friday feast: a taste of kate lebo’s pie school cookbook (+ apple pie recipe)

“The best way to make pie is to learn how to trust yourself and follow your nose — and the rest of your senses. That’s a poet’s advice too.” ~ Kate Lebo

Some of you may remember when Seattle pie poet Kate Lebo visited Alphabet Soup back in January to talk about A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press, 2014) — a delightfully quirky collection of prose poems, recipes, baking tips and ephemera. *licks lips*

In essence a fantasy zodiac that upends our assumptions about what poetry is and can be, her pie poems invited us to look at ourselves, face our fears, and articulate our desires.

Now we can delve even further into our tantalizing pie obsessions with Kate’s brand new cookbook, Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter (Sasquatch Books, 2014), a between-the-covers sampling of her popular Pie School pastry academy classes. Oh, what a beauty it is!

Sure, there are many good pie cookbooks out there with tasty recipes and advice about how to fashion the perfectly tender flaky crust. But how many of these contain chapter intros and recipe header notes that read like prose poems? How many that serve up pie making process, social history, personal anecdotes, gorgeous photos, vintage chic, sass and class with such verve and heart?

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friday feast: kate lebo on a commonplace book of pie

Who wants pie? Did you save your fork?

In a perfect world, there’d be a poetry pie shop just minutes from home, where the heavenly aroma of freshly baked double crust fruit pies would lovingly call your name at precisely the right times.

Willingly seduced by juiced up sour cherries and rhubarb dallying with sugar, nutmeg and almond extract, or golden ripe peaches yielding to clover honey and ginger, you’d eagerly float on over, happily anticipating that blissful moment when you can wrap your mind and lips around a good helping of emotional truth.

Although most of us aren’t lucky enough to have such a magical shop nearby, we can still feast on the next best thing: Kate Lebo’s, A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press, 2013), an uncommonly quirky, thought-provoking collection of 25 prose poems, cool ephemera, baking tips, and mouthwatering recipes stunningly illustrated by Jessica Lynn Bonin.

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friday feast: kate lebo’s pie-losophy

“Making pie, I love the hunger and delight of the hands. You don’t have to touch cake, but you have to touch pie.” ~ Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo, the Pie Poet (photo by Christopher Nelson)

Sometimes you just gotta have pie.

That’s why I was positively giddy when I chanced upon Kate Lebo’s prose poem, “Lemon Meringue,” in the Summer 2013 issue of Gastronomica.

Kate’s been on my foodie radar for a couple of years now; I first saw her drool-inducing double crust fruit pies at, and earlier this year, Susan Rich shared Kate’s “Chocolate Cream Pie” at The Alchemist’s Kitchen.

Seeing “Lemon Meringue” made me want to find out more about this Seattle-based poet who loves shaping dough as much as crimping a good line of verse.

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