Susan Vaughan here, not dying yet. Maybe I wouldn’t literally die for strawberry pie, but eating the delicious fruit whether au naturel or in a pie is “to die for.” I wrote this post in 2013, but even the weather information applies now. The Maine strawberry season was a little later than usual due to a wet and cool June. The up side of that is the berries had longer to ripen so were larger and sweeter, according to my local produce farmer. And now in August, the ever-bearing berries are ripening.

Whenever I eat a berry like strawberries or blueberries, I often wonder about the reaction of the first humans to taste them. Ancient peoples must have sampled all kinds of wild plants that either tasted horrible or made them sick. Imagine the euphoria of biting into a juicy berry like the strawberry. Did they wait awhile to see if it made them sick?

 A little research, and I found that strawberries are the only berry with seeds on the outside. They grew wild in Italy as far back as 234 B.C. The strawberry was a symbol for Venus, the Roman goddess of love, because of its heart shape and red color. In Othello, Shakespeare decorated Desdemona’s handkerchief with symbolic strawberries. About the strawberry, William Butler (ca 1600) said, “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.”

 And early European settlers in Massachusetts ate strawberries cultivated by local Native Americans, who’d cultivated the berry as early as 1643. Crushed berries were mixed with cornmeal and baked into strawberry bread. Colonists then developed their own version and created strawberry shortcake! 

In honor of the strawberry, I’m sharing my strawberry pie recipe. It’s easy and foolproof. Oh, and to die for. Enjoy. 



Ingredients: 1 quart strawberries, washed, drained, and hulled, a pre-baked and cooled pie shell, 1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch, pinch salt, water

 Cover cooked pie shell with the choicest berries. Mash 1/2 to 1 cup of remaining berries. Add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups. Mix sugar, salt and cornstarch together. In saucepan, bring juice mixture to boiling. Gradually stir in sugar mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until boiling. Add drop of red food coloring if desired. Boil one minute. Cool. Pour over berries in the pie shell. Chill about two hours. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. You can use peaches or other berries or a mix of berries.

If anyone has interesting facts or lore about strawberries, please share!

*** All three books of my Devlin Security Force series are available online, for digital readers and in print. Locally in Maine, the print books will soon be available at the Sherman’s Books & Stationery Stores.

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  1. Gram says:


  2. John Clark says:

    Couldn’t agree more. We have a great family run farm, Sites about 6 miles up the road in Athens where we pick strawberries and later in the summer, blueberries. In addition to great berries, I’m always fascinated by the conversations people have while berry picking…More so during blueberry season when the high bushes hide pickers, giving them the illusion that nobody else is around.

  3. From the historical romance world: strawberry leaves adorn a duke’s coronet, too! My husband made a strawberry pie the day before yesterday. He cooks his, though, like a regular blueberry or apple pie. Runny but delicious!

    • Maggie, I found a long list of interesting facts and lore about strawberries, but had to “pick” and choose. Love your info about the duke’s coronet. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Deb Noone says:

    There is nothing else like a fresh picked strawberry – they are truly to die for – thanks! Susan – can’t wait to try this pie.


  5. Grace Hood says:

    Oh yum! This sounds divine. Tagging on to your last comment to Deb, I say “eat pie for breakfast!”.

  6. Judi says:

    I haven’t eaten lunch yet, and now you’ve flung a strawberry pie craving on me. Sounds delish!

  7. Oh, this sounds divine! I can’t wait to try it.

  8. Emily Allen says:

    There is nothing like fresh picked Strawberries. Thanks for a little insight to the strawberry. Your recipe looks yummy! 🙂

  9. Evie and Emily, thanks for your comments. Let me know how you like the pie!

  10. sandy gardner says:

    nothing to do with strawberry pie……
    but….would love to see a post on: in a series, how much backstory, how much repetition of characteristics, habits, etc., in each book….
    Sandy Gardner

    • Hi Sandy,
      Blog members occasionally post about writing craft, but this blog is mostly aimed at readers and the general public.
      But I’ll try to address your question briefly. Reminders in subsequent books in a series are tricky. In my opinion,backstory as well as characteristics, whether of the current characters or of the series, seems best included where the reader really needs to know the information to understand what’s going on. Keeping it brief helps to keep the reader involved the the story “now” rather than a long passage about the past. I hope this helps.

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