Feeding my curiosities everywhere I go.

Doughnuts and Dirt: Our Sweet Family is Rooted in Rural Pennsylvania

A pretty awesome pano of Pap and Gram's house and garden in Royer.

A pretty awesome pano of Pap and Gram’s house and garden in Royer.

For as long as I have known, my parents and I would make biannual trips to Royer County, Pennsylvania. Located in a very rural part of Central Pennsylvania and with the closest known city to be Altoona, we would make regular trips to visit with members of my mother’s side of the family; Pap Eddie and Grammy Lois McCall. Technically, they are Mom’s great aunt and uncle, but with the passing of Mom’s mother when she was eight, it was only fitting that Mom was looked after by the McCalls. They are truly wonderful people with whom are full of love for their family and the place they call home. Both Pap and Gram have lived in Royer County all their lives, having been raised only a few miles from their home that they now share.

Ms. Phyllis and Grammy Lois swapping stories and recipes

Ms. Phyllis and Grammy Lois swapping stories and recipes

Pap manning the grill

Pap manning the grill

Life is simpler, slower, and more attuned with the countryside; embracing the rolling hills and the winding roads up and over the mountains, hearing the babbling brooks flowing with frigid fresh water, feeling the smooth silk from the maturing sweet corn, tasting the roadside wild blackberries; all amongst the aroma of freshly baled hay.


At Gram’s house, all three meals are prepared from scratch with use of the local butcher and the produce from the garden down the hill. Homemade pies, cakes, and cookies are never is short supply and after supper, “half caf” coffee is made and time spent of the porch swing is in order. It may seem like a dream amidst the constant hashtaging, selfie-taking, nonstop chatter chaos nonsense, but truth, this place does exist.

Homemade Lemon Lush, a dessert with a flour and butter crust, cream cheese, and lemon jello.

Homemade Lemon Lush, a dessert with a flour and butter crust, cream cheese, and lemon jello.

About six miles up the road is the quaint downtown square of Martinsburg, where both the one stop light and all four locally-owned pizza parlors are located. On the outskirts of town lie the hundreds of acres of farmland dotted with turn of the century farmhouses with matching barns and framed with the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains. The two lane stretch of road only sees traffic congestion on Sundays, when the horse and buggies and cluster of bicycles are traveling to a local church a few miles away.

horse and buggie

For the longest time, I dreaded this place; there was no action, no hustle and bustle of city life, and more importantly, no internet access! As any kid feels on a seven hour road trip to Grandma’s, away from friends and the normal routine of Saturday morning cartoons and my favorite sugary cereal, this place was not ideal…until now. Now that I have acquired to my current age and current level of sanity, this place isn’t all that bad. Realizing now that as an adult with a steady work schedule and adult chores to do, a weekend trip to Grandma’s is a nice getaway from the controlled chaos that is now my life.



There is one additional incentive that I failed to mention before… Maimie’s Café. It is hard to find the words on how unbelievable this place is. If doughnuts (yes, spelled the old-fashioned “dough” nut way) had a heaven or if there was a doughnut shop in heaven, this place would be right next to the pearly gates. THAT is HOW GOOD these sweet pillows of doughnut heaven taste.


Stacks on Stacks of Doughnuts (Chocolate Crème Filled, Classic Glazed Yeast, and Country Apple Dumplings)


Samples Say What! Nom Nom Nom





Mini Cherry Pies

Not only is Maimie’s Café into doughnuts, but they have a slue of other homemade baked goods; country-style apple dumplings, gigantic cinnamon rolls, sticky sweet rolls, mini cherry pies, Reuben Sandwiches (best in the state), brick oven pizza (PA sure loves their -za), and kitchen sink salads served with French fries. Oh, and they serve a mean breakfast.

Toffee Nut Crunch (Fabulous Dunked in a Cup of Coffee)

Toffee Nut Crunch (Fabulous Dunked in a Cup of Coffee)

Maple Bacon Doughnut with maple crème and maple frosting!!

Maple Bacon Doughnut with maple crème and maple frosting!!

It is amazing how this production is able to make such a variety in menu, including the impeccable pastries, while maintaining superior quality and consistency in their product. As a local hot spot, especially on Saturdays for lunch, Maimie’s Café has no other place to go but up! I hear that they are looking into expanding their patio to increase the dining area to keep up with the demand, all according Gram 😉 .

I hope to continue to contribute to this page, not only with more devilishly delectable doughnuts (of course) but with fond family memories. I figure that a place so special to me should be shared with the world.

Pre-Doughnut Bliss!

Doughnut Bliss!





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