November is a hard month for me.

Ever since I was a child I’ve also felt that November is a creepy month. Maybe it’s the lingering Halloween effect or just the fact that it’s dark so early in the day.

The cheery fall weather of October begins to move determinedly towards winter. You can pretend it’s not going to happen but you just know that the first snowfall isn’t far away.

November is the month that I lost my father. That, in and of itself, makes it challenging to get through.

While I’m usually a social creature, during November I find that I mostly just want to rush home after work and curl up on the couch. The only respite I seek from this routine is baking.

It just feels good to bake in November. It’s soothing and comforting and right.

Looking at The Overburdened Bookshelf, there were hundreds of cookbooks to choose from (where did all these cookbooks come from???) for the November 2007 Flavour of the Month. I thought of some of the newer cookbooks like Indulge or Demolition Desserts. And then I considered some of the older books Trattoria Cooking. In the end, I settled on one of my very favourites: The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.

Like an old friend, this book is open and welcoming. Thorough, easy-to-use, appropriate for both the beginner and the more experienced baker, this cookbook covers every aspect of baking imagineable from breads to cookies to cakes.

I’ve turned to this book so many times whenever I want to bake something that is deeply comforting. To me, the book celebrates one of the fundamental joys of baking: bringing warmth into your kitchen.

Here’s to a November of warmth, light and baking!


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