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Linda's Thoughts & Life
Linda's Thoughts & Life

My Easybake Ovens

My Easybake Ovens

It is no surprise to anyone who knows me, that my Easybake oven was my favorite Christmas gift. I speak of it often as it inspired my love for baking and creating at an early age. I received my most favorite gift when I was six years old in 1969. I truly remember my twin sister and I tearing off the Christmas wrap, exposing the box to this picture of a darling little girl playing with her oven. I loved her hair, which I later imitated, her dress, and her happy self playing with her own little oven! I remember being elated and so thankful to Santa for thinking of me! 

After that, my memories are mostly scattered. I remember my sister and I baking for my brothers, and how much they seemed to like me when the Easybake was out. I remember all five of us kids hovered around the oven while taking impatient turns staring into the tiny window, watching our brownies bake beautifully under the 100 watt light bulb! I remember my mommy cutting the brownie into five pieces so we children could all get a taste. Indeed, a taste was all it was, but we were so happy despite its size, because we made it!

Unfortunately, my beloved Easybake was destroyed in a house fire at my parents’ home over 20 years ago. My dear husband was well aware of my love for my beloved little oven and decided to find me a replica of my own on Ebay. His quest was intended to be a private one, so a glorious surprise was to occur on Christmas morning for me. However, his sleuth-like skills were not polished as an email from Ebay confirming his Easybake purchase was left on our email for me to unintentionally see!

I felt so badly that I had accidently ruined his great surprise and pondered what I was to do Christmas morning. I didn’t want to fake it and wasn’t sure that I even could, but I didn’t want to disappoint the moment for him. When he gave me my large box, his eyes were dancing with anticipation, so I decided to tell him what I knew with fear my acting skills would be dubious and trite. He was clearly disappointed, but understanding. To my amazement however, as I peeled the Christmas paper off my gift, I saw the little girl on the box that I hadn’t seen in forty years and my eyes immediately began to fill with tears. 

All my feelings of joy and love that I have felt from cooking and baking through my entire life came rushing out of my eyes and onto the box. I realized that my entire mission in life, my dream of changing the world one pie at a time, loving people through my food all started from my little oven. I realized that through my darkest depression, my cooking and baking soothed me and gave me purpose – all because of my Easybake oven.

As joy filled my grateful heart and happy tears rushed my cheeks, I knew that my gifts, my blessings, my mission and my love will always fill my life.

 

The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas Spirit

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE

AND THE ANGEL SAID UNTO THEM, FEAR NOT, BEHOLD, I BRING YOU GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY, WHICH SHALL BE FOR ALL PEOPLE.

FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN THIS DAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID, A SAVIOUR, WHICH IS CHRIST THE LORD.

AND THIS SHALL BE THE SIGN UNTO U; YE SHALL FIND THE BABE WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES, LYING IN A MANGER.

AND SUDDENLY THERE WAS WITH THE ANGEL A MULTITUDE OF HEAVENLY HOST PRAISING GOD AND SAYING,

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH, PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.

AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS THE ANGELS WERE GONE AWAY FROM THEM INTO HEAVEN, THE SHEPHERDS, SAID ONE TO ANOTHER. LET US NOW GO EVEN UNTO BETHLEHEM, AND SEE THIS THING WHICH IS COME TO PASS, WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE KNOWN UNTO US.

AND THEY CAME WITH HASTE, AND FOUND MARY AND JOSEPH AND THE BABE LYING IN THE MANGER.

The Christmas spirit is love. 

Love changes everything. And love is what changes the world. 

God's love that shines through us...all because of a tiny baby boy.  

Love is the Christmas Spirit.  

Jesus' love inspired me to open my little pie shop and love all the people I can through a loving piece of pie.  

Let us all remember the Christmas Spirit that lives in every human heart that walks this

Thus, do everything we can to bring it out in each other. 

For the Christmas spirit is truly and simply, LOVE.

IF AS HEROD, WE FILL OUR LIVES WITH THINGS, AND AGAIN WITH THINGS;

IF WE CONSIDER OURSELVES SO UNIMPORTANT THAT WE MUST FILL EVERY

MOMENT OF OUR LIVES WITH ACTION, WHEN WILL WE HAVE TIME TO MAKE THE

 LONG, SLOW JOURNEY ACROSS THE DESERT AS DID THE MAGI?

OR SIT AND WATCH THE STARS AS DID THE SHEPHERDS?

OR BROOD OVER THE COMING OF THE CHILD AS DID MARY?

FOR EACH OF US, THERE IS A DESERT TO TRAVEL.

A STAR TO DISCOVER

AND A BEING WITHIN OURSELVES TO BRING TO LIFE. -- AUTHOR UNKNOWN

Let the Christmas spirit fill your lives with love, and purpose to follow your very own star, to be the very best you.

Merry Christmas!

Eat pie, and God Bless Us Everyone! -- xoxolinda

Memories of Holiday Baking

Memories of Holiday Baking

I love, love, love this time of year. The spirits of the holidays are thick in the air and you can feel it the people, the places, and especially the food. Nothing can compare to the holiday treats and all of the baking wonders that have come out of family kitchens for generations. I know in our family I grew up enveloped with Christmas baking traditions.  

My dear grandmother from West Virginia would send a much-anticipated frozen chocolate pecan pie up to our family every year, and my sweet mother would make various pies, cheesecake, cookies, stained glass hard candy, fudge and caramels for family and friends to enjoy. I remember my mother would always let me and my brothers and twin sister help make the holiday treats, and for me, this was utopia. My memories of this time are lovely, but are probably a bit embellished by age.  

Most definitely, Christmas cookie decorating was our family’s favorite baking tradition. Back in the late sixties and early seventies at Christmas time, I remember our family happily listening to Nat and Bing while snow gently drifted out our tiny, turquoise kitchen window. I remember my dear mommy somewhat patiently leading us through another treasured holiday tradition while my daddy read the newspaper in the living room oblivious to the commotion.  

The kitchen was chaotic and crowded with all five of us kids crammed in, anxious to keep the Christmas cookie decorating tradition alive and well. Every year it was exactly the same, siblings fighting over cookies cutters, cookies decorated quaintly and imperfectly and kids sneaking cookie dough from our big brown, chipped mixing bowl with joyous giggles echoing throughout our brick home. Despite the cramped space, spats, and mess, the time together as a family was perfect. Not perfect in the real sense of the word, but perfect because we were together and it was our McComb family tradition.  

I implore all of us to continue your own family traditions or start new ones, for it is paramount that our time-honored traditions continue for our children and our children’s children. For there is nothing better than having the magic in our hearts at Christmastime as we recall warm, sweet memories of delicious holiday treats, loving family traditions and Santa Claus! 

Eat pie, and treasure holiday traditions... xoxoxo Linda

Cookbooks...

Cookbooks...

Since I was a little girl, I have always adored cookbooks. While growing up, my twin sister would be entranced by Nancy Drew mysteries, while I was completely enchanted by Better Crocker Junior cookbooks.  

My dear mother has a huge assortment of cookbooks, which is where I got the fever as I grew up, perusing and studying her treasured culinary collection. As a young woman, I started collecting them as well, picking them up at antique stores, garage sales and such. Like old rolling pins, I have a hard time passing them up, for to me, old cookbooks need a good home where they can be appreciated and revered.  

I believe all books to be timeless and romantic, but especially cookbooks, for they leave behind delicious memories of favorite pies, cookies, casseroles and the lives they affected. I love to imagine a war bride baking her first pie from her brand new bridal shower cookbook, for her brave husband finally home from WWII. I love to imagine her bringing him a piece of her masterpiece pie, as they both share a moment of pride and gratitude. I love to think of a fifties housewife, dressed in a darling dress with pearls and heels, drinking coffee with her neighbors, exchanging recipes from the newest Betty Crocker cookbook!  

To me, my favorite vintage cookbooks are much more than words, measurements and photographs. They are torn-paged testaments to a home-centered lifestyle, rich in history; reflecting love and comfort through each and every recipe.  

My wish for "Sweetie-licious Pies" is to be a favorite of yours, a staple in your kitchen; to someday be worn and food stained from decades of lovingly prepared delicious memories. I have great faith that with this simple notion, we all will be “setting the table” to change the world one pie at a time! 

Eat pie, love life! xoxoxo Linda

 

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Linda's Favorites

Spring 2014

I am writing this spring collection of thoughts, despite the frigid weather and snow, because I love to hope and dream! 

  • Spring - I love this time of year as… The frost melts and the sunshine warms my bed earlier for afternoon naps! The happy songbirds start singing and showing their sweet faces! A lovely fresh breeze lifts the winter blankness in the air! The gardens start budding teeny tiny stems through the cold and tired soil. A new batch of spring chicks that will be lovingly chosen to live at the Hundt Homestead Henhouse
  • Savory Foods – Anything lemony and lovely screams “spring”, Roasted chicken with lemon and rosemary, Asparagus made with cream, butter and lemon
  • Sweet Foods - Lemon cream pie with raspberries, Cherry lemon bomb cookies!
  • Favorite Spring Thing - I love the tradition of spring cleaning and do what I can every year to spruce up the house after the long, cold Michigan winter. I enjoy scrubbing our wood floors and walls and opening up all the windows on our first warmish day. I love washing and airing the down comforters, heavy blankets and throws and putting all of my light and fluffy chenille bedspreads on all the beds! I also love cleaning the henhouse for my chickies, so they too, have a happy, clean home and our barn cat, Margie gets new clean basket linens as well! 
  • Favorite Spring Flower - Happy Pansies! 
  • Quote - "All nature seems at work, Slugs leave their lair. The bees are stirring-Birds are on the wing; And Winter slumbering in the open air wears on his face a dream of Spring." S.T. Coleridge

 

About Linda

Linda Hundt is the…

True believer that delicious memories make the world a more meaningful, joyous and loving place.

Proprietor of the cutest pie shop in the whole world, Sweetie-licious Bakery Café, DeWitt, MI.  

Winner of the 2009 Crisco National Pie Championship Best of Show/Food Network Pie Challenge…dreams really do come true!

Mother two charming and beautiful college student daughters.

Winner of 15 first place awards at the Crisco National Pie Championship, including the Crisco 100th. Anniversary Innovation Award.

Wife of an equally charming and beautiful husband of over 25 years.

Daughter of adorable and happy parents, – My mommy is my cooking and baking mentor and certainly one of the original Pie Queens.

Sister to three, sweet , older brothers,  fraternal twin to a lovely, lovely sister.

Friend to many amazing and true friends.

Part-time home-keeper of our little family’s lovely, century old “farmette.”

Pie baker that believes that loving people and making great pie is her mission in life.

Luckiest girl in the world.

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