Florence Ditlow, author of The Bakery Girls.  And while the story, set in Harrisburg, with a delicious secret, is clever and entertaining, that’s not why I’ll be making this my gift of choice to share with friends and family this year.  It’s the characters, each who remind me a little of myself, and a little bit like my sisters, and friends, and relatives, and even the remarkable and talented Florence Ditlow, herself!  Below is a tasty little synopsis of The Bakery Girls written by Florence that I hope, will inspire you, as I have been inspired, to make this the gift of choice for your favorite foodie. "> Florence Ditlow, author of The Bakery Girls.  And while the story, set in Harrisburg, with a delicious secret, is clever and entertaining, that’s not why I’ll be making this my gift of choice to share with friends and family this year.  It’s the characters, each who remind me a little of myself, and a little bit like my sisters, and friends, and relatives, and even the remarkable and talented Florence Ditlow, herself!  Below is a tasty little synopsis of The Bakery Girls written by Florence that I hope, will inspire you, as I have been inspired, to make this the gift of choice for your favorite foodie. "> Florence Ditlow, author of The Bakery Girls.  And while the story, set in Harrisburg, with a delicious secret, is clever and entertaining, that’s not why I’ll be making this my gift of choice to share with friends and family this year.  It’s the characters, each who remind me a little of myself, and a little bit like my sisters, and friends, and relatives, and even the remarkable and talented Florence Ditlow, herself!  Below is a tasty little synopsis of The Bakery Girls written by Florence that I hope, will inspire you, as I have been inspired, to make this the gift of choice for your favorite foodie. "> Food Wednesdays: The Bakery Girls | Donna Marie Desfor | witf.org
In WITF's Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

Food Wednesdays: The Bakery Girls

Written by Donna Marie Desfor, Culinary Consultant and Chef | Nov 30, 2011 12:12 AM

If you happened to be listening to pre-Thanksgiving Radio Smart Talk, you probably ended the show, as did I, with quite an appetite for something delicious.  Holiday gift-giving for a foodie, a gourmande, a culinarists, or even just someone who likes to eat, can kill that appetite.  What to get that’s affordable? Practical? Will be chewed and digested (that’s to say, thoroughly enjoyed) by the recipient?  I’m always an advocate for cookbooks, or even cooking books, but on this particular Radio Smart Talk show, I had the delightful experience of meeting Florence Ditlow, author of The Bakery Girls.  And while the story, set in Harrisburg, with a delicious secret, is clever and entertaining, that’s not why I’ll be making this my gift of choice to share with friends and family this year.  It’s the characters, each who remind me a little of myself, and a little bit like my sisters, and friends, and relatives, and even the remarkable and talented Florence Ditlow, herself!  Below is a tasty little synopsis of The Bakery Girls written by Florence that I hope, will inspire you, as I have been inspired, to make this the gift of choice for your favorite foodie.  Before you dive into her delightful tale, first, do yourself a favor:  listen to a few minutes (or more) of her interview with Craig Layne so that you can hear her wonderful voice in your head as you read her story.  Then, share this gift of reading… and indulging, with everyone that you are reminded of as you join in the adventures of Dot, Louise, and Elaine.

The Bakery Girls, by Florence Ditlow
(CreateSpace, 2011)
Available on Amazon.com (new and used, and kindle edition)

Synopsis

It is 1908 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where men are busy building new industries and women work to get the vote. There a unique couple begins The Stitt Bakery and their family of three girls, Dot, Louise and Elaine. The bakery lovingly bakes their aromatic bread for customers as war begins, requiring the military concurrently to produce unsavory hardtack. Stitt’s horse drawn bread wagons give way to Chevy trucks which proclaim: Stitt’s Better Made Bread.

Dot Stitt is bursting with artful creativity which her mother fuels. She is continually obstructed by her father. He believes in making a sure income by baking irresistible baked goods and insists his daughter not waste her time as an artist. She earns a teaching degree, in part by doing an interpretive dance depicting dough transforming into a crusty loaf of bread. However, the Great Depression forces Dot to work behind a desk as bakery manager, leaving her creative energy stifled.

The middle child, Louise luxuriates in the sensory pleasures of the business. She excels at selling the sugary treats she adores. Choosing dietetics as her education leads her to promote pie baking as therapy for veterans of World War Two. Like a decision between chocolate and vanilla, Louise must decide between two fiancés. One man is cultured and patient with a longstanding heart- felt connection to her. The other, a baker onboard a warship, attempts to win her over through 78 rpm serenades and by baking cookies in the shape of L’s.

Elaine, beloved youngest daughter comes of age in time of war, and has no interest in the bakery. She is instrumental however, in the success of the sisters’ own creation- Victory Bread, a wartime pocket bread which sandwiches Dot’s creative idea inside people’s need to triumph over Hitler. Teenage Elaine marries Bill who is a pilot training to fight in the Pacific. She accompanies him to air bases around America, where she meets bakers and their own delights of the oven. By sampling pastries from coast to coast, she sees how her father’s fare is clearly “Better Made.”

Bread, the supremely basic staple provides a livelihood to the family and their employees while it feeds Harrisburg, a city in need of peace as well as sustenance. The success of Victory Bread inspires customers to endure the war and provides fulfillment to the bakery girls. The three endure because they discover: enjoyment leads to endurance.

Copyright © 2011 by WITF, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Published in Donna Marie Desfor

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