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Cooking Corner


December 10, 2011
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

Many of us with families start to get anxious as we realize it is December and Christmas is just around the corner. There are family get togethers to organize, meals to plan, presents to buy and make and goodies to bake. The house needs a good cleaning and rearranging, but right now that is next to impossible because of Grandpa Santa Virgil. It all started at Thanksgiving when my oven gave out, the stove is old and did need replacing. However, I waited until Cyber Monday to buy it on a good deal. Then Santa said the refrigerator is older than the stove so he picked one out. Then what happened next really turned things into a turmoil. We have a tube water bed and 2 tubes sprung a leak, so it was decided we would order a temperpedic mattress that would go in the waterbed frame, just because we hated to give up our drawer storage under the bed. This led me to asking for new carpet and you can't do that without painting. So I have furniture pushed into the living room and family room and I can't find a thing. However, progress is being made Kevin and Michelle came and painted the bedroom over the week-end and this week grandson Ryan and his dad are going to tear out the old carpet. I have been assured that everything will be done by December 20th. Also Santa said these presents should last me forever.

I'm one that thinks life is just too busy and the next few weeks I'll definitely have holiday stress, but Christmas gatherings with my family is a great source of comfort and happiness. Through the years as the family changed we have had to compromise. Every other year we have the "Big Christmas" where everyone tries to make it home on December 24 or 25th. The next year we get together on Thanksgiving and the kids spend Christmas with their in-laws. This is necessary when your families live in different states and something about families they do grow. This year our daughter and her husband are planning on having Christmas at their home in Pleasant Hills, and I gave in quite easily.

When I started writing this article I noticed it would be in the paper on December 7th-Pearl Harbor Day. If you are old enough, it was a day that you will always remember. I remember I went to the Sunday matinee with a neighbor girl and good friend. When we came out of the theater there were our dads to meet us and walk us home and explain what had happened. It was an important day for families to be together.

Japan attacked U.S. military bases at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, bringing the United States into World War II. A 33-ship Japanese striking force steamed under the cover of darkness. The carriers launched about 360 airplanes against the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The first bombs fell about 7:55 AM. Within hours, four of the eight battleships had gone to the bottom, 14 other ships were sunk or severely damaged, almost 200 planes destroyed and 3,700 causalities were suffered. "Remember Pearl Harbor" became the rallying cry for enraged Americans to go to war.

This is a recipe I had printed a few years ago, but had a request to repeat it.


3 quarts of water

3 cups sugar

1/2 cup red hots

1 quart cranberry juice

1 cup orange juice

1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

Whole cloves

Heat together the water, sugar and red hots in a large pan, until sugar and red hots are fully dissolved. Add remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with whole cloves. Heat and serve. Wonderful!

"Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat.."-Unknown



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