“Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt” by Beth Hoffman: Book Review

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“I made a mental note that if I ever needed help from a man                                     I would make him a pie.”    – Cee Cee Honeycutt

I love reviewing all kinds of books:  craft books, how-to books, memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, you name it!  As part of the creative community, I find that the people I talk to seem to appreciate the same types of books, and Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt falls into a category that my “people” seem to appreciate.  You know, that warm, fuzzy, feel-good kind of book that’s full of ups and downs but laced with quirky characters, life lessons and a dollop of sweetness.  This is that kind of book – perfect for a sunny fall Saturday afternoon.  (Picture Steel Magnolias meets The Help mingled with The Secret Life of Bees.)

I love the voice of narrator Cee Cee Honeycutt, a young adolescent girl who wise beyond her years.  When Cee Cee moves to Savannah to live with an aunt she has never met, she meets a host of diverse women who  teach her about love, friendship, and how to heal from the trauma of losing her mother and father, in very different ways.

One of my favorite passages is when Cee Cee happens upon a church festival and bake sale.  Not having much experience with church functions, she is overcome by the sense of community and the warmth swirling around the bake-sale tables.  She is certain that all of these good feelings are a result of….. pie!  She says, “My first impression was that pies seemed to help people be kind to one another…”

Personally, I think Cee Cee’s on the right track.  There’s nothing that brings people closer, and elicits more kindness, than food – especially pie, and the pie in the book that brings Ida Mae and Mr. Krick together to help each other is an elderberry pie.  So, I thought I would share some of the “pie love,” and give you a recipe for a yummy elderberry pie.  Make one up, and enjoy it with a friend!

This book will make you laugh; it will make you weep, and it will make you want to go out and give a copy to your best friend.

Ida Mae’s Elderberry Pie (Compliments of All Recipes.com)


  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 4 cups elderberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Mix cornstarch in a little bit of water and add to berries and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly until desired thickness. Add more cornstarch if not thick enough. Add lemon juice.
  3. Pour into bottom crust. Dot with butter. Put on top crust or make a lattice.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until browned and berries are bubbling through holes in the crust, approximately 40 minutes.
  5. Note: It is a good idea to put a pan or foil under the pie as it bakes since it might bubble over.

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/elderberry-pie-ii/detail.aspx

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