Extending and Accepting Hospitality

November 24, 2015

Wishing You a Blessed Thanksgiving

November 24, 2015

Reminders of Jean: Pumpkin Bread & Forgotten Cookies

November 24, 2015
Philippians 2:29
Giving thanks-a montage
Jean Storm

Jean Storm was one of the saints of First Baptist Church, Corpus Christi; wife of Lev’s long-time partner and friend-like-a-brother Ralph Storm; mother of Susan and Kathy; grandmother to Morgan, Sarah, Julia, David and Mary. And my friend. I counted myself blessed to be on the receiving end of the Storms’ generosity.

Chief among Jean’s many gifts were her hospitality and her ministry to the “lollies”—little old ladies—of the church. For more than two decades she rearranged the church flowers every Monday morning and took flowers to homebound and hospitalized church members. Each Christmas Ralph made small crates to hold Jean’s loaves of pumpkin bread, which she delivered to her lollies, as well as to friends. Some of us were lucky enough to receive Forgotten Cookies as well. Both recipes became part of our family’s holiday tradition, carried on now in both my children’s homes.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 16-oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)
3½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9×5-inch metal loaf pans.* Using an electric mixer, cream oil and sugar; add, eggs, pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mix. Fold in pecans and raisins if desired. Add batter to loaf pans. Bake for an hour or more, until knife inserted in center comes out clean. (The recipe calls for 1 hour, but I find that it takes about 1 hour 10-15 minutes.) Turn loaves over on a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, wrap in Cling Wrap and store in refrigerator.

*For gifts, this recipe will make 16 tiny loaves, using one standard cooking ladle of batter in each pan. Bake 30-35 minutes.

DO NOT DOUBLE RECIPE. Batter will overflow mixing bowl.

While you can make cream cheese sandwiches with slices of the bread, we simply put a sliced loaf out on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning.

Forgotten Cookies

Forgotten Cookies

2 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 6-ounce package chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar; beat until still. Beat in salt and vanilla. Fold in nuts and chips by hand. Using 2 iced teaspoons, drop meringue mixture spoon by spoon 1 inch apart on foil-covered cookie sheets. Place in center racks on oven; shut door. TURN OFF OVEN; LEAVE OVERNIGHT. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR. Store at room temperature in tightly sealed tins. Keeps indefinitely.

Makes about 60 cookies. Recipe doubles easily. Use leftover egg yolks to make spritz or sugar cookies.