and some will make you angry. Still, there's a lot of hope to be found in the book…. It's a book that, as we dive headfirst into this year's election season, you might want to share with all your friends.”—Bridget Shirvell, marthastewart.com
“Rage Baking Is The Political Cookbook That Has The Food World Buzzing. Some people eat when they are stressed out over the state of the world. Others drink. But bakers, well, they’ve got to bake. And now, they’ve got their own cookbook … already an instant hit.”—Micheline Maynard, Forbes.com, Editor’s Pick
“I’m going to give this book to so many people this year. Baking and politics combine in this upcoming book from Maine resident Kathy Gunst and Katherine Alford, who teamed up on this important and timely book, which will be released in time for Women’s History Month. This collection of cookies, pies, cakes and breads includes essays and interviews with leading bakers, activists, writers and entertainers including so many inspiring women like Dorie Greenspan, Ruth Reichl, Carla Hall, Preeti Mistry, Julia Turshen, Pati Jinich, Vallery Lomas, Von Diaz, Genevieve Ko, and writers like Rebecca Traister, Pam Houston and many more.”—Rachel Forrest, Herald-Mail Media
“Both timeless and also a direct response to the war on American women's civil liberties and body autonomy of the late 2010s, Rage Baking: The Transformative Power of Flour, Fury and Women's Voices is a manifesto for channeling anger into positive action. ‘This is not a book telling women that if they get back into the kitchen and start baking, their rage will be sedated and all will be well,’ writes James Beard Award-winning co-author Kathy Gunst (Soup Swap). ‘This is a book about women's voices, women's recipes, women in community with one another.’
The community of women Gunst and co-author Katherine Alford (Food Network) got to participate is impressive. Contributors include all-star chefs and restaurant owners, cookbook authors and food writers, Emmy-winning musicians and documentary filmmakers, television hosts and writers. Together, they have produced a distinct combination of more than 50 recipes. From around the world: Arabic baklawa, Baton Rouge lemon bars, Indian thepla, Jewish challah, Swedish visiting cake, bizcocho de ron (Mami's rum cake). For resistance: Impeachment Upside-Down Cake, Drop Dead! Pecan Spice Cookies, Rainbow Cookies, Power Muffs, (Don't Call Me) Honey Cakes. All these are augmented with essays, personal stories, poetry, in-depth interviews and baking tips.
In short, a passion for baking + activism = rage baking. A percentage of book sale proceeds goes to EMILY's List, an organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women. Discover: A collection of more than 50 sweet recipes, personal essays and inspiring interviews to fuel women's fury and passion for activism in the 21st century.”—BrocheAroe Fabian, Shelf Awareness
"The cover of this timely, political cookbook plays to my personal belief that baking is a release: Punch down that dough with force. The authors, Kathy Gunst, a cookbook writer, and Katherine Alford, a chef and writer, include views and recipes from more than 40 contributors, including Carla Hall, Genevieve Ko, Betty Fussell, Naomi Duguid and Jessica B. Harris. Clever chocolate-vanilla swirl cookies, a lovely Mexican chocolate-almond cake, upside-down cake with fresh pineapple, and chocolate pudding are some highlights, with photos of the sweets alternating with shots of women’s marches. To that point the writer Charlotte Druckman says to take your rage to the streets, not the kitchen. Some of the proceeds are donated to Emily’s List, appropriate enough since the organization’s name is an acronym: Early Money Is Like Yeast — it makes the dough rise." —Florence Fabricant, The New York Times