There are some who’d say that all a woman really needs is a good lipstick, that it can lift the face and a mood with just a swipe. While I believe this is truer of blush, I still submit to pie as the great salve to all. You can have a ghastly day, but even the idea of a pie on a windowsill somewhere, even in a story, brings on a sigh. It’s country. It’s handmade. It’s traditional comfort, something a mother somewhere makes with her thumbs. She wears an apron and has chicken wire in her life somewhere. Oh. But then there’s supermarket pie: the worst. The why bother. The no.
In planning the Thanksgiving pie onslaught, I’d combed through the pages of well-marked cookbooks and archived food magazines, coming up with squat. I was on the hunt for something new. So I turned to new cookbooks, two of which I share below.
In particular, The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book captured my eye with its Rosemary Honey Shoofly Pie recipe. I haven’t made it yet, mind you, but this book just seems dead-on pie weight balls accurate. Original. Interesting. Pie It Forward has me begging for summer fruits. While yes, the book includes recipes for savory pies, I can’t keep myself from dreaming of its strawberry tarts and wild blueberry pies. Sigh.
Then there are my two peas in a pod, Lucas and Abigail, with whom I’ve been spending an unusual amount of time during the day, during the week, thanks to New York snow days off from school. There have been promises of forts made, Easy Bake Oven enticements, but mostly we’ve been making crafts and cleaning the playroom and making yeasty waffles from scratch. And, we’ve been reading, two new favorites Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect. That, and the crafting ideas have been generated party from my imagination and partly from a browse through this sucker.
By far, though, my favorite of the books is this one: Show Me a Story.
This book is brilliant! From story dice (or cubes) to story stones and maps to timelines to puppet shows, there are so many wonderful ideas throughout this book that inspire and expand the conversation. Lucas often has stories to tell, but he tells them in disjointed words, scattered about like metal jacks splayed across a floor. When we create story cubes, for example, he’s able to create transitions, forcing order, creating the necessary transitional connective tissue that his stories lacked. He can line up his cubes, so he no longer needs to remember the order of his story. It’s laid out in front of him. Now he can relax and focus on each detail, take his time, knowing that he won’t forget what comes next in his story. This is wonderful! Hell, I love this book for myself! I think it helps with writing.
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