By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Nancy Boldish Tusinac started baking when she was a child, learning the ropes from her mother, Margaret Boldish, as she was growing up in Sharon.
“My mom taught me how to bake when I was old enough to hold a measuring cup,” she said, “and I have taught my daughter, and my granddaughter also knows her way around a kitchen.”
While baking has always been a family affair for Tusinac, she didn’t begin baking professionally until she retired.
HOW TO ORDER
To purchase “A Clarencedale Year: 52 Ways to Live the Sweet Life,” call Nancy Tusinac at 724-342-3221 or email her at email@example.com. The price is $20.99 for a paperback, and $15.99 for an electronic book (sent on PDF files).
Tusinac spent 50 years in the human-services field, serving people with special needs, in New Jersey, Ohio and the Shenango Valley.
Looking for something to do after her 2014 retirement, Tusinac and her daughter, Mary James; and son-in-law, Andrew James, bought Clarencedale Cake in 2013.
They operated Clarencedale Cakes stores in Boardman and Sharon (which was later renamed The Bake Shoppe) for several years. They closed the Boardman store in 2016 and the Sharon store in 2018.
In buying Clarencedale, Tusinac also bought all of its recipes.
“We liked them because they were unique,” she said. “We were attracted to it because the icings and fillings were all homemade, and they’re high-quality. We use the best ingredients, always have and so did the original owner.”
Tusinac’s repertoire now consists of more than 200 recipes: the original 150 that she bought from Clarencedale, plus dozens more that she has since created.
The original location of Clarencedale Cakes, by the way, was on Clarencedale Avenue in Youngstown.
Although she no longer operates a storefront business, Tusinac keeps the Clarencedale Cake tradition alive in her online business, which can be found at thebakeshoppesharon.com. Her products include artistically decorated cakes, designed by her son-in-law, Andrew.
While her online business is very successful, folks in the region can now try Tusinac’s cakes and cupcakes by baking them at home.
That’s because Tusinac has just published her first book, “A Clarencedale Year: 52 Ways to Live the Sweet Life.”
The book features 52 recipes and is designed to celebrate each week of the year. It includes recipes that complement the holidays, including the Irish Cream Cupcake for St. Patrick’s Day and the Bunny Bliss Cupcake for Easter.
The cookbook, said Tusinac, offers readers and their families a reason to get into the kitchen one day a week to make something that’s fun, tasty and simple. It’s a way of carrying on a tradition that started when she was a little girl.
One needn’t be a professional to make her cakes or cookies.
“They’re very easy,” Tusinac said of the recipes in her book. “They’re all basic. They’re user-friendly.”
Tusinac, who lives in Sharpsville, Pa., with her husband, Ron, said she doesn’t mind sharing her secrets.
“I believe a recipe shouldn’t die with you,” she said. “You should share it. I’ve known people who were excellent cooks but didn’t share their recipes and they died with them, and I think that’s sad.”
The cookbook includes recipes for 44 cupcakes, which can be made from store-bought cake mixes, as well as eight recipes for cookies and pie bars. Tusinac also includes seven recipes for specialty icings.
To purchase a copy, call Tusinac at 724-342-3221 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The price is $20.99 for a paperback and $15.99 for an electronic book (PDF files).
While she has just published her first cookbook, the 71-year-old is already preparing a second one that will include gluten-free and dairy-free recipes.