Nobody wants to be sick as a child, and I was no exception. Being sick meant no play whatsoever; which was horrid because “playing” is all we knew. We played indoor board games, outdoor team games, make believe, Easybake, Barbies, and babies – we rode our bikes everywhere, we ran through the sprinkler, we went sledding and skating up the road… we played hard! There were no video games, DVDs, DVRs, cable television, or cell phones. The only electronic item we played with was our record player and the T.V. antenna. When you were sick as a kid back then, there was only one thing good about it, actually great about it - the good eats!
I remember my mommy revamping our bedroom for the sick stay; fluffing pillows with rose scented pillowcases and Grandma’s flower garden quilt for our bed, setting up the classic Vicks vaporizer in the corner and a T.V. tray next to our bed. But what she put on the tray was my favorite part of the convalescence period…
I always loved that my dear mommy made us special food when we were under-the-weather so we felt special too. I remember her bringing me a vintage tray with sassafras tea made with cream and sugar and a small glass of Vernors ginger ale. She also made soft-boiled eggs with crumbled buttered toast or raisin toast triangles with honey cinnamon butter. But what I remember most fondly were her puddings; creamy rice, brown sugar butterscotch, vanilla with her homemade raspberry jam, and my cherished chocolate pudding made with Hershey’s cocoa, milk, and butter. They were warm and creamy and perfect.
I also remember when I was older and under-the-weather that my sweet daddy would bring me home a cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake from a local drugstore soda fountain. I am not sure how great it was for an upset tummy, but it was my daddy’s way to make me feel comforted and I still love him for it. :)
Our elderly bed-ridden neighbors across the road used to get teary eyed when I would bring them homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pies, and such. Although they were sick, the special, homemade food made their faces light up with delight. I love thinking about how much my food made them feel loved during their last years.
It always amazes me how yummy, comforting food makes us feel content and happy. To this day, I love spoiling my family and friends with special under-the-weather treats, so they too, feel special, comforted, and loved.
1. It is a time of love renewal! You have an excuse to tell people that you love them all day long!
2. It is a time for sweet treat indulgence!
3. It reminds us the beauty of a handwritten love note – a valentine on real paper with real heart-felt thoughts penned and signed with love.
4. That the day’s sole purpose is to celebrate love.
5. That everyone deserves to be loved on this special day.
My Top Five Favorite Romantic Movies
1. Pillow Talk
2. Gone With the Wind
3. Something’s Got To Give
4. When Harry Met Sally
My Top Five Favorite Love Songs
1. Nature Boy – Nat King Cole
2. When You Say Nothing At All – Allison Krauss
3. You Don’t Know Me – Ray Charles
4. I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton
5. Nobody Loves Me Like You Do – Keith Urban
I am often asked if I have a favorite pie, and I truthfully cannot pick just one. It is indeed like asking if you have a favorite son or daughter; you simply cannot choose! Still, I enjoy seasonal pies the very best. I have always loved the change in seasons, and enjoy decorating my farmette and shops to celebrate the different times of year and holidays. And I love seasonal cooking and baking to complement them as well, especially pie!
In the spring I absolutely adore rhubarb pies. The sweet-tart fruit filling paired with a buttery crust is truly unbeatable. This is our family's all-time favorite pie for May birthdays and Memorial Day picnics.
Come early summer I cannot wait to have a strawberry and cream pie with fresh-picked sweet strawberries set atop creamy vanilla custard filling. Later in the summer I adore fresh blueberry and peach pies, and love combining the two for pure summer love. Eating slice of these pies on my front porch is a summer must!
Once my favorite season of fall arrives, I cannot wait for caramel apple and pumpkin pies. I love how they taste exactly like crisp autumn, and both are a staple at our Harvest Home barn party.
As for winter, I adore pecan pie for holiday entertaining and love butterscotch praline for winter Sunday dinners. Both are rich and deep with flavor - perfect to warm you soul in the coldest season!
Eat pie, love life xoxolinda
Terry, a former colleague, friend, and fellow ardent pie lover and I could talk hours about pie. We talked everything pie; cream pies vs. fruit – canned cherries vs. fresh, crumb topping vs. lattice, meringue or not, and on and on… He was not very picky about his pies, which is where we disagreed immensely. My thoughts were, and have been to this day, if a pie isn’t amazing, than I am not interested in having any. His thoughts were, a pie is pie, is a pie. He believed there to be only two kinds of pie; good pie and better pie! This always made me smile and it probably does have some validity to many. However, I will maintain for the rest of my years that the only pie worth eating is the BEST pie!
I remember quite distinctly when I decided on this superior pie creed school of thought. I was at my Grandpa’s farm for a family Sunday dinner when I was about 10 or 12 years old. I barely ate anything savory back then, as my sweet tooth was in full swing and hadn’t developed my savory taste buds yet. My mother was a wonderful pie baker and always made deliciously perfect pies with flaky crusts and delicious fillings. My aunts and other Grandma were all superb pie bakers as well, so all I had ever known is the BEST pies. As the Sunday dinner progressed, I soon realized that my Step-Grandma was not blessed with any pie baking talents at all; not a one. Bless her sweet heart.
My Grandma had made two custard pies for dessert and I thought about nothing but them throughout dinner. My mother made custard pies and I enjoyed them wholeheartedly, as I loved their “nutmeggie” creaminess! I passed through dinner with no one really noticing I ate only rolls with honey and applesauce, in anticipation of that coveted pie. Dinner finally ended and I got up quickly to aid my Grandma with serving the pies, as I was so excited to see them, and eat them. However, my face of pie-lust quickly turned to on of pie-horror when she tried slicing her pies. When the knife hit the thin golden skin of the top of the pie, a warm, cream-color clotted liquid ran all over the counter, while the crust fell in like a fallen tent. This was clearly not the pie I had been accustomed to my entire young life.
Those family members (with my friend Terry’s view on pie) ladled the pie into bowls and ate it like ice cream. I, however; left the farm hungry, completely disappointed, but much, much wiser.
That Sunday dinner changed my view forever that all pies are not created equal. Actually, as I reflect back, I am quite certain that that runny custard pie probably led me to my destiny, to make the BEST pie I know how to make. It is why I have a pie shop, ship pies, give baking classes, and perform pie demos across the country. I want to share what I have learned to ensure no one settles for a good pie, or even a better pie. As I want everyone to have only the BEST pie. I have always said, if I can make a pie close to as good as your favorite pie baker, then I have done my job.
Eat the BEST pie and love life! xoxolinda