Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Great Pie Caper

The text had three little words on it…I like pie. It made me laugh. I had been texting my sister about this idea I had for a blog series and was talking about learning how to make a really perfect pie. But, how would I eat as many pies as it might take to hone my pie making skills? I had the brilliant idea of taking the pies to work and letting my coworkers sample them. Apparently my family wants to sample also!

Why pies you ask? Well, because I love pie and because one of the characters in the novel I am currently writing (and which I hope becomes my first published novel) is a pie baker. As I was thinking about my work and looking for ways to stay inspired to keep writing I realized that I am not a pie baker and so I was a little tongue tied when it came to writing specifics about my character making pie. I can do cookies, cakes, brownies, and bread. Making a great pie crust, though, isn’t something I do well. I began to think about practicing to see what would happen if I really tried. Then I remembered seeing the movie “Julie and Julia.”

Like many bloggers I was inspired by the movie to blog more intentionally. Julie Powell was looking for a subject to blog about. She decided to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and document her progress through a blog. The movie really was kind of cute as it toggled back and forth between Julie as she cooked and blogged and Julia Child as she worked many years to write her famous cookbook. I went home thinking I wanted to do something fun that my readers would enjoy. Now, mind you I never set out to write a food blog. It was never my intent to cook my way through a cookbook. I am not trying to copy the movie. I just know it is said that an author should write what she knows. I don’t know pies, but I can do the research. Pies just made sense to have fun with and I was able to tie it into my writing. The idea grew until it had become this great pie caper.

The novel is actually the coming together of two stories that I had been playing around with for a while. The first one I started on a Sunday afternoon a couple of years ago. It was while I lived with Mom and Dad during the months after Dad’s quintuple bypass. We had pie for dessert the night before and I had pie on the brain. The left over pie in the kitchen whispered my name and I was trying to ignore it. I pulled out a pad and began to write. The original story really didn’t have anything to do with pie, but then suddenly one of the characters made pie.

That character used a term for the pie crust that I heard from a coworker’s husband; he called the crust the pie bones. I laughed when I first heard it, but soon appropriated it and made it my own. I may be crazy but it makes sense to me; maybe only to me but then again I may just be more evolved than other people :-) When you think about it a human without bones would just be a big old blob and a pie without good bones is just a big old blob also. And, pie bones made my mom laugh so I used it often to see her smile and hear her laugh. To be truthful, while I do like pie, my favorite part of the pie is the bones. I could eat the crust without any filling and would be perfectly happy.

Just a few months ago I began working on another story that came to me as I drove to work one day. As I played with one scene over and over in my mind I realized it wasn’t working because it needed to be combined with my pie story. Pretty soon the two tales were twisting together into a major theme and I began to think of making them into a novel. That’s how it all began.

Now I had a work in progress and an idea to keep myself inspired. I went to the bookstore and bought a very large book called The Pie and Pastry Bible. It’s huge! And it has lots of tantalizing recipes and pictures that make me just want to eat pie. It has all kinds of hints and helps to making the perfect crust. Did I mention the book is huge? I am a little intimated by the whole process. The book talks about all the right ingredients and how important it is to keep the dough cool enough in order to make the perfect flaky crust. Oh my! I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, partly because I haven’t had the time, but mostly because I fear failure and I realize I may have to make a lot of pies before I get the process down pat. But, never fear I am going to overcome my nervousness and give it a go. If you have read my last post about melting my rice cooker in the microwave I assure you, I will do my very best to not burn down the house in the process!

As I try the recipes I will blog about them here, take some pictures of pies that I really made (the picture here is a piece of pie I bought premade), and in the process give you a taste of my novel. It is my hope that the morsels I give you will make you want to run right out and buy the book when it is published….if I can do that, it will indeed be a great pie caper!

No comments:

Post a Comment