Seeing Pie

The pie book is moving right along. It’s a much different experience than my first book, although there are some similarities—both are cookbooks and both have the same publisher, Ten Speed Press.
The first book was chock full of archival photos, along with pictures taken by Ed Anderson, sent by the publisher to the restaurant. It was so much fun watching him work and seeing the final product.
With MRS. ROWE’S LITTLE BOOK OF SOUTHERN PIE,  Ten Speed opted for a pie photo shoot. If you think this means that they whipped up a few of the pies and pulled out a camera, you would be sadly mistaken. It took a whole team of incredibly talented individuals to pull off the photo shoot, headed by Lisa Westmoreland, my editor. The food stylist that baked the pies and made them look so fabulous was Kim Konecny (; the food stylist that pulled it all together, with all the right objects and placements of those objects was Christine Wolheim (  Jennifer Martine ( took the pictures that pulled it all together with her exquisite eye and skill.When Lisa emailed me the pdfs, the photos actually brought tears to my eyes. I did not expect such a reaction. I’ve been thinking about those tears and wondering what it was really about. Viewing the pictures was a moment of unexpected clarity. It was so obvious to me that someone had taken great care with the photos, and it showed with the details and lighting, the way the pies are placed, the props used—and I dunno—just the way the pictures were taken. So respectful and thoughtful.  I sit in front of my computer and write and I do that alone. I sometimes wonder if anybody is OUT THERE that is even open to my work, let alone appreciates it. (I can write a whole book about THAT strangeness.) But the pictures speak not just of me and my work, (and of all the talented women on this project) but of pie and all it it represents— the customs and traditions of pie, what it means in our culture, and ultimately, the care and time it takes to bake a pie.  Call it love, commitment,  or whatever you want.
Can you see all that in photos of pie? You can—if it’s truly there.

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