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.
Weddings, picnics, parades and barbecues are all a part of summer’s sweet season; and an outdoor wedding in the middle of June is as classic as hot days at the lake. Our beautiful daughter, Ellie, was married at our homestead in June, and it was truly magical, just as she had always dreamed it to be since she was a little girl. She was married in the meadow where she and her favorite little sister, Betsie, chased grasshoppers and fireflies. The reception was in our 125 year old barn, filled with straw and laughter, just as it was when the girls spent summer days swinging from the rafters. The homestead was, and will always be a place for family, traditions, joyful love, and so many memories. The day was filled with all of that, yet so much more! We gained more lovely family, and a sweet and wonderful son! We are blessed, so very blessed!
My daughter’s wedding dress was worn beautifully and happily from the minute I helped her put it on in my bedroom, until the second I found it dirty and crumpled on our bathroom floor the next day. Her dress was a HUGE part of “her best day ever!” She ran barefoot through sunlit country roads in it. She danced all night on a straw barn floor in it. She dropped some of her homemade strawberry wedding cake and Sweetie-licious key lime pie on two layers of its ivory tulle in it. It had grass stains from playing corn hole and riding her tandem bike with her new hubby all over the warm meadow of our farm. It had beer and wine spills on its gazillion buttoned bustle from guests giving her loving hugs; and lipstick stains from well intended, but short and sweet near-sighted grandmothers. Mostly, this special wedding dress was filled with dried stains of tears. Tears of love, joy and excitement of finding her great and true love.
Let us all be refreshed by wedding love, whether we have been married for ten or fifty years. Love sweet, and as deep as your heart can hold!
I am writing this spring collection of thoughts, despite the chill and gusty winds of March, 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
This week's blog will celebrate great men like Martin Luther King and great Presidents like Abraham Lincoln. As much as I feel compelled to write about these men, I also feel almost “wordless.”
However, I do know two intrinsic truths that stand out in my mind when I think of great men and women, especially these men. I believe that people who do great things have two virtues above all others; the capacity to dream and the aptitude of living a selfless life – selfless dreamers.
People who live their lives selflessly understand their purpose. They understand that standing up for all that is good and just, loving all living beings equally, and living your life doing good for others is the secret to life. They believe that loving all people above themselves is the answer.
People who live their lives dreaming understand that there is hope in all of life. They understand that through their selfless contributions to make a difference in our world and believing in their hearts that the dream can and will come true, it will. They never stop believing in the dream. No matter what, they believe. No matter what the costs, no matter how it affects them personally, they never think of themselves and religiously believe in the dream.
Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln started off no different than you and I. They were merely ordinary folks that did extraordinary things because they were selfless dreamers. They made a difference in our world because they realized their cause was bigger than themselves and dreamed that they could make it better.
Oh my, let us all decide today to be selfless dreamers and make our world lovely.
Eat Pie, Love Life – Linda Hundt xoxo