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500 Cupcakes & Muffins

文章日期:2009年7月3日

All who know me also know that I am not very much of a chef, or to be frankly right to the point, I am a lousy cook; that is, if I get round to spending any time at all in my rather primitive kitchen. What then in the world am I doing here recommending a cookbook?

In fact, I am a big fan of cookbooks. Reasons? For one thing, the photos of mouth-watering dishes are a sumptuous feast for my eyes, although my taste buds may not have the fortune to get even remotely close to the food. Besides, with a little probing, these books always promise a very big harvest if one dares to reap it, including but not limited to vocabulary, writing skills such as organization, clarity and lucidity, as well as life lessons hidden here and there in the recipes.

Let me illustrate my point with 500 Cupcakes & Muffins. Shall we take a look at what the book has to offer?

.All steps and procedures are explained in logical sequence and with neat precision. We challenge ourselves to do the same when we present ideas in an essay, a report or a proposal.

.Those verbs and phrases commonly used in the recipes are seemingly very simple. Learn them, but don't stop there. Practise using them in writing and in speaking.

.Each recipe is no longer than 120 words. It is not a formidable task to read one or two aloud a few times, to practice our pronunciation and eloquence. We should get used to hearing our own voice.

.All of the 500 recipes begin with this line: “Preheat the oven to…” Likewise in life, true, we should always get ready.

.Again, all of the 500 recipes end with this line: “Store in an airtight container for up to ___ days; freeze for up to ___ months.” Do we get the hint? Well, we have to make sure we can really use what we have learnt, for a long, long time. Otherwise, why bother to learn at all?

I could ramble on, but would prefer to leave it to readers to explore the learning on their own; I wouldn't want to ruin the fun they deserve.

Any books – yes, cookbooks too – can be a treasure of abundant pleasure and wisdom. Now, what are we waiting for? Grab a book, sit back and enjoy it – thoroughly; start a treasure hunt if one is not too tired. For sure, we will be able to make a deposit into our“Reading Piggy Bank”.

Reviewed by Ms. Brenda Mau, Principal of St. Mark's School

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