My trip back home from Devine last week Wednesday was uneventful, with almost no traffic in either lane, and I was able to drive in cruise for a lot of those miles, and that is something that does not happen very often. A friend of mine had invited me over for a little Halloween get-together at her home that night. When we lived on Colonial Parkway, there were always lots and lots of “trick or treaters” however, it was nothing like what we did at her home. She had lots of candy, five or six dozen pencils, three or four dozen glow bracelets, and we ran out of everything but the candy, as she brought more out from the house. We gave out stuff, continuously from 6:30 until dark when we finally went inside! Then while we were enjoying our ‘treats’ inside, a thunder storm blew up and we had lots of noise to accompany our meal, and in fact, when we left at almost 9:00, we were escorted to our cars by a friend of hers using an umbrella as it was still raining. When I got home, my rain gauge showed that 2½-inches of rain had fallen in about as many hours!
While I was in Castroville, I got to meet the two ladies who have a new boutique type of store that is in walking distance of my grandson’s home. They handle lots of jewelry and quite a few choices in clothing and are a couple of truly sweet and friendly ladies, who are ready to help you in your selections.
It is always so enjoyable to be able to come back to Devine to see the changes, see my old friends and play bunco with a great group of ladies, and I even won for a change. While I am sitting here working on this column, I have a chocolate cake in the oven to take with me to a meeting this evening. Luckily, there was a box of cake mix in the fridge, because when I cut into the one from the cabinet, it had the “webby” beginnings of insects in it and was un-useable. Now, I guess, that cabinet needs to be emptied and the shelf cleaned thoroughly. Hopefully they aren’t in anything else.
Sunday, November 11, is Veteran’s Day. This is the day we honor the veterans of all the wars. It is a day not only honoring those who lost their lives, but also honoring the living veterans. When I went online to find out information about Veteran’s Day, there were over 52,000,000 sites to choose from. I chose the first two. The first is from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs (History of Veterans Day – Public and Intergovernmental Affairs), and the second is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Veteran’s Day had its beginnings at the end of World War I. This was known as the war to end all wars. It officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, which is exactly 100 years ago, when the German officials signed the Armistice, which was a temporary suspension of hostilities by the agreement of Germany and the Allies. In actual fact, the war officially ended on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. It has been known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world.
According to Wikipedia the commemoration of Armistice Day was recognized in the United States by a proclamation from President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, with the words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
An Act approved May 13, 1938, made November 11th of each year a legal holiday. This was a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be celebrated and known as “Armistice Day”. It was primarily set aside to honor veterans of World War I, however, in 1954, after World War II, and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans”. Then President Eisenhower signed this on June 1, 1954.
Veteran’s Day almost fell prey to a change of date, being moved to the fourth Monday of October by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968. This is the law that moved Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day and Columbus Day. Due to protests by veterans groups, it was moved back to November 11th in 1978. It is a federal and state holiday in most states. Please, say a prayer not only for the deceased members of the military who live in our memories, but also for all the active members of the military serving today. And, last but not least, if you have a flag, fly it proudly!
It’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving! As you know, we only have two more weeks before it is upon us. Since dessert is always an important part of any Thanksgiving celebration, we are going to start early with recipes for desserts! Two of them are made with pumpkin, the third isn’t. It is from my oldest granddaughter and the recipe for Pumpkin Bars is from a lady who moved to Devine from Michigan and the bars were sold at their bakery in Michigan. She and I had them with coffee quite a few mornings and she very kindly shared her recipe with me, as I have shared with my readers since then. They go together quickly and have a wonderful flavor!
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin (1 can, 10-oz size)
Mix above together and set aside.
In separate bowl, combine the following:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon EACH cloves, nutmeg and ginger
Sift together and add to first mixture, mixing well. Pour into 9×12 pan and bake at 350ºF until done. Frost with either homemade or purchased cream cheese frosting when cool, if desired.
The following pumpkin roll is an awesome dessert. My daughter had a friend who made them and she would order us one for Thanksgiving, as some of our family didn’t care for pumpkin pie. The man who made them not only frosted them, he sprinkled the frosting with pecans, and not only was it a beautiful dessert, it was delicious also.
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
6-ounces cream cheese at room temperature (2 packages 3-oz each, or cut 6-oz from an 8-oz block)
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons butter softened.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Blend cake ingredients together until creamy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Grease and flour an 11” X 15” X 1” jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides). Pour batter into pan and top with the walnuts, if used. Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes. While still warm, place a kitchen towel* (not terry towel) over pan and invert. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and roll up starting at a narrow side. Allow to cool completely and then unroll and fill with the following filling: beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth, gradually ad the powdered sugar and vanilla and spread on the cooled cake. Roll back up and place in the freezer until firm. Remove from freezer and cut into slices. Store in refrigerator. *If you don’t have any kitchen towels that are not terry type, use a 20-inch to 24-inch square from an old sheet.
Cream together: 1/2 c. (1stick) butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. sugar
Add: 6 egg yolks
3 T. flour
4 T. cinnamon
2 c. milk
6 egg whites
10 tablespoons sugar
Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for about 40 min. at 350ºF or until firm. Beat the 6 egg whites until peaks form. Gradually add 10 T. sugar and beat until stiff. Spread on pie and brown under the broiler.