Since I was a little girl, I have always been so proud of my home state, Michigan. I love the way Michiganders experience the seasons, each one vibrant and defined by its color, temperature, pastimes - and the food it brings to the table! Whether you are picking fruits or vegetables from a tree, bush or garden, Michigan's seasonal bounty is plentiful. Our recreation even pairs with the seasons: Water and snow sports are beloved Michigan activities.
Our state is beautiful, filled with glorious deciduous and pine trees, acres of open farm fields, and miles and miles of sandy beaches. Michigan's little towns are slow-paced and peaceful, while our big cities are cultural and vivacious. And Michiganders are typical Midwestern folks - hardworking, humble, of great character, with sweet and easy dispositions.
My hometown, DeWitt, is as cute as you can imagine. It is, indeed, a place where people know you by name and where little parades, farm markets, and festivals line our streets. Everyone turns out for Friday night football games, and the tiny barbershop is standing room only on Saturday mornings.
My sweet hometown folks have always been supportive of my little pie shop, and me! They came and bought pies, cookies and lunch. They told their friends, who bought more pies. The friends brought their relatives, and they bought muffins and even more pies. And so on and so on. I can never thank DeWitt enough for helping make Sweetie-licious the success that it is and - more important - for believing in me.
I wish everyone the privilege of living in a place of camaraderie like DeWitt, Michigan. It's a town I am proud to be from, and oneI hope I make proud!
Eat pie, love life!
My Daddy was a man of simple passions and pleasures. He loved dogs, farms, babies, newspapers, visiting with people, hardware stores, pigs, education, fixing cars, collecting old radios, WWII memorabilia, feeding birds and squirrels, doctor appointments, collecting boxes, garage sales, laughter, story-telling, butter pecan ice cream, marigolds, flannel shirts, Tiger baseball, history, peanuts, his family and PIE!
One of my fondest memories while growing up was listening to Detroit Tiger baseball games on the radio together on warm summer nights. I often helped him hold a flashlight to the car engine as he tinkered on one of our warn-out, old cars. We loved listening to Ernie Harwell’s tranquil voice announce the play by play into the night. He and I would talk about the line-up, the players’ averages, and why Al Kaline was in a slump.
My Daddy’s love for his family was paramount and where he got his greatest joy. He loved telling stories of his one-room schoolhouse days and of their farm growing up to all of us kids. He spoke of hard work with honor and respect and love for his neighbors and relatives with pride.
My Daddy loved people, loved talking to all people that cross his path. His bank teller, waitress, or hardware store assistant would soon become fast friends as he loved to meet and enjoy people.
He also had a huge sweet tooth, as I do. Sometimes he would stop for candy bars or ice cream cones on road trips, which thrilled me beyond compare. But he loved pie most of all, and always, always appreciated my mommy’s delicious homemade pies, and later in life, my own homemade pies!
My Daddy’s smile and laugh have always been my favorite. He absolutely loved to laugh, as his eyes squint up with an ear-to-ear grin covering his face, when he found something pleasing, which he did often.
My Daddy ws a wonderful father. Thank you, Daddy for leaving me with your spirit of unconditional love and respect of people, laughter, appreciating and honoring our past, the importance of story-telling, love for family and passion for pie!
With gratitude and deep love– eat pie, love life - xoxxolinda
I absolutely love the magnetic atmosphere of farm markets and the steadfast commerce they have demonstrated for centuries. The hustle bustle of the satisfied vendors and customers, the aroma and beauty of the perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables and the outdoor sunshine and breezes swirling in the pavilion or tents has a uniquely loving, comforting energy like nothing else.
Farm markets have always been oh, so near and dear to my heart. I have such lovely memories of my daddy taking my twin sister and me downtown to the city farm market early Saturday mornings. Because my father grew up on a farm, he had much appreciation for farmers and their bounty and loved visiting with his vendor friends at the market. No matter who we talked to, the subject always seemed to turn to the unpredictable Michigan weather, and I remember fondly my daddy's reassuring and empathetic responses to their farming plights. Listening to these conversations, I realized at a young age the importance of not only buying local and how it affects our local economy and people, but more importantly, the emotional connection with people and food.
With a daughter on each hand, he would take us down the crowded aisles, to buy his beloved vegetables and such; large pink radishes, fresh sweet corn, garden red -ripe tomatoes, and local artisan Colby cheese were his staples. I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was the bakery booth, as the booth was stacked with various homemade breads and doughnuts, which was delight for a sweet-tooth little girl to see. My father happily would buy a fresh loaf of raisin bread for the family, but best of all, he would let my sister and I pick out a big, fat jelly doughnut! What a treat!
It seemed only natural for me to start selling my own pies at our DeWitt Farm Market when I first started my home based business some ten years ago. I will never forget the love in the air as my customers came to my vintage table clothed booth - they smiled, they ate, they loved my pies...and... me! I was high on the love, energy and emotional connection with my customers just like my daddy had taught me so many years before!
I sold out of my pies every Saturday from that day forward and never looked back. It is amazing how buying with a smile, a simple tomato, a bushel of peaches or a homemade pie from a farm market can make a life experience so much deeper than we realize.
Farm markets have always been oh, so near and dear to my heart.
Eat Pie, and Love Life… Linda
P.S. Please visit us on Saturdays at the Meridian Farm Market in Okemos and on Thursdays at the Northville Farm Market.
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