Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, with Pie

Patty Pinner, Author, Alexandra Grablewski, Photographer
Patty Pinner, Author, Alexandra Grablewski, Photographer Taunton Press $23 (171p) ISBN 978-1-56158-848-0
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In this culinary memoir featuring over 50 home-baked pies, Pinner weaves personal stories with recipes for standards such as Apple and Mixed Berry, as well as less common but equally delicious offerings such as Lemon Chess Pie and an ice cream-based Caramel Tin Roof Pie. As in her last, 2003's well-received Sweets: A Collection of Soul Food Desserts and Memories, each recipe is accompanied by an anecdote from the author's childhood, giving readers the feeling of being in the kitchen with Pinner as she reflects on family and friendship, drawing from her stories advice on treating loved ones right; however, as none hint at the taste of the dishes they accompany, bakers might find these tales frustrating, especially in regard to lesser-known dishes like Rice Pie and Sister Chestermae Hayes's Apple Butter Pie. Still, those with a soft spot for pies will find a treasure trove of recipes that prove intriguingly left-of-center; tellingly, the opening pie recipe (following a helpful primer on crusts) might be considered heresy by some: a blueberry peach cobbler that calls for 3 cups of blueberry muffin mix. Pinner's point, repeated throughout, is that the time spent in the kitchen with family and friends matters more than ""authentic"" ingredients or tricky preparation.
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