COOKING LAUREL COUNTY STYLE: Eatin' gud in the neighborhood

Shelby Sizemore

Happy Day After Thanksgiving! Slipped right up on us, didn't it? This has been a fearful week for me...a lot of sadness and anxiety. Orland Webb, my first cousin, left us shortly after his 99th birthday celebration and there aren't many of us remaining; then we were waiting for a surgery date for my son, and I had doctor appointments....I barely know my name!

Well, anyhow, I trust your Thanksgiving was wonderful...enjoying family time, thankful for your blessings, and - sitting down to that "deelicious" meal. I just know your turkey was tender and flavorful....don't yet know if mine will be, since I'm writing this before the day.

I've told you about Pauline and Shirley. Now I'll tell you about Audrey Reed. She trained me to work on her mail route as a sub, and I don't remember her looking at me and saying, "Can't you get anything through your head?" Because she never did! Talk about patience, she had a bunch of it.

After our first day I practically crawled through my front door and collapsed on my couch; don't think I even ate that night because laying my tired body down was even more important than feeding it! Each day got a little bit better, thanks to Audrey, and I soon came to love the early mornings and hard work. I was flat broke when I started and she even loaned me stamps to sell until I finally got halfway on my feet. We were friends from that first day and she has meant more to me every day since. One in a million, that lady!

Got to get her Pumpkin Dessert to you, and now's the time. I wasn't a big pumpkin fan till she gave me a dish of this, and it is now an all time favorite.

AUDREY'S Pumpkin Dessert

1-3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

1 (8-oz) pkg. cream cheese

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

1 env. unflavored gelatin, dissolved in 1 cup water

2 c. (a 15-oz can)canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

3 egg whites & 1/4 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened

Combine crumbs, the 1/3 cup sugar and butter and pat into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. (don't bake). Combine the cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar together; beat in eggs, half at a time. When well blended, pour over crust and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Combine the pumpkin, egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, salt and cinnamon in top of a double boiler and cook over simmering water - stirring often - until mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir the gelatin-water mixture into the thickened pumpkin mixture and cool. Beat the 3 egg whites with the 1/4 cup sugar and fold into the cooled pumpkin. Pour over the cooled cheesecake and cover with the whipped cream...or put cream on top as you serve it.

I know...it is VERY time-consuming, but I promise it is worth it; and I promise I have given the ingredients correctly. You must have this for Christmas! Actually, it goes faster than you would think...and it's Christmas, people!!

I loved Tara Kaprowy's column last week...I've done the things she describes so many times, eventually finding the item in the one place I didn't look! My column is getting bigger every week, so I'd better skip the joke! Erin, our Editor, Please... just let me get through Christmas and I'll do better! Bye, y'all!

Shelby Sizemore has written cooking columns for The Sentinel-Echo previously in 1999 to 2001 and in The Times-Tribune from 2008 to 2011. With many years of experience cooking, Sizemore loves to share her knowledge in the kitchen and her recipes. You can contact her at shelbys274@gmail.com.

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