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Each of our pies have a story, their very own provenance and
legacy. Our history encourages us to learn from the past with
our teachers being everyday people; our family, friends, co-
workers and strangers. Let us keep faith and joy in our ordinary
lives through its simple pleasures, life lessons and cherished
memories.  
Eat pie, love life, xoxo Linda
  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Aunt Margie's Aprons

    One of my Dear Aunt Margie’s favorite colors was pink, as she “simply pinked” everything around her. As a child I loved this, for she had a pink kitchen countertop, a pink bathroom, and a pink chenille bedspread! She also had several pink aprons for various cooking/baking conditions and/or events. For everyday cooking she wore her simple flour sack aprons, but because she was a master seamstress she made even the most benign clothes adorable. Her daily home-keeping aprons were decorated with pinkness – buttons, rick-rack, bows, and some even had bells on them!

    Her hostess aprons were mostly pink, but she did add other colors for contrast. They were made from organza, tulle, or felt and adorned with big bows and sequins. They were to be worn for company only, although she let us play dress-up with them when we came to visit.

    She even had children’s aprons in plenty of pink and blue, just our size. It was always so much fun to cook and bake with her when we wore our special little aprons!

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Mr. Brickley’s Lemon Praline Chess Pie

    Eat pie and cherish childhoods, mothers, and your elders.

    Mr. Brickley, a dear family friend, had a delightful old home that smelled uniquely of fragrant pipe tobacco and roses, and sounded like no other, as dozens of antique clocks chimed melodious tunes throughout the large house. He was always a favorite of our family, and a lovely man to visit, as he was a great storyteller. During one of my last visits with him, I asked him if he had a favorite pie, for I wanted to bake him one. Confined to his bed, he smiled as he spoke of a lemon nut pie his mother used to bake. I hurried home and searched through my vintage recipes to find a baked lemon chess pie recipe. I knew cancer could weaken taste buds, so I added more fresh lemon juice, pecans, and coconut to his pie, for the following visit. When I fed him his first bite, a small tear ran down his sweet, aged face, as he said he hadn’t tasted his “mother’s pie” for eighty years! I made the pie more him for three more weeks, as it was to the only thing that he would eat. The nurse later told me that he died after his last bite of his “mother’s” lemon pie while recalling his happy boyhood days in the 1900’s. It wasn’t long after that experience that I decided I had to make pies for a living. Mr. Brickley and his pie led me to understand the true healing power of food, and especially pies, to a person’s soul. Pies can transport folks back home to their mother, to the warmth of her hugs and kitchen stove; to a simpler time of love, innocence, and childhood.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Mrs. Pricco’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

    Mrs. Pricco’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
    Eat pie and give to others your loving time

    My dear, dear friend Peggy’s mother, Mary Lee was one endearing woman. She was full of faith and had a smile that would light up a room and warm your heart. She always was doing lovely things for other people – taking older relatives to church and doctor appointments and making delicious meals and desserts for the downhearted and lonely. She simply loved to make someone’s average day a wonderful one. Her homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie was loved by everyone who received one, especially her adoring family. The pink sweet-tart filling and flaky crust were a perfect combination for this early summer pie. There was nothing better than to see her with a glorious pie in her arms and a smile on her face. Mrs. Pricco was indeed a woman we should all emulate. She lived her life simply and beautifully, giving to others her time, her laughter, and her love.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Jordyn's “True Champion” Blueberry Raspberry Cherry Pie

    Be a “True Champion” in all that you do!

    All of us have the ability to be some kind of a champion. Some of us will be champions at county fairs, singing competitions, spelling bees, art competitions, or even pie baking championships! Some of us will be champions for admirable charities and causes;  for our children, or in later life for our parents.Then, some of us will be champion athletes - from Little League, high school state championships, to the Olympics. We all know by now that no one can be a champion without passion, perseverance, and innate talent. There are many kinds of champions like that. However, what sets a “True Champion” apart is grace; the ability to lose with grace and honor and win with humble pride and joy. Our hometown sweetheart, Olympic Gold Medalist, Jordyn Wieber is a “True Champion.” Let us all emulate Jordyn and take home the gold in our everyday life - to graciously win and lose and to persevere with grace and passion in everything we do, and we will start changing the world one pie at a time!

     

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Tom's Cheery Cherry Cherry Berry Pie

    Tom's Cheery Cherry Cherry Berry Pie
    Eat Pie and Inspire Others.

    Watch the "Tom's Pie" VIDEO on WXYZ (Detroit) - click here

     

    My brother-in-law, Tom was one of those people who you instinctively loved and respected. I think initially you loved him because he had a mile-wide smile that he used sincerely and often. After you got to know Tom, you respected him for his passions, his work ethic, his commitments, his loyalty, his strength, and his love for all living things. As our brother, neighbor, and friend his good deeds to our family are too numerous to mention, but a particular passion of his is indeed especially dear to me, his love for all things pie! Every week or so, we have the family over for “movie night” which includes a homemade dinner and a movie. Tom’s beloved wife, Linda and I do potluck and the rest of the family indulges in a feast, with of course, plenty of pie for dessert! The next morning without fail, Tom would track me down to give me a quick message, as Hundt men, by nature, are men of few words. His thoughts were simple, yet powerful, “Linda, the cherry pie you made last night was absolutely outstanding.” I could see his smile, his conviction and his kindness over the phone lines. I would thank him profusely and go on with my day with that much more confidence, that much more zeal, and that much more inspiration. Tom Hundt understood the most significant creeds to live by, and by example, he continues to inspire others to be outstanding in everything they do.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandma & Mommy's Pumpkin Caramel Apple Pie

    Eat pie, be creative in all you do!

    My mother and grandmother always taught me the importance of traditions and modeled their love of cooking and baking to me though their delicious homemade foods. Thus, I have always loved the traditional holiday of Thanksgiving and its simple meaning of being grateful, and the glorious food associated with it. I truly love all Thanksgiving pies, and never can decide between Mommy's pumpkin and Grandma's caramel apple pie on this annual Thursday. Because of this dilemma, and a desire to not be too indulgent, I had to create a pie with both of their wondrous qualities! Hence, the creation of Grandma and Mommys' Pumpkin Caramel Apple Pie! This pie has the classic, creamy pumpkin filling happily atop of the timeless, caramel apple pie filling. The combination completely satisfies your traditional taste buds with spice, creamy pumpkin, and tart apples, all in one memorable crust. I love Franklin's famous quote, "Necessity is the mother on invention" as it surely has helped many worthy inventions be created, including the yummy pie!

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Laura's Sticky Toffee Pudding Caramel Apple Pie

    Laura's Sticky Toffee Pudding Caramel Apple Pie
    Eat Pie, and appreciate old and new traditions

    My twin sister Laura spent several years in British Hong Kong as her family was there for an overseas job opportunity. She had a wonderful experience with the mixed culture and foods of the myriad of people from across the world. Like everyone in our family, my sister was especially fond of the delicious and diverse food exposure. Fortunately, my sister had sticky toffee pudding for dessert one night with some new English friends. She was enamored by its caramel moist cake and creamy sauce and had to have the recipe that evening! My dear sister is a wonderful baker and has delighted us with this delicious English dessert for over a decade now that she is home. After tasting this dessert, I decided a delicious fusion of this British cake with a All-American Cararmel Apple Pie would be yummy, and most appropriate given our past when England was our motherland. This innovative English-American apple, toffee, cake-pie combination is indeed, unforgettable.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandma Ferrell’s Caramel Apple Pie

    Eat pie, and cherish your heritage

    There was nothing our family enjoyed more than our summers at Grandma Ferrell’s farm in West Virginia. The homestead sat on the top of a picturesque mountain with a creek running next to it. The farm itself was a bit rundown, but beautiful to me, with plenty of flower and vegetable gardens and dozens of chickens running about. There was always plenty of fine storytelling, bluegrass music and delicious, homegrown food to share at the farm. I loved to watch my grandmother work magic in the kitchen; her biscuits and gravy were legendary but her apple pie was my favorite.   The apple filling was tart, yet sweet, and the crumb topping was buttery with just a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. I can still see Grandma and me on her porch swing, peeling apples and listening to her recall tall tales of her childhood. Those were the days.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Mommy's Pumpkin Pie

    Eat pie and be grateful.

    Watch the "Mommy's Pumpkin Cheesecake Praline" VIDEO - click here

     

    Several years ago my parents had a fire in the home they have shared for over forty years. Fortunately, no one was injured; however, being out of their home during renovation through the holiday season was difficult. I assured my parents that Christmas would be as special as always and that I would host the dinner. My mother insisted on preparing the holiday ham and pumpkin pies and my sister and I agreed to make the rest of the trimmings. However, because my mother was not familiar with her temporary kitchen, she burned the ham black while our mashed potatoes were lumpy and the cranberries were frozen. Our only salvation through this disastrous dinner was the anticipation of Mom’s pumpkin pies. We were not disappointed. The pie never tasted better, the buttery crust and creamy filling was perfect. They truly made the meal complete. I think my whole family realized at that point, not only how grateful we were to be all together, alive and healthy, but also how much we appreciate good pie.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Mrs. Cochran's Pecan Pie

    Eat pie and love your neighbors.

    While growing up in Michigan, our family lived in an older, quaint neighborhood with mature trees and well manicured lawns. Throughout the years, neighbors would come and go, but there was one couple that lived next door that made a lasting impression on all of us. The Cochrans were a worldly, middle-aged couple with no children of their own. In retrospect, I am certain that our lively family of seven probably seemed hectic to the reserved pair, although I think they enjoyed our chaos. All of us children loved the Cochrans and relished any opportunity to be invited into their serene home to listen to travel stories and eat cinnamon candy! I remember one special day when Mrs. Cochran asked my sister and me into her sun-filled kitchen for a piece of pie. She served the creamy pie on delicate bone china with beautiful lace napkins, both family heirlooms. I remember feeling so loved and special while eating her delicious pecan pie.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Daddy’s Mince Pie

    Eat pie, listen to your elders.

    My daddy grew up in a farm in Michigan during the Great Depression. Though he was an only child, his extended family was large and like most families back then, lived close by on nearby farms. Sunday and holiday dinners were much anticipated and memorable, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins flooded my great-grandfather’s large, self-built farmhouse for a lovely, festive dinner. There were plenty of traditional Midwestern foods that the family contributed straight from the fruit cellar, such as; self-canned vegetables, cranberry relish and pickles, various potato dishes, stuffing, turkey, ham and many homemade pies! Of course, for a young boy, pies were my father’s favorite, as they are to this day! My daddy especially loved his grandmother’s mincemeat pie made with meat and mixed with apples, raisins and nuts. I remember every Christmas my mommy made my daddy a mincemeat pie, just like he enjoyed growing up, minus the meat. However, he was the only one who ate it, despite his pleas for us all to have a slice. He raved about its goodness, yet all five of us kids refused it, as we were terrified that somehow it had meat in it, given its name. So, until I decided to make up my own version (minus the meat,) I didn’t know a mince pie could be so amazing. The apples, raisins, cranberries, walnuts, cider, brandy and butter make for a delicious filling and with our award winning, flaky crust, it is nearly perfect. As it was, I ended up missing out of yummy pie for decades by not listening to my father. Clearly, fathers do know best.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Mommy's Blackberry Raspberry Pie

    Eat pie and delight in your perfect memories.

    Watch Linda's "Blackberry Raspberry" VIDEO on Fox 2 TV (Detroit) - click here

     

    While growing up, my family would spend a week camping near Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan.

    The big lake was breathtakingly beautiful, but routinely ice cold. As kids, we didn’t care and frolicked in the waves from dawn until dusk. One of the highlights of our week was going to Leland, a charming little village on the harbor.  We would browse the unique shops and take home fresh smoked whitefish, bread and cheese.  We also would stop at a local farm-stand to pick up home-grown sweet corn, tomatoes and sweet blackberries. My brothers, sister and I were very excited about the day excursion to Leland, but couldn’t wait to get back to the campsite, for we knew we were in store for a treat!  For you see, my mother was a master at outdoor cooking and she made the most delicious blackberry cobbler in her dutch oven that we had ever had!  No meal was more anticipated. We ate smoked whitefish, fresh tomatoes and sweet corn and the most delicious blackberry cobbler ever while watching Lake Michigan’s beautiful sunset. Perfect memory.

    Sleeping Bear Dunes was voted the 2011 "Most Beautiful Place in America" by the viewers of "Good Morning America". To view a video of the area, click on this link

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Mom Hundt's Apple Pie

    Eat pie and make children’s childhoods.

    My husband, John grew up in a family of thirteen children!! His parents did a lovely job raising them insuring that they all had charming childhoods, teaching virtues such as hard work, integrity, respect, faith and love. John’s mother was a wonderful cook and baker and insisted that all thirteen children had happy, celebrated birthdays. On their special day, each child was allowed to choose their favorite dinner for the evening and of course, their favorite dessert. My husband and his twin sister always chose the same birthday dessert year after year, as my husband’s twin, Josie chose German Chocolate cake and my husband chose All-American apple pie. (Clearly, John was destined to be my husband for he understood at an early age pie’s allure and magnificence.) After dinner, much anticipated birthday gifts were opened as the whole family watched with excitement. Balloons were then passed out as all the children romped in the living room with smiling faces, contented bellies in magical “birthdayland” euphoria.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Faye’s Sweetie Potato Pie

    Eat pie, be generous.

    My dear friend Faye grew up in a small town in Texas back in the fifties and sixties.  She has wonderful memories of her loving family and neighbors getting together often for dancing, Motown and delicious southern comfort food. Clearly, food, fun and folly were a constant in Wichita Falls. Faye’s mother was known for her sweet potato pies in particular because no one could make a better one. Her pie was creamy and made with Texas sweet potatoes with just the right amount of cinnamon and butter. So, as it was, people started ordering her legendary pies from her at Thanksgiving for she was generous enough to make them for all who asked, at no charge. As the years went by, more people heard about her sweet potato pies until her entire first floor transformed to a sea of pies every Thanksgiving eve. This lovely tradition went on for years, as she never could turn anyone down from one of her pie masterpieces, right up until the day she died. My friend Faye has such beautiful memories of her beloved mother; her sense of humor, her love for all things and especially her generosity. She understood the beauty of using ones’ gifts, giving back and loving people and passed the legacy on to all who knew and loved her. 

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Honest Abe Cherry Apple Pie

    Eat pie and be a selfless dreamer!

    Abraham Lincoln and I share a birthday. I have felt honored all of my life that such a beloved man had anything in common with, oh so simple, me. I am always boasting about my Abe, as I have always thought of him as being my dear grandfather. He was one of our most beloved American presidents for many reasons; however, he possessed two virtues that I believe were paramount above all others - the ability to dream and to be selfless. People who live their lives selflessly understand their purpose. Abraham understood that standing up for all that is good and just, loving all living beings equally, and living life doing good for others, is the secret to life. Abraham Lincoln started off no different then you and me. He was neither a king nor God. He was merely an ordinary Midwestern man who did extraordinary things because he was a courageous, selfless dreamer. He made a difference in our world because he realized his cause was bigger than himself and dreamed that he could make it better, and of course, he did. God Bless Abe for our America!

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Cheryl's Raspberry Pie

    Eat pie, be a loyal friend

    My dear friend, Cheryl is an amazing person in so many ways, but one attribute is especially lovely to me, and many others – her loyalty. Today, with the world spinning so swiftly, many of the valued virtues of yesteryear seem trite and obsolete to some. However, our true friends that we keep dear to our hearts hold virtues that will always remain paramount. My friend, Cheryl’s unfaltering allegiance to the people she cares for is beautiful, as she remains their champion to everyone. She defends them in their absence and encourages them in their presence. As true, loyal friends do, she aids in trying times and remains steadfast in ordinary times. She always is the one to offer her home, her hands, and her heart to make others feel better and feel loved. She is the true and loyal friend that all people should be blessed having. I implore us all to be a loyal friend like Cheryl; to be a friend that stays faithful in our hearts forever.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    The Farmette's Beautiful Blueberry Basil Pie

    Eat pie, and believe in yourself.

    I remember how excited I was when we bought our old farmhouse, complete with barns, fruit trees, and berry bushes, as it was truly a dream come true. I could hardly wait to cook and bake new creations for my lovely family with our own produce! As we started expanding our gardens at the farm, my husband and I planed lots of herbs with our vegetables, as I love the taste of fresh herbs in my cooking. As the summers passed I would get more confident and creative with my pies and jams. I blended the fragrant essence of herbs and citrus zest with sweet, homegrown fruits  to make amazing taste sensations. Soon, I started selling my works at farm markets and at local high-end restaurants; with my blueberry basil and lime jam being a customer and chef favorite. I loved it so, I had to make flavorful Michigan blueberry basil filling in a buttery crust for others to enjoy; despite some non-believers. Hence, no one could believe their joyful taste buds, and as always... all were believers!

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Shaye's Cherry Key Lime Pie

    Eat Pie, Be Passionate About Life!

    My dear friend Shaye was a man of great passions and purpose; hence when he loved something, he truly loved it, and when he had a job to do, he did it wholeheartedly!! His passions included cars, pie, laughter, baseball, his charming cottage up north, his lovely family, and God. His family was paramount to him, as he felt all seven of his beautiful children and his loving, angel wife, Lisa, were true blessings from God. Shaye’s passion for life, and will to live were so exceptional, it led him to the greatest passion of all; his love and deep faith in God. With God’s love he understood that his health challenges made his life purposeful. Shaye inspired hundreds, as he spoke openly and passionately about his faith and his unique miracle of cancer survival. From his own profound experiences, he encouraged others to find courage in their own lives and to live each day with joyful gratitude and passion. Shaye’s mission of not just merely living, but living with grit, grace, and faith is a testament we should all emulate.

     

     

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Betsie’s Key Lime Raspberry Pie

    Betsie’s Key Lime Raspberry Pie
    Eat pie and share in birthday secrets.

    I delight in a special birthday memory many years ago when my girls were quite young. As it is, we are a pie loving family and have celebrated birthdays with pies instead of traditional birthday cakes for generations. One year for my birthday, my husband decided to surprise me and make me my favorite key lime pie instead of me making it myself. He enlisted our daughters, Ellie and Betsie’s “help” and swore the girls to secrecy on this most special pie mission. The day before my birthday I set out grocery shopping for pie supplies, not knowing at the time that it would be an unnecessary errand. During this time, John and the girls hurriedly made my birthday pie surprise, leaving not a trace of evidence of its creation. Upon my return, I was greeted at the door by all three of them grinning huge, suspicious smiles. I pretended not to notice the escalated excitement in the air and went on to put the groceries away. Seconds later, the secret proved to be too much for little Betsie as she blurted out that my birthday pie was secretly made while I was out and that it was going to be delicious. Of course, John and big sister, Ellie were disappointed initially that their pact was broken so quickly and easily, but we all soon laughed wildly at her innocent outburst. The next day we went on to celebrate my birthday and eat the best key lime pie I have ever eaten or will ever eat.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Ellie’s Cherry Blackberry Peach Pie

    Eat pie, say what’s in your heart!

    When my daughter, Ellie, was a baby, my parents would babysit her a few days a week, which was indeed a highlight for all involved.   Because Ellie was their first grandchild, they lived for their “grandpa-ma days” and spoiled her rotten, of course. As it is, my mother has always baked pies and usually has a fresh baked pie ready and waiting to share with all who may stop by. So, at Grandma’s house, when most babies were eating baby food, my Ellie was eating pies. My mother would make special pie filling for her when she first starting eating solid food and as she grew, her grandmother lovingly expanded her pie palate. My daddy loves to tell the story that when Ellie was in her highchair and hadn’t talked at all, he asked her what she wanted for breakfast. According to him, Ellie’s face lit up with smiles, and she happily said “PIE!” The lovely word “pie” was my Ellie’s very first word and although she is all grown up, still one of her favorites. 

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandpa Ferrell’s Cherry Rhubarb Pie

    Grandpa Ferrell’s Cherry Rhubarb Pie
    Eat pie and love your partner.

    My Grandpa Ferrell was a coal miner in West Virginia for many years before and after the depression. Coal miners worked long, dark hours and often the only bright spot of their day was lunchtime. It was usually one half hour and above ground giving them a chance to rest their legs and back and breathe some clean mountain air. At that time, lunches were packed in covered tin buckets with the top part of the container designated for dessert mostly slices of pie. As it was, the miners always looked forward in seeing what, if any, kind of pie was packed for them in their lunch bucket by their wives that morning. As the story goes, if a miner had two slices of pie waiting for him in his bucket, then he made his wife happy and she really loved him. If only one slice was packed, the miner was an average husband and she cared for him. However, if no pie was packed and the pie tray was empty, this meant that you were not making your wife happy and there was no love left!! My grandparents were married close to sixty years and my grandfather learned early on who was packing his lunch. Needless to say, he had lots of pie in his 86 years and cherry rhubarb was one of his favorites.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandma Ferrell's Strawberry & Cream Pie

    Grandma Ferrell's Strawberry & Cream Pie
    Eat pie and be charming.

    My mother grew up in rural West Virginia and every year their little town hosted a very popular Strawberry Festival. The festival attracted people from around the state - perfect for my Grandmother Ferrell who owned an old boarding house with a small but adorable restaurant on the back porch. In the early summer when strawberries were in season and the festival was in full swing, Grandma's house was bustling with guests. People loved to stay there because not only was she a warm and loving hostess, but she happened to make the best Strawberry & Cream pie in the state. They lined up in the street for her tender crust, creamy filling and sweet berry slice of heaven. Her beautiful personality and perfect pie make people come again and again to enjoy my Grandmother's charm and baking talents.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Aunt Ruby's Butterscotch Praline Pie

    Eat pie and work hard at all you do.

    My hard working Aunt Ruby lived at the bottom of a hill in beautiful West Virginia She had magnificent gardens and orchards and canned everything from tangy watermelon pickles to sweet molasses. When my family came to call we would visit while admiring her gardens, quilts and canning cellar.

    However, the highlight of the day was clearly Aunt Ruby’s homemade dinner. The spread was magnificent- pickles of every sort, green beans and corn, biscuits with homemade apple butter and delicious chicken and dumplings. Of course, my favorite was dessert and her creamy butterscotch pie! The flaky crust, creamy filling and crunchy pecans made for a perfect pie. My Aunt Ruby worked hard all of her sweet life and was very proud of all that she accomplished. Her work ethic and passion for life are true tenets to live by.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandma Rosellla's Vanilla Bean Cream Pie

    Eat pie and open your heart to others.

    Back during the bleak Depression, my Daddy’s cousin, Janette came to live with his family for a few special years. Janette’s father had had seven children when his wife suffered a nervous breakdown and was sent away for treatment. He worked long hours at Ford Motor Company and was unable to care for his children alone. Hence, all seven children were sent separately to live with relatives until the family could get back on its feet. As hard as this was for Janette, she found great peace and love in my Daddy’s home that influenced her for the rest of her life. Janette recalls how my grandmother would rock her to sleep, make her new dresses and bake her vanilla cream pies.    These seemingly small acts of kindness proved to be extraordinary influences for a needy, insecure little girl. Janette’s family was reunited a few years later, however, she says that her favorite childhood memories were with my Grandmother eating pies and feeling loved.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Melinda's Rhubarb Pie

    Eat pie and give to others your loving time.

    My dear, dear sister-in-law, Melinda is one endearing woman. She is full of fun and has a smile that lights up a room and warms your heart. She always is doing lovely things for other people – taking older relatives to church and doctor appointments and making delicious meals and desserts for the down-hearted and lonely. She simply loves to make someone’s average day a wonderful one. Melinda’s  homemade Rhubarb Pie is loved by all who receive one, especially by her adoring family. The pink sweet-tart filling and flaky crust are a perfect combination for this early summer pie. There is nothing better then to see her with a glorious pie in her arms and a smile on her face. Melinda is indeed a woman we should all emulate. She lives her life simply and beautifully – giving to others her time, her laughter and her love.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Aunt Grace's Peach Pie

    Eat pie and share with others.

    When my mother was about seven, she remembers padding barefoot along a well-worn sandy path that connected her southern West Virginia farm to Aunt Grace’s. My great aunt’s house was a weathered wooden structure flanked by two great pine trees, resting in a horseshoe of luscious, green hills. She remembers the lovely, sweet scent of roses, phlox and heliotrope coming from her garden. But the delicious smell that stamps itself in her memory is one of freshly baked pies wafting from her kitchen window. Best of all, dear Aunt Grace lovingly welcomed my mother and always shared from her table. My mother can attest that her peach pie, unbeatable at the county fair, had the taste of heaven.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Linda's Chocolate Cream Pie

    Eat pie and make good decisions.

    While growing up, my family would occasionally stop after church for lunch at a neighborhood diner. When my daddy pulled into the parking lot, all of us kids went crazy with excitement because back then, eating out was a special treat and it didn’t happen often. Of course there were restrictions, my parents limited all five of us kids to choose just one item for lunch with water to drink. The choices were usually a cheeseburger or a piece of pie, but never both. For my siblings, this was always a difficult decision, but not for me. Desserts were then and continue to be, a major love of my life. I always chose pie, chocolate cream pie precisely. I loved its flaky crust, creamy filling and the homemade whipped cream topping. It was always delicious and I never once regretted my decision.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Mommy's Rhubarb Custard Pie

    Eat pie and feel lucky.

    When I think of my mother, I think of her in the kitchen. She loved to cook and bake and deemed it as her hobby. All I know for sure is something magical happened in our tiny, turquoise kitchen and our family’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners were the miraculous proof. My favorites dishes were her chicken and dumplings and lasagna, but mostly I loved her pies, especially her rhubarb custard pie. When my mommy made pies for church potlucks and family reunions she always, always brought home an empty pie tin. My Daddy always told me how lucky I was to have a mother that could bake a perfect pie. I am lucky and so are you.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandma Ferrell's Sweetie-licious Pie

    Grandma Ferrell's Sweetie-licious Pie
    Eat pie and keep traditions.

    While growing up, my dear maternal grandmother lived nearly 500 miles away, so we were unable to spend the Christmas holidays together. However, my grandma always made it special by sending our family a Christmas box filled with presents and delicious homemade foods. My brothers and sister and I eagerly anticipated the call that the box had arrived at the bus station. We all drove down together in the family station wagon to bring it home. On Christmas morning, it was always the last box to be opened, yet certainly the sentimental favorite. The gifts were always unpredictable, fun and silly.  The food was steadfast, revered and delicious, e specially her beloved Sweetie Pie pie. The flaky crust, toasted pecans, chocolate and caramel made for a perfect Christmas day dessert and knowing that my sweet grandmother made it just for us made it absolutely unforgettable.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandma Rosella's Lemon Meringue Pie

    Grandma Rosella's Lemon Meringue Pie
    Eat pie and embrace the unexpected.

    Watch the "Lemon Meringue" VIDEO on Fox 17 Grand Rapids - click here

     

    My father grew up during the depression on a small farm in Michigan. Like most folks during that troubled time, they did not have much money. Fruit that didn’t grow in your own backyard was considered special and hard to come by. When my grandmother made lemon meringue pie, it was for special occasions only, such as Easter or company dinners. One summer Sunday in 1937, Reverend Frye was scheduled to come to dinner at my father’s farm. My grandmother awoke at dawn to make the special lemon pie and placed it in the dining room window to cool while they were off to church. Unfortunately, Zip the beagle found the pie too much to resist and found a way to reach Grandma’s masterpiece. Upon their return, nothing was left of the beautiful pie, but an empty pie pan and a contented dog sleeping with meringue stuck to his nose. Zip was sent to the barn from that day forward and poor Reverend Fry never got to enjoy my Grandma’s pie that summer day so long ago. Fortunately for you, you can.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Linda Ruth's Key Lime Pie

    Eat pie and appreciate good intentions.

    I remember the mixed emotions in the house back in the seventies, when my father announced that he and Mom were attending a convention in Miami, Florida. My mother was especially excited, for Miami was becoming quite the hot-spot for vacationers. Of course, all five of us kids were excluded from this mini vacation: hence, we were extremely disappointed. For just days before I had read in a cookbook about key lime pie and how popular it was in Florida and most importantly, how delicious an authentic one was. I asked my parents to bring me back a slice, so I too, could enjoy a bit of the sunshine state. The week lingered for I couldn’t wait for them to get home, mostly because I was so hoping they would return with my yummy slice of pie. The day they were to return, I received a postcard addressed only to me from my parents. On the front of the postcard was a beautiful picture of a key lime pie and the card read, Wish you were here, we will make one when we get home…Love Mom and Dad. Though they did not come home with pie and as much as I wanted the real thing, I was delighted they remembered me with my own postcard. A few weeks later we made our own key lime pie and I loved it. It is still one of my favorite pies.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Grandma Rosella's Blueberry Pie

    Eat pie, and cherish birthdays.

    To me, my Grandpa was a quiet, melancholy man, unable to find peace from my Grandma’s death years before I was born. However, on one summer evening, many years ago, I saw a different side t o him that I will always treasure. My Grandpa and I were talking on his front porch when the subject turned to my Grandma’s cooking.  Suddenly, his stoic demeanor changed as he smiled and reminisced about her tender pork roast, bread & butter pickles and her delicious blueberry pie. He said that my Grandma always made a blueberry pie for his birthday and his blue eyes sparkled as he recalled the crust and the sweet berry filling. I was stunned that I stumbled on something as simple as pie to make my Grandpa smile. After hearing his testimony, my mother and I made sure Grandpa received a birthday blueberry pie for the rest of his years. My Grandpa’s reverie made me realize at a young age that pie can compose unforgettable memories.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    My Brothers Caramel Cashew Toffee Pie

    Eat pie, resist temptation.

    While growing up, I remember my three older brothers, Mark, Paul and David were constantly eating. When all five of us kids came home from school, it was definitely everyman for himself as we charged into the kitchen. Bread, peanut butter, cereal and any food without a note on it from mom telling us not to eat it, was fair game. With three teenage boys, there often were arguments about who ate the last cookie or who ate all the corn flakes etc. I remember one day, my father was a given a big can of cashews from a parent or teacher, as he was an elementary school principal. He brought it home and we all went crazy with excitement for we were a family that loved nuts, but seldom got cashews because of their expense. My father was particularly fond of nuts and was very excited about the gift as well. It was a given to my twin sister and I that the cashews were clearly off the menu as an after-school snack; after all, they were daddy’s cashews! Yet, the next day my brothers somehow couldn’t resist them. They ate every single cashew, crumb and piece of salt from the large, empty can. Daddy was not at all pleased when he got home from work. He had plans for my mommy to make a nut pie for the family with the precious cashews. My brothers were appropriately punished as kids were in the seventies and they never ate anything that was off limits again. This pie is a takeoff of what my wonderful pie baker mother would have made that day some 35 years ago for the family. My brothers today, of course, have a special fondness for this pie!

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Aunt Margie's Banana Cream Pie

    Eat pie and give love.

    My Aunt Margie was one of those special people that exuded love in everything she did.  All that knew her felt her love and instinctively gave it right back. Life was simply better with Auntie Margie around. When she came to visit our whole family would anxiously await her arrival. We could hardly wait to see her pull up in her blue Buick packed with gifts for us kids. She routinely brought us chewing gum, comic books and her famous banana cream pie. Occasionally, I would be the lucky one that got to bring the pie in from her car, which was quite a responsibility for a little miss. I remember staring at its perfection and being terrified that I would drop it, knowing that my brothers would never forgive me. Gratefully, the glorious pie always made it into the house unscathed. My dear aunt taught my family and all those that knew her that loving people unconditionally is the secret to life.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Aunt Margie's Raspberry & Cream Pie

    Eat pie, and be patient.

    While growing up in Michigan, my twin sister and I would spend a week of the summer at my dear Aunt Margie’s farm. For us, no week was ever more anticipated. One of the highlights of the week was Saturday Baking Day. We started baking, at dawn in my Aunt’s tiny, pink kitchen to avoid the heat of the summer day. My Aunt rolled out the crust. My sister prepared the fresh raspberry layer, and I stirred the creamy custard filling. Each summer, the three of us consistently turned out a beautiful and delicious pie. I remember how I couldn’t wait until Uncle Howard came home for supper so we could eat our masterpiece. Oh, how the day lingered. Lucky for you, you don’t have to wait for Uncle Howard.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Johnny's Coconut Cream Pie

    Johnny's Coconut Cream Pie
    Eat pie and never stop trying.

    One of my most memorable dates with my husband was a picnic in the park. I wanted to display my cooking talents to my new beau, so I planned to make everything myself. I had decided on fried chicken, cole slaw, baked beans and coconut cream pie for the menu. I had helped my mom in the kitchen my whole life so none of this was daunting for me except the illusive piecrust. I spent hours trying to roll out the pie dough, but had failed miserably each and every time. I was ready to quit altogether when my mother walked into the kitchen after a long day at work. She saw my despair and patiently taught me the art of pie baking. Alas, the pie was delicious, the picnic a success and we were engaged a few years later. However, to this day, my husband claims he was ready to ask me to marry him at that picnic because I made such a delicious pie. Oh, the power of pie.

  • Sweetie-licious Stories

    Aunt Ella's Cherry Pie

    Eat pie and live passionately.

    My great Aunt Ella called Northern Michigan her home for nearly ninety years. As an unmarried schoolteacher, she spent her summers as a baker at the local “Grand View of the Lake Inn.” The inn was located on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan and across the road from a cherry orchard; a perfect combination for breathtaking views and fresh, homemade cherry pies. Tourists would line up for hours to take in dinner, a golden sunset and a piece of my aunt’s heavenly pie. My aunt loved her life, inspiring both students in the classroom and pie lovers at the inn, year after year. Unfortunately, time does not stand still, for the inn and my sweet aunt are long gone. Thankfully, Aunt Ella’s cherished pie recipe was passed down to me for us all to enjoy. Aunt Ella’s passionate, yet simple life was rich and full and successful by the true meaning of success – inspiring others.

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