Already a year has gone by since the launch of Too Many Pies. And what a strange year it’s been! It seemed like such a good idea to introduce my pie book on Pi Day, March 14. It was a good idea, and the launch party was great fun, a success by every measure. What no one anticipated was the big pandemic pie-in-the-face that put all our plans on hold. The very next day, everything closed down. No school or library visits, no book store signings, no book fairs or pie celebrations. It’s been a disappointment, but authors and their stories are resilient.
Now another Pi Day is on the near horizon. Even though public gatherings still aren’t happening, pies will always be waiting for us. Great-Aunt Gladdie Goodpudding is still baking, and I hope you are, too. I look forward to meeting more picture book readers and pie lovers, as soon as it’s safe to do so. Until then, I wish you sweets dreams of flaky pie crusts loaded with cinnamon-scented apples, peaches, blueberries — all your favorite fillings. Chocolate, perhaps? Pumpkin, pecans, rhubarb . . . Remember, you can’t have too many pies!
An excellent pie-baking friend recently reminded me about pie scraps, the bits of leftover dough cut away from the round crust before it gets fitted into the pan. No matter how elevated your rolling skills might be, a perfectly-shaped, perfectly-sized pie round is rarely achieved. This is a good thing, because those odd pieces of dough can easily be turned into tasty bonus treats to enjoy while the rest of the pie is baking and cooling.
If you grew up with a pie-baking mother or grandmother or uncle or elder of whatever connection, you probably remember those pie dough scraps never went to waste. No need to cut them into pretty shapes, simply place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and pop them in the oven. Do keep a close eye on the little sweethearts, because they brown up quickly. Add a dollop of jam or whipped cream or whatever excites your sweet tooth. They disappear quickly among little helpers, but if you’re alone in the kitchen, no one has to see them. They’re all yours, a baker’s reward!
Because everyone knows that Pi Day = Pie Day, I hosted a party on 3/14 to celebrate the publication of my new picture book. About fifty friends and family members were on hand for introductions to Great-Aunt Gladdie Goodpudding and the first reading of Too Many Pies. Kids enjoyed making pie crafts, everyone ate pie, and several lucky attendees went home with door-prize pies. I happily signed many copies of my book, always a deeply satisfying activity that represents the completion of the storytelling process. After the writing and editing, the illustration discussions and numerous other publishing details, the process comes full circle when the book is finally in the hands of readers. The making of books, especially picture books, is truly a collaborative endeavor, and a pleasurable one indeed.
I’m grateful that our event occurred before the coronavirus curtailed public gatherings. Thanks to all who helped to make the launch of Too Many Pies a success!
Family dinners can be chaotic, especially when it comes time for dessert. With the Goodpudding clan, dinner turns into an uproar. I’m launching this blog site to coincide with the launch of my new picture book, TOO MANY PIES. The story is all about the quirky Goodpudding family and their love of Great-Aunt Gladdie’s pies. The problem is they demand more and more until Gladdie reaches her limit. Feet stomp! The chandelier shakes! Pies fly and the pie police arrive! Leave it to Gladdie to find a way to keep the Goodpudding peace.
I love writing fun and funny stories for kids. This one was inspired by my own family experience (exaggerated, of course) and I’ve waited a long time to share it. I hope reading about the Goodpuddings provides you with laughter and even a little inspiration in teamwork.
Also, I hope you’ll stay tuned for more adventures in pie. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.
Everybody loves pie. The very word pie feels good in your mouth.
My first memory of pie dates back to toddler-hood, when my family lived on a farm. I remember being in the kitchen watching my mother chop rhubarb for a pie. I was intrigued by the ruby red stalks she’d pulled from the garden, so as soon as she turned away, I climbed up on a chair and picked up the knife. When I made my first slice, I was disappointed to see the pale green interior of the stalk. Hoping for more redness with the next slice, I proceeded to chop. Indeed, I was rewarded with redness — lots of bloody redness — when I saw I’d cut my finger nearly down to the bone.
I don’t recall if we got around to actual pie-baking that day, but that was my introduction to the process. Curiously, it isn’t an entirely negative memory for me. Instructive, I’d say. And it certainly didn’t put me off pie, not even rhubarb pie.
This isn’t a good example of how to teach children to bake. My mother was never a wizard with a knife and sliced her own fingers with some regularity. It’s a good thing my father was a surgeon and always ready to patch us up. Nonetheless, don’t be deterred by my personal fiasco. Be careful, and carry on!