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Many people have asked for the pumpkin bar recipe. Sorry I am forever slow. Here it is along with the hot, spiced cider we like.

Pumpkin Bars
(As taken from “Our Mothers’ Legacies/Recipes from the Robison family & friends”)
(-submitted by Karla Schmidt)

4 eggs
1 2/3 c sugar
1 c oil (I use canola)
16 oz pumpkin (my can only had 15oz & worked fine)
2 c flour
2 teaspoons b. powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon b. soda
Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat together eggs, sugar, oil & pumpkin until light & fluffy. Stir together flour, b powder, cinnamon, salt & b soda. Add to pumpkin mixture & stir thoroughly. Spread in greased 15″x10″x1″ pan & bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely & frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
(As taken from “Our Mothers’ Legacies/Recipes from the Robison family & friends”)
(-submitted by Karla Schmidt

3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

Cream together cream cheese & butter. Blend in vanilla. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, beating well until mixture is smooth.
(I always double this recipe as I have found it difficult to spread without tearing up my pumpkin bars & if a little cream cheese frosting is good, then more is better….right?! So when I make the doubled recipe, 4 c powdered sugar is the same as a pound(or close enough.) and I always use real butter 😊)

Hot Spiced Cider
(Adapted from Williams-Sonoma After Dinner Cookbook)

6 c apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
~30 whole cloves
Small handful crystallized ginger

Combine ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Heat to boil & simmer gently about 30 minutes. Serve warm. Can garnish with some of the spices.

Williams-Sonoma says you can add 2 tablespoons Calvados or other apple brandy into each serving mug, but we have never tried this as we have always served it with our kids/family.

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I love my husband. 💗 He loves sour dough bread. When we moved to Johnson City, we missed our local bakery’s sour dough. We tried multiple loaves from stores & the farmer’s market. They just weren’t the same. Thus began my quest to make a sour dough bread that my sweet husband would love. I found a recipe & messed with it a bit before we came to this…our version of soft sour dough bread.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c warm water
1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
1 c sour dough starter
1/2 c canola oil
1/3 c sugar
1 tablespoon salt
7 c flour (plus more for rolling out)

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This is my sour dough starter. I leave it on my counter all the time. I feed it once a week with 1c warm water, 3/4c sugar & 3T potato flakes. It then has to sit for at least 8 hours before you can use it.

When it is not being used it needs to be able to release the air the lil yeasties create so you need a lid with holes in it. My husband punched holes in this one for me:

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Having a Kitchen Aid stand mixer is really handy for the mixing process.

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Start with the warm water & sprinkle the yeast over. While it dissolves for a minute, grab your other ingredients.

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Put a solid lid on the sour dough starter jar & shake it to mix well. Add 1c to the water/yeast.

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Add 1/2c oil.

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1T salt.

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1/3c sugar

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Mix that all well with the whisk attachment.

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Add 4c flour & mix well still with whisk attachment.

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Add 3c more flour & mix well with dough hook attachment.

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Turn speed up to medium & let the dough hook “knead” the dough for a few minutes.

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Spray the top of the dough with oil & cover with wax paper to let rise overnight. (I usually mix it up in an evening.)

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Big, happy dough in the morning. 🙂

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Punch it down! Take out any anger or aggression. Clara loves to help with this part.

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Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half into roughly a rectangle, being careful to try to remove any large air bubbles.

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Tightly roll the dough into a long roll, pinching the seams & then turn under each end & pinch to form your loaf.

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Repeat with other half of dough & place both with pinched seams-side down into greased loaf pans. Spray tops with oil & cover with wax paper. Let rise until doubled in size. (This mainly depends on the environment. In winter/cold temps I can let it rise all night without it getting too big, but in summer/warm temps it only takes 4 or maybe 6 hours.)

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When the loaves have risen sufficiently, bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until done. Turn out immediately onto cooling rack & cool completely.

I find it keeps best in a gallon size freezer baggie, but it’s usually too big for it. Thus we often consume a little first (ie make sandwiches for packed lunches the next day.)

It is best fresh, but also makes good toast, yummy French toast & tasty croutons when the freshness has left it.

You can use the sour dough starter to make lots of other recipes too. I’ve used it to make buns, fancy pigs in a blanket, lemon loaf & home made sour dough English muffins.

If you live close & would like to try it yourself-please let me know! I often have extra sour dough starter & would be more than happy to share & get you started!

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But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Matthew 4:4

Wow. Two months ago today I had my first big surgery on my melon. Prior to that my only surgical experiences had been 1 C-section & the extraction of my wisdom teeth.

On Tuesday, my six weeks of precautions will be over. That means six weeks after the last (third) surgery. (Third time’s a charm?…)

I’m amazed how a person can be “healthy,” and suddenly be very ill. I was running 3 miles, 3 days a week. I had no other health concerns or illnesses. I was not the most healthy eater you ever met, but I did try to put mostly good foods in my body to provide nourishment. Then…boom. One day. Reduced. Thank you Lord. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Less of me, more of you Lord.

I wish I could say I was delighted to be in that state-so dependent on others, on those being the hands & feet of Jesus to me. The truth is though that I am glad to be done with “that.” There will be other trials. We are sure of that. We are so thankful though for the many lessons we have learned & the many people who have prayed.

Only by the grace of God was I able to run 1 mile 2 different days last week. Thank you Lord! Progress!!

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