The perfect recipe for a feel-good story.
It’s not every day that the happenings at a local fair make their way to internet fame. But Linda Skeens and her unbeatable baked goods have garnered some well-earned online attention.
Skeens won every single category of baked goods at the Virginia Kentucky District Fair (aka the VaKy Fair). In many, she placed multiple times.
She also placed heavily in canned goods and the non-food related embroidery and wall decor categories.
Out of 29 categories she entered, Skeens won 25. Unbelievable.
Aside from having the best cake, pie, brownies, candy and both sweet and savory bread in town, Skeens quickly became the inspiration for some hilarious memes, including my personal favorite below:
Plus, there was no shortage of tongue-in-cheek Facebook comments, of which there were thousands. Some highlights: Skeens was previously Chuck Norris’ personal chef… she once baked a ladder on the spot to rescue a kitten stuck in a tree … she made a wedding cake for 200 people using only an easy bake oven. What a legend.
Some even joked that she must have been the only one who competed. Rest assured, she wasn’t. Spokesperson Jennifer Sturgill confirmed with TODAY that “she wasn’t the only entrant…she’s just that good.”
However, despite going viral, this culinary queen’s identity remained a mystery—much to the disappointment of her new fans clamoring for a recipe book. That is, until Dallas’ HOT 93.3 radio host Mason Moussette sent the search to her followers on TikTok.
@masononthemic Linda Skeens where are you!? Internet, we gotta find #lindaskeens♬ original sound - Mason
Moussette’s faith in the internet was justified, because not long after her post, the real Linda Skeens was found. In her interview, Skeens told Moussette that this wasn’t her first win—only last year, she got 40 blue ribbons. No big deal.
Skeens also revealed that after being diagnosed with leukemia in December, cooking for her friends and family helped her while undergoing treatment. Of course, she isn’t the only one to find solace in the kitchen.
Cooking and baking can be very therapeutic during difficult times. In her 2014 article for The Wall Street Journal, Jeanne Whalen explained that psychologists define these types of activities as “behavioral activation,” where we can shift our focus on personal stressors and instead engage in something we find personally rewarding, improving our well-being in the process.
If cooking isn’t your thing, don’t fret. All kinds of creative activities can be soothing in similar ways. What matters is finding what feels best. It sounds like Skeens was able to do that through cooking. Or maybe she just likes to win those blue ribbons, who knows. Either way, she found her thing, and feels “blessed.” That in itself is worth celebrating.
Linda, we hope to find you with a whole new slew of award-winning concoctions at next year’s fair. Thanks for giving us all a wholesome story worth savoring.