Pies and Tarts. Meeting Kristina Migoya.


A pastry crust can be viewed as a blank canvas.  The holder of something special  to come.  Flaky paper-thin goodness.  A skill in which to be mastered.

Meeting Kristina Migoya today was a deeply honored pleasure. Meeting a Culinary institute  of America graduate, owner of local Hudson Chocolates shoppe, a baking and pastry instructor at the Institute,author of the recently published Pies and Tarts,  local business woman and talented chef was an exciting privilege for me.

Ms. Migoya   and her staff were  kind and welcoming the moment I walked into her shop.  She graciously signed our  LaGrange Library copy of Pies and Tarts  ( one of 6 in our Mid Hudson Library System).

Months ago,  while scouring my Library Journal periodical,  deciding which new books to purchase for our LaGrange Library collection,  I found  an entry for Pies and Tarts.  After reading the review, I was inspired to don my apron and reaching for my pastry blender. Personally, there is something very nurturing, yet noble about pie making. It is my personal quest to improve my pastry making ability.

Migoya’s volume begins with a primer on tools, equipment (from bakew10345777_10203953626188153_7188620322873431760_nare to digital scales) and ingredients (including a chart on the seasonal availability of fruits and vegetables). She follows with more than a dozen recipes for crusts, with step-by-step instructions for the aspiring pie-maker.  Classic  apple/ cherry/pumpkin pies are represented;  though a savory section  of quiche  to beef pot pies can be found. Guidance on icings  and meringues and use of creative garnishes  is addressed.

Ms. Migoya’s  shoppe, which she co-owns with her husband, fellow CIA  alum Francisco Migoya,  opened in  March 2013. Pies and Tarts is her first published cookbook for the home baker an emphasising use of volume as a unit of measurement.  It was a project initiated by the Culinary Institute’s publishing department, geared to the home baker.   An impressive pre-order of 4 000 is worth highlighting.  Of course, I simply had to  pick her brain  with the most basic of questions.  

What  type of pie plate do you prefer?  

Metal.  it is the best conductor of heat to create a crispy bottom.  Aluminum  is another  good transfer of heat.    Ceramic  take time to heat up   but does not create the crispness of the pastry.

Do you have a flour preference?

King Arthur.   Easy to obtain for both the professional and the home baker.   Out west,  near St. Louis,  Red Rose  is  sought after as that it is a constant protein make up.  ( I, too , favor King Arthur flour!)

What is your favorite pie flavor?

A difficult question….like which child is your favorite.   Balsamic strawberry, custard pies with a crisp bottom.

Pies and Tarts is a helpful cooking guide is laid out in an attractive fashion, dotted with colour photos.  It is both an informative cookbook,  yet a practical cookbook for  the novice  home dessert baker (like me.)


Sense and Sensibility: Jane Austen to Appear on £10 Note

Jane Austen banknoteA campaign to have Jane Austen be featured on a British banknote has succeeded: likely beginning in 2017, a portrait of the author will appear on the £10 note, replacing Charles Darwin, the BBC reported. Austen is the first female author to be featured on British currency. (Shakespeare and Dickens have made cameo appearances.) Her inclusion also means that British notes will have a woman other than Queen Elizabeth on currency once social reformer Elizabeth Fry is replaced on the £5 note by Winston Churchill.

The Austen portrait on the note is adapted from a sketch drawn by her sister Cassandra. Below the portrait is a quotation from Pride and Prejudice: “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” The note will also feature an illustration of Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice; an image of Godmersham Park in Kent, home of Austen’s brother, inspiration for several of her novels; and the writing table the author used at home at Chawton Cottage in Hampshire.

as found on http://www.shelf-awareness.com/issue.html?issue=2047#m20886

Book Scarves, Wearable Literature by Tori Iannarino

book11As the weather turns ‘cooler’ here in Florida (yes, I know, very little sympathy from readers in the Northern climates),  we are adding a few extra layers here in order to stay warm.  Why not a literary layer?


Designer Tori Iannarino makes cotton scarves screen-printed with excerpts from classic novels. Several classic books are available in scarf form on her Etsy store. Also, she will take custom orders.  Buyers can select from Pride and Prejudice, A tale of two citiesLes Miserables, Jane Eyre amd Persuasion.

The term ‘cold front’ is a sliding scale, trust me…..

as found on http://laughingsquid.com/book-scarves-wearable-literature-by-tori-iannarino/

Newbery and Caldecott 2013

1203_c75logowlrgEach year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Think Oscar awards for children’s literature….such an exciting time. I can hardly stand it.

The 2013 award winners were announced this morning , at the Mid Winter Conference in Seattle, Washington. 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott medal.
And the winners are…….
“This Is Not My Hat,” illustrated and written by Jon Klassen, is the 2013 Caldecott Medal winner.

“The One and Only Ivan,” written by Katherine Applegate, is the 2013 Newbery Medal winner.

Encyclopedia Brown Author Donald J. Sobol, Died at 87 years of age

Encyclopedia Brown Strikes Again (1965)

Donald J. Sobol, the creator of Encyclopedia Brown, the clever boy detective who made bookworms of many a reluctant young reader, died on Wednesday in South Miami. He was 87.

The cause was gastric lymphoma, his son John said.

Mr. Sobol’s books have been translated into 12 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide, according to his publisher, Penguin Young Readers Group. He continued to write every day until a month or so before his death, his son said. The 28th book in the series, “Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme,” is to be published in October.

The first Encyclopedia Brown book came out in 1963 (after being rejected by two dozen publishers, something Mr. Sobol liked to tell aspiring writers to encourage them not to lose faith in their work).

Mr. Sobol found a winning formula and stuck to it. Each book holds 10 stories, each involving a mystery that 10-year-old Leroy (Encyclopedia) Brown solves by keen observation and deduction. He notices that the culprit has his sweater on inside out, or claims to smell flowers that are fake. The rest is self-evident. The solution is not spelled out in the story; readers are challenged to figure it out for themselves — or to flip to the back for the answer, as Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie “About Schmidt” does as he lies in bed, engrossed in “Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man.”

Encyclopedia never ages and never charges more than 25 cents an hour for his detective services. Mr. Sobol wanted each book to stand alone, so that children could start with any one in the series and read the books in any order. The first story in each book always explains that his father is the chief of police in their hometown, Idaville — named, unbeknown to most readers, for Mr. Sobol’s mother. (The books also included characters named for Mr. Sobol’s children and their friends, as well as another town, Glennville, named for a son, Glenn, who died in a car accident in 1983 at the age of 23.)

The 28th book begins:

“Idaville looked like many seaside towns on the outside. On the inside, however, Idaville was different. Very different.

“No one, grown-up or child, got away with breaking the law in Idaville.”

Encyclopedia is not tough, but he travels with a protector, friend and sidekick — Sally Kimball — a girl who packs a punch. Bugs Meany, another recurring character, is a frequent troublemaker. The crimes include theft, cheating and property damage but not murder or mayhem, though an occasional nose gets socked.

John Sobol said his father did not get rich from his work.

“My father was not a businessman,” he said. “His contribution was sort of inversely proportional to his financial compensation. He lived a comfortable middle-class life.”

In 1979, Mr. Sobol sold the rights to his books — for movies, TV shows and video games — for $25,000 to the producer Howard Deutsch. Mr. Sobol later contested the agreement, and the case was settled out of court, with Mr. Deutsch retaining the movie rights. HBO made an “Encyclopedia Brown” series in 1989.

Donald J. Sobol (his parents gave him the middle initial, but it did not stand for anything, his son said) was born on Oct. 4, 1924, in the Bronx. His father owned gas stations, which he later sold to Standard Oil.

Mr. Sobol graduated from the Ethical Culture School in Manhattan in 1942 and enrolled at Oberlin College. In the middle of his freshman year he enlisted in the Army and served during World War II as a sergeant in a combat engineer battalion in the Pacific. He returned to Oberlin in 1946 and later gave much of the credit for his career to an English professor there, John Singleton, who gave him a personal course in advanced creative writing.

He worked as a copy boy and then a reporter at The New York Sun and The Long Island Daily Press. In 1955 he married Rose Tiplitz, an engineer and writer, and in 1959 he began writing a syndicated fiction column called “Two-Minute Mysteries.”

In all, he wrote more than 80 books. In 1976, he won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the Encyclopedia Brown series.

Besides his son John, Mr. Sobol is survived by his wife; another son, Eric; a daughter, Diane Sobol; four grandchildren; and a sister, Helen Lane.

as cited http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/17/books/donald-j-sobol-creator-of-encyclopedia-brown-dies-at-87.html?hpw

Stephen Covey, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” author, dead at 79

SALT LAKE CITY — Stephen R. Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” as well as three other books that have all sold more than a million copies, has died. He was 79.

In a statement sent to employees of a Utah consulting firm Covey co-founded, his family said the writer and motivational speaker died at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho, early Monday due to complications from a bicycle accident in April.

“In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted,” the family said.

Covey was hospitalized after being knocked unconscious in the bicycle accident on a steep road in the foothills of Provo, Utah, about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City.

At the time, his publicist, Debra Lund, said doctors had not found any signs of long-term damage to his head.

“He just lost control on his bike and crashed,” Lund said. “He was wearing a helmet, which is good news.”

Covey is the author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and co-founder of Utah-based professional services company FranklinCovey.

Catherine Sagers, Covey’s daughter, told The Salt Lake Tribune in April that her father had suffered some bleeding on his brain after the bicycle accident.

A telephone message left for Sagers on Monday wasn’t returned.

as cited from http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/stephen-covey-author-of-7-habits-of-highly-effective-people-dies-at-79/2012/07/16/gJQAp7spoW_story.html