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Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is better than the typical pumpkin pie.  I got mixed reviews about it.  Some really liked it and some didn’t.  It still tastes like pumpkin so if someone doesn’t like pumpkin they still won’t like this.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup melted butter

Filling

4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

or in place of the above use 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


Mix together crust ingredients.  You can always use graham cracker crumbs in place of ginger snaps if desired.   Press into bottom of pan.  Can use springform or 11 x 7 pan (this is what I use).  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cream together the cream cheese and the sugars.  Add in pumpkin and spices.  Play around with the amount of spices, some like lots of spice and some like light spice.  You can taste it at this point since it is before you add the eggs.  Spices tend to be just slightly stronger after the baking.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Don’t beat on high because you don’t want lots of air.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees if browning too quickly on top.  Cook until center is set.  Let cool in turned off and vented oven to decrease chances of cracking.  Refrigerate.

I cook mine in a larger pan half full of water, or you can place a pan of water on the rack under the cheesecake.

Top with whip topping to serve, if desired.



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If Only …

If Only —-


If only dinner cooked itself,

And groceries grew upon the shelf;

If children did as they were told,

And never had a cough or cold;

And washed their hands, and wiped their boots,

And never tore their Sunday suits,

But always tidied up the floor,

Nor once forgot to shut the door.



Ahem! If wishes all came true,

I don’t know what I’d find to do,

Because if no one made a mess

There’d be no need of cleanliness.

And things might work so blissfully,

In time–who knows?–they’d not need me!

And this being so, I fancy whether

I’ll go on keeping things together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Verse-Book of a Homely Woman

by Fay Inchfawn


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The Long View

The Long View

Some day of days! Some dawning
yet to be
I shall be clothed with immortality!

And, in that day, I shall not greatly care
That Jane spilt candle grease upon the
stair.

It will not grieve me then, as once it did,
That careless hands have chipped my
teapot lid.

I groan, being burdened. But, in that
glad day,
I shall forget vexations of the way.

That needs were often great, when means
were small,
Will not perplex me any more at all
A few short years at most (it may be less),
I shall have done with earthly storm and
stress.

So, for this day, I lay me at Thy feet.
O, keep me sweet, my Master! Keep
me sweet!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Verse-Book of a Homely Woman by Fay Inchfawn

(1880)

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Muscadine & Scuppernong Jelly

We had the opportunity of picking Muscadines and a few Scuppernongs this past weekend.  Picking grapes was a new experience for us and it was a very interesting field trip.  I think the kids will have a much better understanding of the verses in the Bible that refer to the vine, vineyard and fruit.  Anyway since we had the grapes we made jelly.  It was simple and worked out very well.

Muscadine Jelly

  • approximately 1 gallon of Muscadine Grapes
  • ½ teaspoon of butter
  • 7 cups of sugar or less if using light or sugar free Sure Jell
  • 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin
  • Some recipes call for cutting the grapes in half. But we didn’t, most just burst on their own.  If I found a grape that didn’t rupture I just stabbed it.  We just brought the grapes, in a small amount of water, to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes mashing the berries periodically as they cook.

    Pour mixture into small gauged wire strainer or into a cheesecloth or jelly bag over a large bowl.  Pressed gently. The harder you press the less clear the final product.  The key is to not break down the seeds because that can cause bitterness.

    Measure 5 cups of the juice into an 8-quart saucepan, if you have slightly less juice you can add a small amount of water or apple juice to get to 5 cups, muscadines have a strong flavor. Add ½ teaspoon of butter to reduce foaming and 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin. Stir in up to 7 cups of sugar (I used 4 cups and light Sure Jell in some)  while bring to boil and allow to boil 1 minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle quickly into clean hot jelly jars to within 1/8 inch of the top and cover with lids.  Process in Water bath for 10 minutes.

    Scuppernongs can be done the same way or you can mix the grapes.  I like the Scuppernong Jelly the best!

    Muscadines make a deep dark purple jelly and Scuppernongs make a lighter jelly, similar to apple in color.  Mixed can be any color in between.

    When I finished draining the juice from the skins and seeds in the first batches, I boiled the original three gallons (from three whole batches of jelly) of grape skins, pulp and seeds in a small amount of water again. This made enough juice to make a whole ‘nother batch of jelly. (Waste Not, Want Not – Benjamin Franklin, not the Bible. :))


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Never a Lack

While we do have a budget for many household items and specifically for groceries, it isn’t always possible to stay within that budget.  (Doesn’t mean I don’t try though.)  Often there seems to always be some unplanned for grocery need such as meals to take to others, extra church fellowships, or even just extra food to prepare for guests.  While I used to do lots of Once-A-Month cooking, that has drifted to the wayside over the past few years, need to start back.  But never once have we had to do without.  Not only that, no matter how many extra meals or mouths, we’ve always had enough.  We can’t out give the Lord.

Reminds me of the widow of Zarephath:

1 Kings 17:8-16 (ESV)

8 Then the word of the Lord came to him,
9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.”
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.”
11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
12 And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son.
14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ ”
15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days.
16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

While it is not wise to be presumptuous and test the Lord by ignoring following a budget and spending away everything continually, that also means that we don’t have to have in-hand plenty before we give it away.  The Lord with cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) can surely spare some ground beef in order to feed a brother and sister in Christ.  Sometimes even He provides a steak. 🙂

Organizing Mommy has noticed the same thing in God’s Provision:

… In the same way, a mom, a wife who chooses to go without a paying career because she wants to homeschool, a homemaker who wants to feed the entire world that steps through her home, or really anyone who ministers to anyone in anyway does so in faith. The amount of risk and responsibility a person takes on, increases the amount of provision they need. In a sense, it makes their needs larger. Their need for God’s provision is greatly increased. Whether it is for food, for energy, for wisdom, for a better way to order life, or just plain encouragement, the need is big. The servants of God who have a serving lifestyle have a big list of things they need from God.

In contrast, small-need people are people who can’t allow themselves any amount risk so there will be no real need for God’s provision. Every need that is known has to have a known provision, well ahead of time.

They would probably call it careful planning. I’ll call them small-handed people. They still have hands, no doubt. But God can only place in their hands a small amount because there really is no room in their hands for anything more. …

So according to Organizing Mommy’s analogy are you small handed or large handed?

Do you trust the Lord to provide? Or do you live in fear of lack?

Do you cling tightly to what little you have?  Or do you share the abundance of your heavenly Father?

Every time I’ve heard anyone speaking about a mission trip they have always shared how even those with nothing themselves are so eager to share their little.  What about you?



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Haystacks

I had never made these before but my husband requested them so I gave them a try. No complaints from anyone here. We’ll see how well they work for a bake sale today and tomorrow.  😮

Haystacks

  • 1 11 oz bag of butterscotch chips

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup peanuts

  • 1 12 oz bag of Chinese Chow Mein Noodles


Melt butterscotch and peanut butter over a double boiler.  Stir in peanuts and noodles.  Place spoonfuls on wax paper and allow to cool to room temperature.

You could use chocolate chips in place of the butterscotch if desired.

These supposedly freeze very well in order to make ahead for holidays.


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More Potluck Helps

Kim at Life In a Shoe has the following to share about potlucks.

Potluck protocol and recipes

… We love potlucks and have hosted them nearly weekly for years.  Our church also has a potluck meal after the worship service every week.  We love the additional fellowship and I believe our church body is exceptionally close because of this tradition….

The Common Room has more to share about potlucks.

Welcome to Potluck Saturday

… My mother taught me that you should also bring a main dish, a side dish, and a dessert to a potluck, and it should be enough to feed as many people as are in your family plus around four others. …

Previously I had shared some helpful tips to make potlucks easier:

Potluck Meals Made Easier

Our church has potluck meals each Sunday AM.  We also had been in a previous church that had Providence Meals each Sunday. 🙂  So I’m beginning to get some experience with them.

When I was little my grandmother would fix a complete meal for a Dinner on the Grounds, different term same meal.  She would prepare everything.  Meat, sides, dessert, salads, drinks, etc.  Right down to sliced tomatoes, pickles, hot pepper sauce, chow-chow ….  How we got everything to church is a wonder.  She always had a large box that she would pack with her food.  I have a couple of coke bottle carriers that work well for transporting casserole dishes, hot crock-pots, etc.  By the time my family of seven is loaded in the car with all the food, bibles, computers, camera equipment, and violins we are jamb packed.

Here in the south we do use the term pot luck in two ways.

1) Covered dish meal

2) You get whatever is in the pot when visiting.  Although we may have to throw in a few more vegetables. 🙂



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Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

We were able to get two 25 pound boxes of peaches through the efforts of a friend.  These were very cheap due to being seconds so I expected there to be several that would have to be thrown out.  But no, these are very good quality and very big peaches.  Big peaches are so much easier to prepare.  My mother has some peach trees but they are the old-fashioned kind which turns out they have very little fruit by the time you peel and pit them.  So we spent all day yesterday preparing peaches.

Canned Peaches

Peel and pit peaches.

Slice peaches and fill sterilized jars with the fruit.

Prepare a sugar syrup using a ratio of sugar to water depending on how sweet you want the peaches.

I used a 1:4 ratio, 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water, light syrup.

Boil sugar water until sugar is dissolved.

Add 1 tbsp lemon juice to each jar or use fruit fresh per instructions.

Pour sugar water over peaches in jar to within 1/2 inch of top.

Cap with a lid and a ring.

Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Remove and cool.


Frozen Peaches

Peel and pit peaches.

Slice peaches into Ziploc bags or plastic containers.

Add 1 tbsp Lemon juice. Stir around to cover the fruit well.

Can add a sugar syrup but I left mine plain.

Seal bag or container.

Freeze.


Jam

Peel and pit peaches.

Dice small or process in food processor until you have 4 cups fruit.

Mix fruit, 2 tbsp Lemon juice and Sure-Jell in large pan.

Bring to Boil.  Add 5 1/2 cups sugar.

Return to full boil for 1 minute.

Fill sterilized jars, wipe rims and cap.

Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Remove and cool.

Be sure to follow the instructions for the fruit pectin you are using.  Sure-Jell and Ball Jelly are slightly different.

This jam has a lot of sugar but there are light and sugar free Sure-Jells.

The light or sugar free are good but they use lots more fruit for the amount they produce.


Peach Butter

Peel and pit peaches.

Add 1 Tbsp lemon per four cups of peaches.

Cook peaches in just enough water to cook until soft.

Process in food processor or mash with potato masher.

(I like the potato masher unless my food processor is already peachy.  I dislike dirty dishes if I can help it.)

Add 1/2 cup sugar to 1 cup mashed peaches.  Add sugar to taste, sugar isn’t as important here as in the Jam.

Cook on a very low simmer until thick.  Stirring occasionally or convince a little to sit and stir. 🙂

Fill sterile jars, seal.

Process in water bath for 10 minutes.

Cool.


Peach Juice or Syrup

Scrub all the peaches before ever cutting them.

Peel and pit into a large sauce pot.

Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice.

Separate out bad spots into a different container keeping just the good peel and pits in the pot.

Add water to the pot, enough to boil well.  I use about 1/2 the amount of the peels.

Boil at a slow boil forever, actually just a few hours.

Juice should cook down and turn a dark peachy color.

Cook until the juice is peachy and starting to slightly thicken.  Thicker if making syrup or thinner for juice.

Strain through a strainer, I don’t worry about a little pulp.

Pour into sterile jars.

Here is where you experiment.

Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sugar to 1 quart for peach juice, to taste.

Add 1 cup or more sugar to a quart for peach syrup.

Cap and shake well.

Process in water bath for 10 – 15 minutes.

Cool.

The syrup is good heated up and used over pancakes, waffles or Ice Cream.


Peach Jelly

I don’t typically make jelly because we like Jams better; however, you can use the unsweetened peach juice from boiling the Peach pits and skins to make jelly by following the instructions on a box of Sure-Jell.


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Grape Ice-cream

Grape Ice-Cream

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

2 cans evaporated milk

2 cans grape cola (Grape Nehi, Grapico, etc.)

Mix in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well to remove carbonation.

Pour into Freezer.  Add whole milk to fill line (shouldn’t be much if any).

Makes 4 quarts.

Freeze according to freezer directions.


3 cans each will make a 5 quart Ice-cream maker.

Of course you can also use Orange or Strawberry colas.

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Pecan Pie Bars

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Cut in 1 cup of margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared pan, and press in firmly.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.
  4. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, corn syrup, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons margarine, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans. Spread the filling evenly over the crust as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until set. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into bars.



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