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Cooking Corner

December 18, 2009
Bernice Volkens

Because I am the typical housewife, the mother of five children and the grandmother of eleven, Christmas means so many beautiful things. It means hurrying to get the house ready for the troops. I have boxes and boxes of decorations and I decided this year I wouldn't buy anything new. Every other year we put up the big tree, but I always put out my manger scene and arrange my collection of Santa Clauses, but this year I let the Reinbeck library display all the ceramic Santa's I had made.

I also have been busy wrapping gifts and this week I hope to get some baking done. But most of all it means unwrapping the Christmas feelings that we all hold in our hearts, the feelings that we promise to use more freely during the year, but somehow get boxed up with the Christmas decorations and stored away. There is always a lot of hustle and bustle at this time of the year. However, according to one of my favorite holiday songs, "it's the most wonderful time of the year." Many of us hope for the happiest of holidays as this occasion nears. But sometimes, as we work to make it so, it all too easily becomes entangled in the jumble of preparations. We tend to lose track of the true significance of the season. It is important to me to make Christmas a special time of year for all those I care about.

With so much materialism and commercialism going on around Christmas, it is important to look back at some of the simpler traditions that build Christmas Memories. Special times shared with the whole family can create lasting memories of the season. An expensive gift doesn't bring happiness and true family meaning. There are many of us who find our holidays too full and I have found that you can still have traditions, just make it simpler.Before the holiday rush takes hold of your life, sit back and think about your families needs.All of us want wonderful memories that last a lifetime.

There are always wonderful and new recipes that make the rounds this time of the year.This recipe was new about fifteen years ago, but I just make it about every year. I hope you like it as well as my family does. I make one batch without the peanuts because we have a grandson who has a peanut allergy and it seems to work just fine.


2 cups brown sugar

1 cup margarine

1/2 cup white corn syrup

1 box Corn Chex cereal

1 jar dry roasted peanuts

Boil first 3 ingredients for 1 minute. Pour cereal in brown paper sack and pour cooked mixture over all and stir to coat cereal. Fold sack to close and put in microwave for 1 minute on high. Add peanuts. Turn sack over and do 1 minute more. Pour onto a cookie sheet or cake pan and break up mixture as it cools.

"Don't forget NOT to be naughty, but nice."



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