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

October is here

October is here

October is here.  I absolutely love the fall.  In fact, so much so, that I get a bit offended if people aren’t in complete agreement with me of its magnificence. I love the coolness in the air and the aged, earthy smell of the blustery breezes.  I love the grey, bullying clouds playing hide and seek with the warm, happy sun in the October sky.  In our own front yard, our beloved Mother Maple tree creates the most vivid yellow leaves imaginable this season.  And when the sunshine dances on her fading, falling leaves, well, it is breathtaking. 

I truly love all things fall – bonfires, football games, homecoming parades, chili, soups, pot pies, hot cider, tea and chocolate, sweaters, fall coats, down comforters, gingerbread, custard, warm ovens, crock pots, caramel apples, hot bubble baths and lots of lots of pie…

Eat Pie, Love Life and Fall…Linda xo

My Favorite Teacher

My Favorite Teacher

I was completely humbled and elated when my former high school A.P. English teacher, Mr. Spagnuolo, walked into my cute, little pie shop.  He truly looked the same to me with the exception of his unfortunate Parkinson’s disease affecting his gait and balance.  His smile was sweet and tender and his voice was calming and sure, just as it was almost thirty years ago.  But, his big gift, his words and his wisdom were as profound, sound and as addictive to me as they were so many years ago. 

 Mr.  Spag, as he was fondly referred to,  introduced me to the written word, our vernacular, non-fiction, fiction and classic characters, writers, poets,  and other worlds;  a whole beautiful utopia of how words can change people and ultimately, the way we choose to live.  He taught me to examine, imagine, create, articulate, work hard, be passionate, believe and dream. 
He inspired me.
He believed in me.

Truly, many people affect how we create our own life, and make no mistake we do create our own life.  However, sometimes certain people carve their initials into our souls and enable us to see our potential, our gifts and our own utopia.  Mr. Spag did this for me.  He told me I was smart and that if I worked hard that I could accomplish much.  He told me I had gifts.  He told me to dream.  He believed in me. I was astounded that a man of his merit thought all of this of me, little Linda McComb (Hundt.)  

His years of teaching me and his few sentences literally changed my way of thinking, instead of reading  and dreaming of all the other worlds, I knew that I had what it takes to create my own.  And, I did, in retrospect, exactly what  he taught me to.  I dreamed, I created, I used my passion and gifts and I worked hard, very hard,  to create the life I want and the world I want to live in, to share with my family and friends and now my customers.

I have a guest book at my shop that customers write in, expressing their feelings for the shop, email addresses etc.  People are so gracious, and have written such lovely things about their experience at my bakery-café, Sweetie-licious, and I appreciate each and every comment.   However, never was I more pleased when Mr. Spag wrote a few sentences down in my little red book despite his ailing hands.  When I read what he wrote, it brought tears to my eyes.

Some people dream.  Some make theirs come true.  Hugh Spagnuolo I promise you, if I had not been blessed to have you as my English teacher all those years ago, I would not be everything I am today nor, everything I will be tomorrow. 

Eat pie, inspire others… xo Linda

Grandma Ferrell, high school head cook...

Grandma Ferrell, high school head cook...

My grandmother was the head cook for Buckhannon Upshur High School in Buckhannon, West Virginia for close to twenty years. Grandma might as well have been the head chef at the Waldorf Astoria for all the pride and joy she felt for her job. She was respected by her peers and students alike, was a talented cook and menu planner, and absolutely loved making the student body and staff joyfully comforted with her delicious dishes!

Hundreds lined up for her legendary homemade goulash, crispy, fried chicken, and her sweet cinnamon apple crisp (my favorite.) She especially looked forward to the fall, making vats of juicy steaks and barbeque meat loaf for the football boys, well into the evening! Grandma loved making people feel loved through her old fashioned, good cookin'…

Ellouise Hill Ferrell clearly changed the world one pie at a time! xoxolinda

Summer Picnics ...

Summer Picnics ...

I am completely convinced that our Michigan summers are the best summers anywhere. They are generally not too humid, not too cold with a just the right amount of sunshine to make picnics, days at the beach and backyard barbeques perfect past times. 

My childhood family picnics are some of my most treasured summer memories. It seemed like back then more people went on picnics. There were church picnics, company picnics, end of school picnics, reunion picnics and family picnics. I remember my mother packed a lovely spread on Saturday night, and we would go on a Sunday drive to an area park, mostly Potter Park to enjoy our family dinner in a new, exciting venue! She usually had fried chicken, potato salad, carrot & celery sticks, deviled eggs, cut melon, cold pork and beans out of a can (not a favorite) and a yummy dessert. Sometimes my mommy would pack a pie, but usually a brownie or a bar of some sort.

I remember when it rained on family vacations; we would have our picnics inside the old woody station wagon. This was always a little chaotic with eight people; my parents, six kids (we always took our best friend, Sheila,) a dog, and lots of luggage crammed in the hot, non-air conditioned family vehicle. My mother had little baskets, which I loved, with our name written on a napkin tucked in each lunch basket. She made each one identically the same, so there were no arguments, from her front seat, make-shift kitchen. I remember each of us wanting our lunch basket first, for it took some time to get through eight lunches, and certainly the last one fed could easily get short changed an apple slice or potato chip! For the most part, the lunches were a little plain in fare, but clearly the highlight of the long, hot ten-hour car ride. The menu usually consisted of a cut-up apple quarter, celery stalks with peanut butter, a lettuce wedge for thirst and a few random potato chips. Sometimes, when we were well behaved, my daddy would splurge and buy us all Planter’s peanut candy bars when we stopped to fill the gas tank up. What a treat!  

“You don't have to go on a journey, You really need not travel far, You can have a delightful vacation at home or wherever you are!” -- Mrs. Roy Peifer  

I am not sure why picnics have fallen out of favor, but I implore we bring them back.Why not take your loved ones to a nearby park or beach with a basket full of yummy food that they don’t ordinarily eat. When my family goes on Sunday beach picnics, I often take various artisan cheeses, breads, crackers, special fruits, olives, cut veggies with dips and dessert of course! I also love to pack special novelty ice cold drinks. It makes the picnic so special. They love the unconventional delicious lunch! It’s always about the food, you know. :) And there is nothing, nothing like Lake Michigan for the perfect picnic venue! To make your picnic extra special, remember to bring along a pie, if not your own, then of course, an award winning, Sweetie-licious pie! 

I am enclosing a wonderful blonde brownie recipe that Mom Hundt still makes on Sundays and very similar to the one Mom McComb used to pack on those wonderful Sunday picnics. 

Eat pie, picnic, and love life! -- xoxxo Linda
 

Mom Hundt’s and Mom McComb’s Blondie Brownies 

  • 1¼ C. flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ C. chopped fine pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 C. chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C. butterscotch chips

Combine in bowl 

  • 1/2 C. melted butter
  • 1 C. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla 

Cream together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Spread into one nine inch buttered pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes to 30 minutes. Cut in pie wedges.

 

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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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