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Cooking Corner

November 6, 2009
Bernice Volkens

With Halloween behind us and Christmas ahead of us it's nice to welcome November. I always think of November as my thankful time of the year.Thankful because I heard the weather man say that some beautiful fall weather is coming this week.After this last month of nasty October weather I would say it's about time we have some good fall days, at least, to help cheer up the farmers.I also heard though that this could be a year when we won't be having an Indian Summer.The weather for the whole year has been a bummer and because we have already had some snow I've heard that we will be having it again soon.However, I'm not even going to think about snow and slippery roads and just enjoy some warmer days and sunshine.

Because the harvest is so late there won't be much time to relax and regroup my energy for the push the holidays always seem to bring. Before we know it I'll be closing down another year.I really don't do much thorough cleaning in the fall but I did find time to clean some neglected closets. Then I spent several hours one day sorting some things in my store room under the eaves. This I had to do bending over and now I have it in the back, which will slow me down.However I did find some books the grandkids will enjoy. Also a box of curtains I finally decided to put in the Goodwill box.It didn't seem I had accomplished much and at the end of the day the house seemed messier than it was before I decided to "dig out."

As I get older I find everything takes longer so already I have a list of what I want to get done before our family comes for Christmas.Our family usually is here for a few days because two of them and their families live out of state and they spend the night or a week-end. I have suggested a motel but it seems they work out the sleeping arrangements some how? It is like one big slumber party but the rule is Mom and Dad keeps their bedroom and if the door is closed means, "Do not disturb." Grandpa usually sleeps quite well because he just takes out his hearing aid and he doesn't hear the noise, but it is a good noise. I know I won't get everything done on my list but somehow it doesn't make much difference, the celebration seems to go on.

This last week I went to a Christmas party. I know this seems a little early but the last few years some in our secret pal group goes to warmer climates so we always have the party in November. At first some of us thought we wouldn't like a Christmas party so early but it works out better than a cold snowy day in December and we all can be there. Janice Larsen was the party giver this year and she decorated with a Christmas tree and the whole bit-it was wonderful. Now in the next few weeks, before she and Dale, go to Arizona she'll probably pack everything away. Why I'm telling you this is that I want to share with you the wonderful dessert she had. Janice had made a similar dessert before using chocolate cookies but this one is perfect for this month. Who says pumpkin has to be in a pie. If you don't have a trifle bowl use a small punch bowl or a glass bowl with tall sides.


1 3.4 oz. package

instant vanilla pudding

1 3/4 cups milk

1 15 oz. pumpkin puree

1 cup firmly packed

brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

4 cups crushed ginger

snap cookies

1 small tub of Cool Whip

Whisk together instant pudding and milk in a large bowl until thickened. Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Place 2 cups of the crushed gingersnaps in the bottom of a tall glass bowl. Spread half the pumpkin mixture and a layer of cool whip over the crushed cookies. Top with another 1 1/2 cups of the crushed cookies and the remaining pumpkin mixture.Spoon the whipped topping over the pumpkin mixture.Garnish with the remaining crushed ginger snaps.You can dress it up more by placing half gingersnaps around the outside of the bowl. It is so pretty you could use it as a centerpiece.

"Make November a month of thankfulness."



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