The title of this book makes me laugh: there’s nothing “commonplace” about “A Commponplace Book of Pie” (Amazon), if you ask me. Jessica Bonin’s pretty watercolor illustrations accompany Kate Lebo’s poetry, very different from the typical
overly-styled glamorous photographs and straight-to-the-point-text of the average cookbook. The art and stories are part of the charm of this book, and tiny as it is, I guarantee that you will want to curl up with it, and not put it down until you’ve read through from cover to cover. And I suggest you go through this book page by page, especially in the recipe section, because there are lots of little pie-making tips and pie-baking tricks, hidden throughout.
More than half the book is spent going through 25 flavours of pie and their meaning. In fact, I spent a lot of time trying to decide which pie I was as I read through this cookbook. I always have trouble figuring out my favourite flavour: is it apple pie, or maybe rhubarb?. Of late I’d say, I was rather impressed by a plum spice pie at Rustique in Montreal. Maybe I’m now a plum-pie-kind-of-girl, which means someone “who believes plum pie is a currency that should be traded, never sold…”
Since I watched the cookbook trailer for A Commonplace Book of Pie, long before I got my hands on a copy of this book, when I finally got to reading, I could hear Kate Lebo’s voice as though she was reading to me. This book is full of stories, but it’s all about pie, which is one reason why I instantly fell in love with the trailer and this book. Just like pie, I find this book very comforting.
Kate Lebo’s A Commonplace Book of Pie is available on Amazon, as well as IndieBound. And her new book, “Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter,” is coming out this fall according to Amazon and IndieBound. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her latest.
Please note that Chin Music Press sent me a copy of Kate Lebo’s “A Commonplace Book of Pie,” but my opinion is my own.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.