I recently finished reading PIE GIRLS by Lauren Clark and I devoured it in two days much like I do when I have actual pie in the house. It was wonderful. Sweet, but not overly sweet, rich characters and just the right amount of tartness to make it fun.
I had the chance to chat with Lauren and I invited her to share what she’s Eating, Writing & Loving these days. She is also sweet enough to share her wonderful blueberry pie recipe, which is a perfect accompaniment to PIE GIRLS.
Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream and whip cream!
Thanks to Lauren for joining us today:
1. What are you EATING right now that you love, can’t live without or think everyone should know about?
During the writing of Pie Girls, as I was getting close to finishing the book, I planned a PIE WEEKEND, prepared my two boys, my friends, and their kids. Using all of my grandmother’s recipes, I made 9 pies in all, and taste-tested everyone! I selected 3 (Chess Pie, Chocolate Pecan, and Lemon Sponge), along with her amazing-no fail pie crust recipe to go in the Pie Girls book. I have great memories of visiting her house every holiday and on school breaks. She would always have baked some fabulous dessert for us, usually a pie or cake. I’ve always thought about incorporating her recipes in one of my novels. Pie Girls was the perfect opportunity. For Christmas a few years ago, I asked my mother to write down all of my grandmother’s recipes so that I could have them and preserve the family tradition. It was the best gift ever!
Her blueberry pie is one recipe that I didn’t include in the book, but is one that I make often, and would like to share with you today (see below). It’s easy, only takes a few ingredients, and is perfect for a warm summer day picnic or barbeque. I hope that you enjoy it! (See Below)
2. What are you WRITING now that you want people to know about?
I visited a place in Greensboro, Alabama called the Pie Lab, a restaurant that has been written up in Southern Living, Bon Appetit, and many newspapers around the Southeast. The pie shop is a special place—small town atmosphere—great food, and personal attention, but the thing that makes it really unique is that it is a place where high school dropouts or people in need of skills and training can go and learn valuable skills—how to bake, run a register, make change, and give good customer service.
I kind fell in love with the idea of such a place existing in Fairhope, Alabama, a lovely waterfront community near where I live. I decided to create a shop named Pie Girls there, and thus, Searcy’s story was born.Generally, while writing a novel, I do best when writing every morning (that’s usually 5:30 am – 7:30 am, before the kids need to be off at school and I have to get to work. I try to end my writing sessions having finished a chapter, which means that the next day, I have a fresh slate, of sorts. I’m also the type to just plow through from start to finish with my novel, going back to editing after (even if I think chapter 13 is the most awful garbage I’ve ever written).
3. What are you LOVING right now?
Right now, I am loving a family weekend in Atlanta, Ga., which is about 6 hours from my house in Mobile, Ala. The boys have been talking about attending Dragon Con for months, and I decided that since next year, it’s in San Diego, there’s no time like the present. We spent Friday at the Georgia Aquarium, which was an amazing experience. It really makes you feel connected to the ocean and all of the creatures that live in our world. I’m definitely a water and beach person, so watching otters play, seahorses dance, and dolphins swim was pretty close to heaven!
Dragon Con should be pretty crazy. Thousands of people, dressed up in costumes, all gathered in 4 hotels to see stars from television shows, mini-series, movies, and cartoons. I’m hoping to catch a glimpse of Patrick Stuart (X-Men), Mary McDonald (Battlestar Galactica), and Ralph Macchio (the Karate Kid). If we all had time to find costumes and dress up, Patrick would definitely go as “Arrow” from the show on TV, John David would pick “Sonic the Hedgehog,” and I’d probably go with something girly and pink, like Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time!
Delicious & Easy Blueberry Pie
1 qt fresh blueberries
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp tapioca
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 (baked) Best Ever pie crust from Pie Girls or one Deep Dish 9” pie shell
Mix half of the blueberries, flour, tapioca, butter, salt, lemon juice, and both sugars in a saucepan. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, approximately 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add remaining half of blueberries. Stir well. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill until set. Top with whipped cream if desired.
BIO: Lauren Clark writes contemporary Southern novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.She is the author of three award-winning novels, Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, and Stardust Summer, as well as a short story, A Very Dixie Christmas, published in the Merry & Bright holiday collection. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and the Mobile Writers Guild. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.