Every year when it's time to get ready for a holiday, I pull out a gigantic photo album with a quilted Christmas cover that is one of my prized possessions. My friend, Marge McCutcheon had this made for me when Dana and I were first married. My family can tell you that if "Marcia's Holiday Scrapbook" is out of the cabinet and lying on my desk, it's time to cook for a holiday! Over the years, through Easters, Thanksgivings and all other holidays, I've added recipes with notes attached. There are paper ornaments with the boys' pictures glued-on that were made in elementary school; notes written next to recipes, to remind me of the significance of the recipe and the occasion when I first made it, and if it is some one's favorite, that is also noted. In the margins between the "sacred" recipes are photos, handmade cards from the boys at different ages (some when their writing was barely legible!) and favorite comic strips (when something about a holiday struck me as very funny!). Like me, this treasure is showing its age a little, but it is the accumulation of years and the mementos from each holiday that make it special. I will be sharing recipes and memories from my own Holiday Scrapbook every weekday through the "holiday craziness". So grab a cup of tea and take a look at one of my "special recipes" with me as we enjoy a quiet moment in the midst of the Christmas whirlwind of activity.
If you have leftover pumpkin, here's a different variety of fudge for your Christmas cookie trays. I first had pumpkin fudge at the Milton Pumpkin Festival in WV. My friend, Christy and I pushed our child-filled stroller (Ben was a toddler) to a booth that boasted "Pumpkin Fudge". It was the middle of the day and we figured the sugar would give us an energy boost to keep strolling and shopping (craft stands...lots of craft stands!) It was so good that we bought some to take home. Try this fudge out and let me know how you like it in my comments.
Pumpkin Pie Fudge
2 1/2 C sugar
2/3 C evaporated milk
3/4 C cooked pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
1 jar (7.5 oz.) marshmallow creme
2 TBSP butter
1 C white chocolate baking chips
1 tsp vanilla
Prepare pan by lining a 9" square baking pan with foil. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, mix together the milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Mix in pumpkin and spice. When it returns to a boil, stir in marshmallow creme and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook, stirring occasionally for 18 minutes; then remove from heat. Stir in white chocolate and vanilla. Stir until creamy and all chips are melted. Pour into foil-lined pan. Cool to room temperature and firm. Invert pan onto cutting board; remove the foil. Cut into small squares and store in airtight container in cool, dry place.
I will be joining Blessed with Grace, Gypsy's Corner, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, and All the Small Stuff for their swaps today.
(Book I'm reading now: Giant by Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Ferber)