For Bonnie Lee Black, writing and cooking have always been analogous. Both involve the thoughtful and loving preparation of something good for another’s consumption. This cookbook is a compilation of some of the author’s favorite, tried-and-true sweet tart recipes, along with related stories, drawn from her twenty-year culinary career. Her message to readers is simple: “I hope that Sweet Tarts will inspire you to make one or two–or more—of these recipes from time to time, especially on special occasions and enjoy them with your own sweethearts.”

As Bonnie writes…

This is the slimmest of my five published books, but it’s also the sweetest and the one that will likely always be the “baby of the family.”

As any woman who has given birth to both a baby and a book might tell you, there are distinct similarities. There is the growing anticipation before the birth, and then the overwhelming joy when the book is delivered and you’re able to hold it in your hands. For me, it’s the farthest thing from commerce; it’s love.

I like to think that this pretty little book has something for everyone: For those who like to read, there are eighteen short personal essays on food and travel themes. For those who like to bake dessert tarts, there are twenty-five of my favorite sweet tart recipes, many of them from my years as a caterer to famous clients in Manhattan. For those who would like to learn how to bake dessert tarts, there are step-by-step instructions with accompanying photographs.

And for those who’ve considered putting together a legacy cookbook — with accompanying family stories — for their children and grandchildren, Sweet Tarts might serve as an inspiration.

I dedicated this book to my great-granddaughters, twins who just turned two, who are far away and whom I’ve yet to see in person. They’re too young to read or bake now, of course, but some day I know they will. If I’m not around to show them, this book will act as my stand-in.

In two weeks, on November 19thSweet Tarts will be launched at a tart-tasting-and-book-reading/signing event here in San Miguel de Allende held at Casa de la Noche (Organos 19) at 4 pm. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so RSVPs are a must.

Then on Sunday, December 6th I’ll be doing a Zoom reading from Sweet Tarts hosted by SOMOS in Taos, New Mexico. (See my recent WOW post about it. This, too, is free and everyone from anywhere is welcome to attend. I’ll have more Zoom details to share closer to the date.

Sweet Tarts for my Sweethearts
by Bonne Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98)
Nighthawk Press
104 pages
October 2020
$12.95 (Paperback), $4.99 (Kindle)


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