We all receive gifts from time to time. A bottle of wine, a nice piece of pottery, or a cookbook. On Sunday, my dear friend Nancie McDermott gave me a copy of her newly published “Southern Pies.” I have all of Nancie’s cookbooks (as she has been so kind to give me copies of them), and through these books she’s taught me a ton about Asian cooking and Southern cakes. I’ve enjoyed the books, as they’re very accessible and interesting, and all of the recipes have been winners.
But of all these gifts, this one — this book of pies — is different. This is not only a gift commemorating a birthday, but it’s a gift for everyone. It’s a gift from Nancie to the cooking world. Hyperbole? Judge for yourself, but if you take a serious look at this book, you’ll see what I mean.
Last night after dinner, I finally got a chance to sit down and take a look at Southern Pies, and my first impression is that this may be the first time I’ve had a cookbook that makes me want to make every single recipe in it. I’m totally serious about this. Of course, there are the expected chess, lemon and coconut pie variations, but there are a number of very interesting pies of which I’ve never heard: green tomato pie, sliced sweet potato pie, vinegar pie, bean pie, and a plum custard pie. There are fruit pies that have added substantial amounts of cream to them. Rhubarb and scuppernong grapes are featured.
I’ve always been a huge pie lover, but I’ve gotten away from baking them in the past year. That’s all about to change. I’ll be sure to chronicle my pie baking escapades here, and I suspect my kids are about to learn how to make pie crust.
Thanks again for this wonderful gift, Nancie. It will be treasured for a long, long time.