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

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“If ever I go looking for my heart's desires again, I won't look any further than my own backyard.” --
L. Frank Baum 

I am not sure there is a more revered word than “home”. For me, no matter how tiring, frustrating, or melancholy my day might be, when I drive into my old farmhouse's driveway, my heart is filled with a soft and joyful peace.  

Home is where our hearts stand still with tranquility, regardless of brick or mortar. Just the mere thought of home takes us back to a world of love and serenity – where all is right with the world. 

Home is magic - where Santa leaves presents, where the tooth fairy leaves change, where birthday parties are celebrated with balloons and cake, and where you magically grow from a baby in the nursery into a teenager in a bunk-bed! 

Home is the backyard - where hamburgers are grilled, snow forts are built, Easter eggs are hidden, sprinklers are run through, where lightning bugs are caught, and beloved dogs sleep under big shade trees. 

Home is food – where meatloaf and goulash are what's for dinner, pie and ice cream are homemade treats, where after-school cookies are a must, and where families linger over delicious Sunday chicken dinners for hours! 

Home is family and friends – where eating meals together is a family tradition, where Dad reads the paper in his chair, where Mom is fixing dinner in the kitchen, where naps are taken in front of fireplaces, where family picnics and barbeques are held on the weekends, and where childhood friends are over constantly to play the day away!

Home is our destiny…our dream…our quest. - It is a place to go where comfort and love live forever. It is a rock solid place of reassurance and acceptance. It is where our parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children, and friends are waiting for us with open arms and smiling faces. Home is where all of us belong. 

And nothing, nothing takes you home, like a piece of homemade pie! 
Eat pie, love home!!!!   xoxolinda

I'll Be Home for Christmas

I'll Be Home for Christmas

Home is such a lovely four letter word.  I am not sure there is another word that brings most folks such peace of heart.  I know many of you either have family and friends coming to your homes or you are going back home to yours or theirs, but no matter the circumstance, the yearning for home is universal and timeless.

 I am not sure there is anything more poignant than Bing singing; I’ll Be Home For Christmas.  As one imagines every G.I. dreaming of their own home, whether it is some life-changing war from yesteryear or today…

One of my favorite Christmas movies is, The Walton’s Homecoming, which is all about the father of seven making it home for Christmas during the Great Depression.  This 1970’s made for television movie, reflects the timeless notion that families should be, need to be, and have to be together at Christmas, no matter what the circumstances.

I believe everyone should be home for Christmas, whether it is realistic or not, I wish it to be so. Home is the goal, the destination, for there certainly is no place like it. Most importantly, during this season, home is where Santa comes every year and still does for us believers. So whether you are traveling to a home or staying at your own, make your home for Christmas, warm and magical with plenty of love, laughter, forgiveness, acceptance, patience, joy and  of course...pie! 

An Old Fashioned West Virgina Christmas

An Old Fashioned West Virgina Christmas

My mom grew up in the mountains of West Virginia during the Depression. During that time, because money was scarce for the entire country, Christmas gifts were few for most folks, so delicious holiday food took the center stage of celebrations.
 
My mother remembers every Christmas Eve day her family would string popcorn and cranberry garland by the warmth of the kitchen's wood stove. They would spend the entire day decorating their small, but fragrant, Christmas tree, and helping my grandmother bake her delicious breads, pies, and cheesecake! She remembers anxiously awaiting for the special Christmas Eve dinner, and was always comforted by hot buttery oyster soup, wedges of Swiss cheese, warm biscuits with orange marmalade, a fresh pineapple, and my grandmother's homemade pecan pie! After dinner, they would play dominoes while my Grandpa would recite poetry and read the Christmas story, from the Bible.
 
The holiday menu was always the same, and marvelously delicious, which was very soothing to a little girl growing up in bleak economic times. Strong family roots and delicious, time-honored, traditional foods truly made my mother feel secure and loved, as did a little visit from Santa each and every holiday season! 

Eat pie, savor timeless, delicious memories!  xoxolinda

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.

 
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Linda's Favorites

Autumn 2014

 

  • Favorite Autumn Dinner – a hearty country vegetable soup with lots of potatoes, crusty bread to dip it in, wedges of Michigan apple slices and white cheddar cheese
  • Favorite Autumn Dessert – love warm apple pie or apple crisp with homemade caramel and really good vanilla bean ice cream, anything pumpkin!
  • Favorite Autumn Past time – color tour walks down our country road, bonfires, apple cider making, Thanksgiving dinner, trip to Frankenmuth w family, eating mini cinnamon donuts
  • Favorite Autumn Memory – I remember as a kid sitting on our front porch at 1505 Harding, staring at the beautiful hard maples across the street turn their amazing colors. I remember dreaming about how I wanted my life to be while watching the leaves dance in the breeze and feeling comforted by their final, peaceful fall to the ground. Even at that age, I believe I somehow understood a leaf’s metaphor – we start out small and insignificant, grow large and purposeful and end with a colorful , meaningful swansong.
  • Favorite Autumn Song - Autumn Leaves by Nat king Cole
  • Favorite AutumnQuote – "One day, something is gone from earth and sky,,,autumn has come...seasons of scales and balances, when the earth, brought to judgment for its fruits, says: I have done what I could...now let me rest! " (This is exactly how I feel by the end of our fall season at our farmette here at home, and at my busy, busy busy pie shop!!)
  • Favorite Autumn Movies - Walt Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - for its beautiful music, fun animation by Walt's talented artists, Washington Irving's intriquing story  and all narrated by the legendary, Bing Crosby! and On Golden Pond - A breathtaking movie with amazing actors, settings, and lessons on life...forgiveness, love anf family!

     

 

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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