Last spring, when The Boy was launched, I had the pleasure of “visiting” a number of blogs hosted by writers and readers who kindly responded to my request for places to stop in on a virtual tour with the book.
Carin Makuz, who lives in Whitby, Ontarion, was one of several friends of Susan Toy’s who extended an invitation, and I was delighted, about a month ago, when she sent an email saying that she was re-reading The Boy, and had questions to ask. And what fine, thoughtful questions they were. What an insightful review she’s given the book.
As always, I’ve discovered, when I meet another writer, there are connections that go beyond the craft and process and obsession we share. When Carin read my response to her question about characters I identified with as a young reader wherein I listed Elnora from The Girl of the Limberlost, she sent me a link to a post wherein she describes her own experience with the book. From there, we went on to reminisce about Cherry Ames, and Nancy Drew, and the sets of encyclopedias that were accumulated a few letters at a time from the grocery store and much more.
When I saw the food Carin suggested for book club meetings around The Boy, I was amazed to see flapper pie on the menu. How could an easterner know about flapper pie, that quintessential prairie dessert? As it turns out, Carin didn’t know flapper pie until she found it in The Boy, Jake’s indulgence at the local coffee shop on pg. 94.
Here’s Carin’s fine review and our interview:
Carin’s post on The Girl of the Limberlost: http://matildamagtree.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/the-book-that-started-it-all-2/
In case you don’t have one in your own family recipe archives, here’s my mom’s recipe for flapper pie:
1 ¼ cup graham wafer crumbs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
Mix, set aside 2 tbsp of crumbs, press rest into 9 inch pie plate, bake for 8 minutes at 350, cool.
¼ cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
Mix sugar and cornstarch in saucepan, blend in milk, and heat slowly to boiling. Stir a little of the hot mixture into the eggs yolks, then add yolk mixture to saucepan and continue heating on low for about 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, add vanilla, cool slightly and pour into crust.
*2 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsps sugar
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form, then gradually beat in sugar until there are stiff peaks. Spread over filling, sealing to crust. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake at 400 for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool well before cutting.
* my mother swore that she only used two eggs whites in the magnificent meringues that topped her pies, but I’ve never achieved anything but a poor copy. So, I always add two extra egg whites, and then I have a pie I can call a flapper! J