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From My Kitchen Window by Dixie Terry

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From My Kitchen Window

By Dixie Terry

Shuffling through the knee-deep accumulation, I trudge to the mailbox twice daily, to take the outgoing mail and later, to pick up the handful of correspondence, ads, catalogs, and occasionally a check from an editor. The latter makes the trip worthwhile, as I file much of the other mail rejects in the wastebasket under my office work table.

The catalogs, mostly of the Christmas variety, get stacked on a catch-all table between two recliners, where my favorite husband and I watch television after supper. He watches television, and I catch occasional glimpses, as I catch up on reading. Those Christmas catalogs are glanced at, as I hurriedly thumb through their colorful pages, filled with items that say "Order me!" I occasionally turn down a page that contains an irresistible something, usually an item for a grandchild.

Those holiday catalogs have been arriving in the mailbox since early July and some are piled precariously under my desk. That space also occupies other stacks of to-be-filed items, temporarily stored, which means some of them have been gathering dust and cobwebs for at least six months.

Clipping and snipping newsworthy items from the numerous publications that arrive at our house, these are meant to be pursued and a magazine article written about the subject. Sometimes this is achieved, but too often, it doesn’t.

Tearing out recipes is another of my things-to-do while my favorite husband channel surfs between a who-dun-it movie and a current sports event.

Recipes I do not need, although I continue to add to my staggering inventory of some 25,000, all neatly filed and ready to send out to inquiring readers. However, there are approximately a hundred or so at any given time, waiting to be filed.

Sometimes, it seems that paper is taking over all available space in our house, as I haul a mountain of last week’s newspapers to the garage and bag them up for the trash man I know I should be recycling them, but to whom and where.

After an afternoon of shuffling papers at my work center in an office that grows smaller each day, it’s time to break away and head for the kitchen just a few feet away, an area that is much more organized than my office.

Pumpkins are piled high in the supermarkets and at roadside markets and after bringing a couple home, that are just the right size for a pie, made the decision that a pumpkin dessert would be an ideal ending for a fall supper.


Here are some helpful hints for preparing a pumpkin

  • Cubed pumpkin can be added to chicken or lamb stews, flavored with onions and chili powder
  • Add ground pumpkin seeds to stews or meaty casseroles for a different flavor
  • Cubed pumpkin and lentils with curry powder makes a vegetarian main dish.
  • Roasted pumpkinseeds make a healthy snack. Scrape them out of the pumpkin and remove fiber; rinse and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes. Add salt, if desired. Stir occasionally. Add 1-2 tablespoons melted margarine before roasting, if desired.
  • Pumpkin blossoms can be added to soups and stews
  • Cooks in Mexico batter-fry the blossoms, stuffing them with a tomato-corn-cheese mixture.
  • To cook pumpkin, cut in small chunks; then peel and cook 10-12 minutes in pressure cooker, with a half cup water
  • Cooked and processed in the food processor, pulp can be frozen for later use in 1 or 2-cup measures.
  • To bake pumpkin for puree, cut in half, and invert each half, cut side down, on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 until they collapse. Then cool; scoop and run through a food processor
  • High in nutritional value, one cup of cooked pumpkin will contain 15,680 units of Vitamin A; 64 milligrams of iron; 12 milligrams of ascorbic acid; 2.5 grams of protein; 61 milligrams of calcium; and is fairly low in calories—only 81 per cup.


Here is a dessert fit for the fanciest of company and it just takes a little bit of extra time.

Company Pumpkin Roll

1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
3 large eggs, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
2/3 cup canned or well-drained pumpkin puree
Powdered sugar
1 quart vanilla ice cream

Grease a 15 ½ x 10 ½-inch jellyroll pan; line bottom of pan with waxed paper; grease and flour waxed paper. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and ginger in bowl. Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat eggs until thick and foamy. Beating at high speed, gradually sprinkle in sugar and beat until thick and lemon-colored. Reduce speed to low; beat in pumpkin. Gently fold in flour mixture, a third at a time. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake about 14 minutes. Sprinkle a clean dishtowel (not terry cloth) with powdered sugar. When cake is done, immediately loosen from sides of pan with small spatula; invert cake onto prepared towel. Gently, peel waxed paper from bottom of cake. Cut of f any crisp edges. Roll towel with cake from narrow end, jellyroll fashion. Cool cake completely, placing it seam—side down on wire rack. When cake is cool, unroll from towel. Stir ice cream to soften slightly. Spread evenly on cake almost to edges. Starting at the same narrow end, roll up cake without the towel. Place the cake, seam-side down, on serving platter or wrap with foil; return to freezer until serving time. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Here is a tasty dessert to set out for an after-supper treat.


Pumpkin Rice Pudding

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup milk
1 4-serving size package rice pudding mix
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Whipped cream
Orange peel, optional

Combine evaporated milk, pumpkin, milk, pudding mix and spice in a medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat. Transfer to bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap. Cool slightly before serving. Spoon into six dessert dishes. Serve warm, dolloped with whipped cream. If desired, top each with orange peel shreds.

This makes not only a beautiful dessert, but the taste is outstandingly delicious.


Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk or half-and-half
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ cups whipped topping, thawed
1 ready—made graham cracker pie crust
1 cup cold milk or half-and-half
2 packages (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding
1 16-ounce can pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves

Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk, until smooth. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread on bottom of crust. Pour 1 cup milk into bowl. Adding pudding mixes, beat with wire whisk for 1 minute. Mixture will be thick. Stir in pumpkin and spices with wire whisk until well mixed. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Garnish with additional whipped topping.

Good for a simple dessert or to tote in a lunch box are these.


Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups unsifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup firmly packed, shredded, peeled fresh pumpkin
powdered sugar, optional

Heat oven to 350. Line 12 2 ½-inch muffin pan cups with decorative paper baking cups. In medium-size bowl, with electric mixer on high speed, beat together granulated sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, mixing well. In sifter, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; sift over butter mixture. Beat on low speed just until combined. With spoon, stir in pumpkin. Divide batter among lined cups. Bake cupcakes for 16—18 minutes or until golden and tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over cupcakes before serving or add favorite glaze.


This is an oldies recipe from a 1936 recipe book by Mary Hale Martin, "My Best Recipes".

Coconut Pumpkin Pie

1 cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg, beaten
½ cup evaporated milk
1 ½ cups cooked pumpkin
¼ cup coconut
1 unbaked pastry shell


½ cup coconut
2 tablespoons honey

Mix first eight ingredients in order given. Fill unbaked pastry shell and bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then at 375 for 30 minutes. When done, top with remaining coconut; dribble with honey and return to oven to brown a few minutes.

An out-of-this-world dessert is this, one that makes a lasting impression

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake


1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup margarine or butter, melted
2 cups (12-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels, divided


3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
16 ounces canned pumpkin
4 eggs
½ cup undiluted evaporated milk
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

To make crust: Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press onto bottom of greased 10-inch springform pan; sprinkle with 1 cup morsels. To make cheesecake: In small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt remaining morsels, stirring constantly until smooth. Beat softened cream cheese and both sugars. Beat in pumpkin, eggs, evaporated milk, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Remove 1 cup pumpkin batter; stir into melted chocolate. Pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Spoon chocolate mixture over top; swirl. Bake in preheated 325 oven for 60 minutes or until edge of filling is set. Turn oven of f; allow cheesecake to stay in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely. Cover; chill for several hours.

Serve this up for a tasty dessert, topped with cream cheese or whipped topping or maybe a powdered glaze.

Pumpkin Harvest Bread

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon EACH salt, baking soda, ginger and ground cloves
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup raisins
2 eggs
½ cup cooked pumpkin puree
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup margarine, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, and granulated sugar. Mix in walnuts and raisins. In a medium bowl, beat eggs to blend yolks and whites; then beat in brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and margarine. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spread in a greased, lightly floured loaf pan. Bake until loaf is well browned. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

If you would like a copy of ten years of From My Kitchen Windows columns, send along $10.50 to Springhouse Books, Box 61, Herod, Illinois 62947.

Tune in on Friday mornings to Pat Benton’s "Celebration of Life" radio show found on both WJPF 1340am and WCIL 1020am, for a simple recipe and chatter with Pat and I.

If you’re searching for a certain recipe or have a favorite to share, give me a call or fax at 618-995-2491 or drop a note to me at 668 Crestwood Drive, Lake of Egypt, Marion, Illinois 62959.


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