- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Oh, the holidays, decking the tables and countertops and computer desks and, yes, even the bedside table, with platters and trays and candy dishes with yummy treats.
Everyone has a favorite holiday dish, and many of you probably bring some of your best efforts and gifts to work to share with coworkers.
Like Patricia Ann McKinney, for example, a clerk at the Shelby County Sheriff’s office, who made Haystacks and almond bark cookies.
“These recipes have been around for a long time,” she says.
“I made some almond bark cookies last night, and I fixed [former deputy] Vance [Simmons] some just for him because he’s such a sweetheart,” she says. “How do I make them? Well, I just take some Rice Krispies and some marshmallows and melted chocolate and peanut butter and mix it all up.”
But don’t think for a moment there is any science to this diet. “Oh, I never measure,” she says. “I just dump it in.”
She must be holding her mouth right, though, because her cookies are simply delicious.
“What I like best about this recipe is that you don’t have to cook it,” she says. “You just drop them on wax paper and let them harden.”
Anything else? “Why, you eat them, silly!” she says.
Jeannie Kemper of Bagdad has won enough ribbons for her baking to fill a library, but her holiday specialty is her jam cake.
“I won a blue ribbon with it at the state fair and my sister did, too,” she says.
And though Kemper’s jam cake is in great demand with her family at the holidays, she doesn’t stop there.
“I make fruit cakes, too – and bourbon balls and fudge and cookies,” she says. “And everybody loves my butterscotch and chocolate pies.”
And here’s a head’s up for her family – she plans to try out a new recipe this year, a red velvet cheesecake.
Kemper says she has come a long way from the first cake she ever made – a pound cake – at age 8.
“We have a lot of family get-togethers, and my whole family can cook; we have the entire kitchen covered with food,” she says, laughing.
Phyllis Hedges says she also likes to make the holiday favorites, such as jam and fruitcake, but she also has a favorite recipe.
“My favorite is pumpkin crunch torte,” she says. “I love to make it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
This luscious pumpkin cake is very rich and loaded with things like heavy whipping cream and yogurt and smothered with a topping of vanilla wafer crumbs and chopped walnuts, in a brown sugar and melted butter glaze.
And, of course, if someone likes to cook such a case, you have to have someone to eat it, and that would be Phyllis Hedges’ husband, magistrate Bill Hedges. But he’s not a passive player in this game.
He likes to cook, too, often whipping up a bountiful breakfast for himself and his wife, but he says he is not in her league when it comes to culinary skills.
“My Phyllis is the best cook in this county,” he says, chuckling. “That’s how I got my good physique.”
Shelby County Extension Agent Sheila Fawbush says she is really in her element at the holidays, surrounded as she is by loads of people submitting goodies at events such as the extension office’s Cookie Exchange, which was held Monday.
“What is my favorite? Oh, good heavens, I like them all!” she says. “But I guess I am very partial to chocolate. Oh, and I also love things that are crunchy and have lots of nuts in them. Who doesn’t?”
It makes you wonder how there is ever anything left for Santa by the time Christmas Eve rolls around.