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Thank You

By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

During this season of being thankful and reading all of the thankful statements on Facebook, I thought it would be good to recognize happy moments and give gratitude. Granted, this will be an abbreviated list because I only get so much space in this paper folks. So if there are any omissions, just know that I am also thankful for those things or people too. In random order:

1. Thankful for a husband who loves me “no matter what.” Through the skinny jeans AND the not so skinny jeans he has been by my side.

2. Thankful for good neighbors---heck, I am glad I know all of my neighbors! A call from a friend in Minneapolis who couldn’t remember her neighbor’s first name really got me thinking about that.

3. Thankful for a quiet small town and living on a dead end street--- after a busy day at work, it is calming to have no traffic and solitude.

4. Thankful for a son with a sense of humor---although he is way smarter than me at age 14 (smile), he has my sense of humor and hope that keeps him happy for his lifetime.

5. Thankful for girlfriends. We know that your good girlfriends really understand when you need to rant, vent, cry, and how to make you laugh. A good friend is a vault of information about you and does not offer the combination up freely. (Thank goodness!)

6. Thankful for a friendly community. It is nice to have people say hello when they see you even though you are not closely connected or good friends—they say hello because it is a nice and polite thing to do.

7. Thankful for my job. I do not take for granted that my mortgage will get paid each month. Without getting up too high on my soapbox, it just needs to be said that every job is important and whatever you do you should make sure to give it your best effort.

8. Thankful for good health. As many of you know, watching friends and family go through challenging illness is difficult and even more difficult if they do not survive that illness. Celebrate those friends and family now----tell them you love them now---do not let another day go by, tell them now----right now.

So, whether you made a list on paper or in your head as you were reading this, I only hope that you take the time to be thankful. Let the daily stressors take the backseat for a few minutes and smile at the teenager that is smarter than you and laugh at/with the friend whose day was crazier than yours and you are both still standing, and love the one you are with. Because, in those moments of smiles, laughs, and remembering to love, those are the people and times to be thankful for. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!

Pumpkin Pecan Crunch Bars

(Not a diet bar unless you have an extremely small piece)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for baking dish

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie mix)

1 cup heavy cream

4 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided

1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 1/2 cups roughly chopped pecans

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Bourbon Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon bourbon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with butter. Combine the pumpkin, cream, eggs, sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, bourbon (if using), ginger, nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk until evenly combined and pour into the buttered baking dish.

Cut the butter into small pieces and add to a medium bowl. Stir in the pecans, flour, and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and mix until it holds together somewhat but still crumbles. Scatter the topping over the pumpkin mixture and bake until the edges are puffed and the filling is set in the center, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Serve with the Bourbon Whipped Cream and/or ice cream.

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