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

My Favorite Pie...

My Favorite Pie...

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

Easter Time

Easter Time

I love those two words put together – Easter time equates to me, green grass, pretty dresses, yummy ham, cream pies, sunshine, and eggs – dyed, chocolate, deviled, pickled and plastic filled! I remember being very excited about my Easter dresses, hats, and white gloves! Loved the gloves, I still love wearing them to events when I can pull it off! Still love a darling dress too - I have a collection of retro ones - and am always charmed by a sweet sundress! 

Our Easter basket tradition was a little different than most, as opposed to each of us five kids having our own basket, we all shared a very large one. It was mostly filled with jellybeans, yet some years we got a chocolate bunny, silly putty and/or a comic book. I always envied the kids who got to “find” their own basket on Easter morning filled with lot of chocolate eggs, kites, bubble bath, and such. To me; however, our yummy dinner and the pie easily made up for our lackluster Easter basket.  

Church was always special…I remember it as beautiful; filled with Easter lilies and everyone dressed in their Easter best! At that age, I remember church being especially long, when all I could think about was the dinner and the Easter egg hunt that awaited me at home! Now, I appreciate Easter and how my faith has always inspired and renewed each season, and how stirred I am to do His work with love. 

But, food for me was, and is always, my favorite part of any holiday, and Easter is no exception. My family had a traditional ham marinated in Vernors ginger ale and adorned with pineapple rings and cloves, creamy scalloped potatoes, orange-pineapple Jello mold, peas and carrots, seven-layer salad, pickled and deviled eggs and of course, pie! My mother usually made cream pies for Easter - lemon and coconut cream were family favorites!  

In the picture shown, circa 1966 or so, my family is posing at my dear Aunt Margie’s farm on a lovely Easter Sunday! I smile every time I see this picture, as it was obviously taken before today’s slick cameras. The “hatchet head” was a common problem for many picture takers back then, especially my Aunt Margie. She was always cutting someone’s head off, such as my poor daddy’s! I also love this picture because it shows how everyone got dressed up back then! I am not sure why dressing up for events has fallen out of favor, but I sure wish people would respect all the special events in our lives and dress up for them.  

Let’s remember Easter, as we did in the past and make it lovely with a grateful heart, an inspired spirit, a yummy dinner, a delicious pie, and/or a new dress or tie! :) 

Eat pie, love life, Linda xoxoxxo

 

Home...

Home...


“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

My Mommy's Potato Soup

My Mommy's Potato Soup

Winter's dark dinner hour always reminds me of my mother's potato soup; as it filled our brick home with the comforting aroma of onions, potatoes, and cream. It was clearly the respite of the day for all seven of us, especially, when she made a big pan of hot corn bread to go along with it. 

While growing up, I remember on weekends she would make a huge pot of her creamy soup. It would simmer on the back burner of our old fifties stove all day long, with occasional stirs from my mother as she passed by. When my brothers, twin sister, and I would come into the house after a day of sledding or ice skating, the soup was patiently waiting for us to warm our bones and comfort out tummies. 

It was a staple in her menu planning, especially in the long, frosty winters of Michigan. As an adult, I understand why she made it so much, for it was cost effective for a big family, she always had the ingredients on hand, and she didn't have to think about it. For her, making that soup was like pin curling her hair, she could do it in her sleep, while grading papers, feeding the dog, and chopping onions. Mothers are the masters of multi-tasking. Basically, it was cheap, easy and delicious, and what more could you ask for in a meal for a working mother of five? 

I must admit, I did tire of the soup's frequency on the back burner of our kitchen stove. As a child, I didn't appreciate its hearty, creamy goodness as I do today…and not because it wasn't delicious, but because it was redundant. As I got older, I always stirred a little Velveeta cheese into mine to make it perfect. To this day, I do like my potato soup with a little more flavor, so when I make her recipe, I always add some fresh herbs, wine and cheese to enhance its rock-solid base. 

My mother was known for her potato soup, as she made it for family, friends, and strangers throughout her years. It went to church potlucks, sick families, mourning friends, and was always the favorite for large family gatherings and Sunday dinners in the fall and winter. Everyone always loved it, appreciated it and felt loved and comforted by my Mommy's Potato Soup – how perfect is that? 

Eat and make soup and feel love. --Linda 
 

Creamy Potato Gouda & Rosemary Soup

4 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 C. white wine or water
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped very fine
4 large leeks cleaned and roughly chopped – white part only
1 small onion, chopped fine
½ tsp. garlic
3 medium Yukon Gold peeled potatoes chopped in 1” cubes 
5 C. chicken stock - and more if needed - to thin soup
1 C. heavy cream or half and half
1 C. of grated Gouda or white cheddar cheese, plus some for garnish
¼ tsp. pepper
salt to taste
fresh green onion or chives
crumbled maple bacon

In soup pot, cook butter, oil, leeks, onions, wine, and garlic until tender on medium heat. Add potatoes and chicken stock, simmering on medium heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through. Lower heat to low and add cream, cheese, pepper and salt to taste. Garnish with green onions or fresh chives, crumbled maple bacon and grated cheese.

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Linda's Favorites

Spril 2015

I am writing this spring collection of thoughts, despite the frigid weather and snow, 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

 

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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