BERLIN HEIGHTS - Lorrie Mitnik is known for baking pies. So it should be no surprise the Berlin Heights cook is featuring her Granny Smith apple pie recipe this week.
In fact, Mitnik is known for decorating the top of her pies. She "draws" the design with a pearing knife, usually a cherry for a cherry pie, etc. It takes one to five minutes to complete the signature top.
"We design whatever we want on the top," said Mitnik, who learned the talent from her mother when she started learning to make pies for 4-H.
"The girls have taken that over. In fact, I don't do it much," she said. "We do it (bake pies) as a family. Normally, they do help."
Mitnik's daughter, Taylor, started doing the signature tops about a year ago. Taylor likes to draw, especially flowers, and doesn't find it difficult to draw cherries, apples and peaches.
The hardest part, the teenager said, is drawing leaves "because you have to get all those ridges in."
"They've watched me quite often," her mother added.
Mitnik's youngest daughter, Jordyn, started doing the signature tops this summer.
"A lot of it I think is what big sister does," said Mitnik, who considers Jordyn a big help in the kitchen.
Mitnik, 42, baked pies for Perkins Pancake House for about two years in the late 1980s.
"I quit once I got pregnant. It was too much," she said.
Her latest job also is food-related. Mitnik has been a cafeteria worker at EHOVE Career Center for the last four years.
Not surprisingly, she is asked to make desserts for potlucks.
The four meals Mitnik fixes the most are: Spaghetti, stuffed pepper soup, barbecue chicken and chicken enchiladas. When she has unexpected company, she said she usually prepares "anything you can throw on the grill."
During the Christmas season, Mitnik and her daughters bake 14 different kind of cookies the family distributes as gifts. There are 75 to 100 cookies per kind.
Mitnik admits to usually doubling the recipe in order to make as many cookies as possible.
"I think it's important for the (children) to realize homemade things are just as important as buying things," she said.