It’s a Babyberry Pie party!

BABYBERRY PIE

 

Attention Portland, Oregon & Vancouver, Washington area friends and fans!  If you’re looking for something fun to do with a wee one (or without), come join me this Saturday, December 15th, from noon until 2 p.m. at Steamers & Screamers (is that a great name for a family-friendly coffee shop or what?!).  I’ll be reading and signing copies of my picture book BABYBERRY PIE — the perfect holiday gift for little ones in your life.

(Please note:  Babyberry Pie is the only book that Steamers & Screamers will be offering for sale at this event.  I’m happy to sign any of my books that you bring with you, however — and there’s a Barnes & Noble just down the road, if you’re looking for my other titles and want to purchase them there and bring them over for an autograph.)

 

 

 

Happy National Pie Day!

It’s that time of year again — my favorite minor holiday — yes, you guessed it, NATIONAL PIE DAY!

No, not THAT kind of pi, silly — THIS kind of pie:

Next to homemade bread, pie is my favorite thing to bake.  I like just about any kind, too–apple pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, coconut cream pie–you name it, I’ll be sitting at the table, fork in hand, ready for my slice.

I love pie so much that I named two of my books after it:

Here’s a link to a blog post I wrote last year about this wonderful holiday, and my mother.  Enjoy!  I’m off to bake a pie (marionberry this year, in case you’re wondering)…

 

Thank you, Bowling Green!

Having one’s picture book  mentioned in the same breath as GOODNIGHT MOON would give any writer a thrill.

It certainly gave me one!

A big smooch of appreciation to the good folks at Bowling Green State University’s  Curriculum Resource Center, who just recommended my BABYBERRY PIE for readers who enjoy Margaret Wise Brown’s classic bedtime tale:  “Like Goodnight Moon, Babyberry Pie is a sweet, soothing getting-ready-to-sleep rhyming story that children will want to hear over and over.”

What higher praise could I ask for than that?

 

Book signing this Saturday!

Calling all Portland-area friends!  You’re invited to “Elevenses with the Authors” this Saturday, January 22nd, at 11 a.m. at A Children’s Place Bookstore.

I’ll be joining my good friend Susan Blackaby as we celebrate National Pie Day (well, almost — it’s actually Sunday) and Groundhog Day (a wee bit early).  We’ll both be signing copies of our new picture books, Suz’s wonderful BROWNIE GROUNDHOG AND THE FEBRUARY FOX and my BABYBERRY PIE.

Please join us afterwards as we head down the street for treats cooked up specially by the bakery wizards at Eclectic Kitchen — yum!

Saturday, January 22nd

A Children’s Place
4807 NE Fremont Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 284-8294
11:00 a.m.

Babyberry giveaway

How about starting off the new year with a new book?

Head on over to Stiletto Storytime and enter the giveaway contest for a copy of my picture book BABYBERRY PIE!

If you hurry, there might be time to enter for tonight’s drawing of ALL FOUR MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB titles!  That’s right — The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Much Ado About Anne, Dear Pen Pal, and Pies & Prejudice, too!  WOW!

Happy Birthday to Babyberry Pie — and a giveaway

My first picture book entered the world this week — ta da!

I say “my” first picture book, but I really should say “our” picture book, because it wouldn’t be the luscious little volume it is without the gifted Amy Schwartz, who provided the incredibly charming artwork.  Look for an interview with Amy here on this blog next week.

Meanwhile, I’m kicking off Pie-a-Palooza 2010 with a blog tour that starts today on There’s a Book.  Mother-daughter book club fans won’t want to miss this one, because Danielle is giving away a copy of Pies & Prejudice — my other new “pie”!  Click here to read the fresh-out-of-the-oven interview.

Little House on the Cul-de-sac

There’s something about summer that makes me feel all Laura Ingalls Wilderish.  I get in a “Little House” frame of mind come July every year, and there’s nothing to be done for it but whip out my apron and start stirring up good things.

July is when the berries start ripening in droves.  June is a tease — just strawberries, mostly — although here in Oregon, that means Hood strawberries, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else.  Intensely sweet and highly perishable, they rarely make it to stores and have to be hunted down at Farmer’s Markets or, if you’re lucky (which I am), at the neighborhood berry stand that magically appears every summer in an unpaved parking lot near our local supermarket.

June means bowls of strawberries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It means homemade strawberry shortcake (my husband’s favorite) for Father’s Day.  Some years it means strawberry jam, too, although this year I was too busy with work to put any up.

July, though, means Berries with a capital B — boysenberries, loganberries, raspberries, marionberries, tayberries, sylvan blackberries, and whatever other berries Mother Nature can dream up.  I was determined not to let this bounty, too, slip by, and when a window of opportunity opened up this past weekend, I grabbed it and my husband (aka Pa Frederick), and made a dash for our favorite berry farm …

… where we picked gooseberries and boysenberries.

Oregon boysenberries

Boysenberries  make the BEST jam — although marionberries run a close second.

Ma Frederick's Boysenberry Jam

Oddly enough, boysenberries also make good picture books.

Coming in October 2010!

I got the idea for this book a couple of years ago, at the very same berry farm.  Writers fool around with words in their heads a lot (if you ever notice a vacant expression on our faces, that’s what we’re doing), and that day I got to noodling around with the word “boysenberry” while my hands were busy picking.  Wouldn’t it be funny if there were girlsenberries? I thought.  Which of course led to, And wouldn’t it be funny if you could pick babyberries? That was it, I was off and running, and voila! Babyberry Pie was born.

No picture books were born this weekend, just a most satisfying cupboard full of jam and chutney (gooseberries make fabulous chutney).  Oh, and we picked up some rhubarb, too, which I turned into Rhubarb Custard Streusel Pie.

I used Jennifer Jacobson’s recipe (thanks, JJ!),  but since I only had one pie crust in the freezer (I make several at a time and freeze the extras), and was too lazy to make another one, I whipped up some streusel topping instead.  You can use it atop just about any fruit pie — trust me, it’s delicious.  Here’s the recipe:

Streusel Topping

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour

Mix together until topping is the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.  Sprinkle evenly atop pie, cover with foil, and bake as usual, according to the directions for whatever pie you’re making.  Remove foil for the last 10 minutes or so of baking, so that streusel turns golden brown.

Yum.

All in all, a most satisfying weekend.  Ma Ingalls would definitely approve.