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November 29, 2012

From Thanksgiving to Christmas ...

Cooperstown Crier

---- — Not long before Thanksgiving we got a call from a woman who wondered if we might have our late mother-in-law’s recipe for pumpkin bread. Evidently our caller had gotten the recipe years ago and had, unfortunately, lost it somehow this past year. We must admit that we were somewhat taken aback by the question as we did not know our mother-law-was known for her pumpkin bread. We were well aware of her fruitcake and, of course, her molasses cookies. But we told our caller we would give it a shot.

We then went through all of our mother-in-law’s recipes but did not find one for pumpkin bread. We did come across one for prune bread, if anyone is interested, as well as a gingerbread recipe that was attributed to Father Cole who was once rector of Christ Church and the recipient of the wooden Paschal candle box which we still seem to be storing our garage. But we did not find a pumpkin bread recipe. At the Thanksgiving celebration we attended we did get a pumpkin bread recipe from another member of the family. However, when we checked with our caller, she was positive it was not the recipe for which she was looking.

Thus, our search for this recipe in now up to readers of this column. If anyone has a pumpkin bread recipe that came from Enid Ellsworth we would appreciate it being shared. Our caller, who assured us it was the best pumpkin bread ever, told us it had walnuts in it and made three to four small loaves of bread. She also thought it took something like three cups of flour and two cups of sugar. If anyone has a clue about this recipe, please let us know.

Of course while in the midst of our pumpkin bread recipe search, we also found ourselves in the throes of making a cheesecake for Thanksgiving.

Normally we make cheesecakes for Christmas, but we decided one would be nice at Thanksgiving this year as we had been invited to partake at a family gathering at the home of Alice and Harvey Eckler of Fly Creek. And since a traditional Thanksgiving feast was not being planned, we thought a cheesecake would go well with the planned roast pork dinner.

Unfortunately, it turns out that that was perhaps not our best idea ever as the making of the cheesecake did not go exactly as we had planned. While we were opening up the pre-made graham cracker crust, we dropped it which resulted in our cracking said crust into numerous pieces about a third of which fell into the kitchen sink. It was not pretty.

And so, we panicked. The filling was dutifully being beat in the mixer and we couldn’t locate anyone who could make a mad trip to the store for us. So we decided to call Alice and tell her our tale of woe about our seeming destruction of the cheesecake. However, as we talked about it, we decided perhaps we could crumble the remaining crust in the bottom of the pie pan and then add the filling and bake it as usual. So that is what we did and, we are happy to report, it worked. However, in the future we think we might restrict our cheesecake making to Christmas.

And speaking of Christmas, it has come to our attention that the Cooperstown Presbyterian Church will once again this year be holding their Christmas Alternative Markets on Sunday, Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 from noon to 1 p.m. Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, Church World Service, Living Waters for the World and Fair Trade Coffee, Tea and Chocolate will be available in the chapel located on Pioneer Street. Handcrafting Justice as well as baby quilts, wall hangings, placemats and other hand made goodies made by the Monday Sewing Ladies of the church will be located in the Congregational Lounge which is down the driveway and behind the Church House which is located on Church Street. Don’t miss this opportunity to purchase some of these special gifts for those on your Christmas list.

We would also like to thank all those many people who, under the guidance of the Cooperstown Community Christmas Committee, have once again volunteered their time and talent to make our fair village a Christmas Wonderland. And once again, we are delighted that Santa and Mrs. Claus have arrived in anticipation of greeting all our area children who will no doubt have some very special requests for Santa.

And we most certainly hope that, as the youngsters are whispering in Santa’s ear, the adults check out our many interesting and special shops that line the Main Street Business District. We suspect, given the diversity of shops, that there must be something for everyone in them. It will just be a question of deciding who should get what.

Finally, we would like to think that as we head full steam into upcoming the holidays, that we can all take a few minutes to reflect on not only how fortunate we are to live in this area, but to also consider how we might make the holidays season happier for those who are unfortunately struggling for one reason or another. It is the time of year when we must all come together to give of ourselves. After all, there is no better gift that we can receive than the one we get when we give to others.

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