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Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, with Pie Hardcover – September 18, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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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"I'm having a hard time making up my mind which is more delicious--Patty Pinner's glorious words or these heavenly pies! I've read all the words--and now I'm working my way through the pies--I'll get back to you on this asap and I suggest you undertake your own study of this weighty question IMMEDIATELY. This is the PERFECT discussion for book clubs--but don't talk with your mouth full!" --Jill Conner Browne, THE Sweet Potato Queen
"Sweety Pies is a beautifully written homage to all that sustains us. Generous, loving, funny, and knowing, this book is indeed 'an uncommon collection.' It is also a blessing and a delight." --Julia Reed, author, Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena
"Sweety Pies is a beautifully written culinary memoir about memory, the bond between recipe givers, and the attitude of women in the kitchen. It celebrates the love and sweetness of family and friends cooking and eating together. Sweety Pies is fresh, new, and hot... so light your oven and enjoy."
--Dr. Vertamae Grosvenor, cultural correspondent, National Public Radio, author and culinary griot
"Patty Pinner gives a new perspective on the inherently luscious, seductive nature of the home-baked pie. Written with generous helpings of wit, wisdom, and sass, this wonderful cookbook captures the magic and poetry of women who share soulfulness and love through their kitchens. If there's such a thing as a sensual cookbook, this is it." --Norma Jean & Carole Darden, authors of Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine
"Some cookbook authors struggle to come up with things to say about their recipes. Not Patty Pinner; her recipes are firmly rooted in delicious stories about thewomen who provided them. Sweety Pies tickled me so much that I called friends and enthusiastically read passages aloud. The womanish observations are every bit as good as the pies." --Sylvia Carter, Newsday
If you find sustenance in the narrative as well as the eating of pie, this is your book. Subtitled "An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observations, With Pie," the homespun volume tells a story with every recipe. For their creators -- women from author Patty Pinner's life in Saginaw, Mich., -- the pies become potent vehicles of self-expression. Pie fillings range beyond the traditional to incorporate such ingredients as beans, mandarin oranges, grits and rice --The Baltimore Sun
"Patty Pinner's new cookbook delivers dollop after dollop of womanly wisdom along with a slice of pie. In Sweety Pies she invites the reader into her kitchen and into the arms of the women in her life - Mama, the postmistress, Aunt Helen, Cousin Gwendolyn. Pinner, a postal worker who lives in Saginaw, Mich., describes herself as a "descendant of that generation where a woman's appearance, manner and domestic prowess were synonymous with her feminine identity." The best homemakers were those who kept a spotless house and could crimp a crust and bake a pie as beautifully as Martha Stewart. She introduces these women in the stories leading to each recipe. These snapshots of a bygone era make it difficult to decide what to do first: read about the women who influenced Pinner or get out the flour and shortening and bake a pie. Throughout the stories arethe "golden nuggets of female truth" that Pinner's mother dispensed - "a man hates to be ignored" or "Sweet talk can't buy rice." --The Hartford Courant
"Patty Pinner's Sweety Pies' offers simple, appealing pies with a hearty side of womanish observations' -- the sort of tales that often involve baking for and from the heart and people with names such as Chestermae and Miss Mattie. Her Redemption Hazelnut Pie was amazingly sweet and nutty. The book also contains many unusual pies, such as Sister Shirley Woo
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