make the moments last.

I was recently down south. It was all greens, bridges, blue skies and sunshine.  If you’re wondering why Savannah was completely out of shrimp and grits a few weeks ago… that was me.  I ate it all.  It wasn’t pretty.  Sorry.

Let’s go ahead and add “nervous breakdown” to the list of things I should never Google, or admit to Googling.  yikes!  But, I mean… if I have the foresight to Google it, does it mean that I'm probably not having one?  maybe.  Likely.  Don’t look at me.

Anyway, we're talking.
I know I called fall, some time ago, but I tend to get a little antsy about these things.  I may have jumped the gun just a nudge, as we still had a few mid-seventies days to get through.  But seeing as the leaves are completely down and the first frost has come and gone and we've had several days in the teens and a snow storm, I just wanted to re-state for the record,  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

We're officially in full-on, fist-pumpin' winter fall. I've had hot cocoa afternoons, nights below freezing and blue-eyed skies.  My bed's sporting a thick blanket and a flannel covered duvet.  I'm knitting more socks, mittens and scarves. Boots are In, flip-flops are Out, and shorts have been retired to the back of the closet.  twice!

Well, okay then, pants plus long sleeves plus sweaters plus socks, boots, scarves and mittens all at once!  

So, Thanksgiving. The best Thanksgivings are those that stretch out for a solid 72 hours.

We're in the homestretch, but some of the very best lies in wait. How many different ways can you eat pumpkin in one week? A better question might be, how many times are you lucky enough to eat pumpkin in one week? And I haven't even begun to think about Christmas cookies...

I'm content here.
I'm wading around in dashed-off grocery lists, debating the merits of various non-pie pumpkin baked goods and desserts.

It's full of promise but slow and easy as a Sunday nap.

This is the season. This one, right here. It's where we are and it shouldn't be short-changed or over-shadowed. How can we possibly celebrate the day of gratitude when we're up on our tippy toes looking over its head?

I shall now hop down from my high horse.
You're welcome.

I know most of you don't feel as strongly about this sort of thing. Seasonal allegiance is one of my spiritual gifts, that's all.

Please promise you won't judge my early-Christmas-music listening. It's cool, dude. I'll come on out from behind my pre-Thanksgiving Christmas tree trees.

I decorate for Christmas like Liberace did bling.  Maybe more.  I don't understand it, entirely.  Partly, I think it's that leftover little kid love of anything shiny with the promise of magical. It takes me right back to six year old floating cloudberries, and sometimes when I wake up and realize it was just a dream, that those days are gone,  I can barely catch my breath. I'm pretty keen on sparkly, too.  I have an avalanche of boxes, that I unpack, singing carols in a whispery little falsetto. Just believe me when I tell you ~ scout's honor, cross-my-heart, crazy wins this round by a big ol' whopping landslide. I really get into it. Do my best to make the moments last.

just sayin'.

Pots of Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cream Pie

1 (1 1/4 cups) sleeve graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter
1 can (15 oz.)100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
1 (3.4 oz.) box vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice plus additional for dusting
1 (8 oz.) tub frozen whipped topping
1 can (13.4 oz.) NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche

COMBINE graham crackers and butter in small bowl. Spoon about 2 measuring tablespoons into each of ten half-pint canning jars, custard cups and/or ramekins. Pat crust down with back or side of measuring spoon.

COMBINE pumpkin, evaporated milk, pudding mix and pumpkin pie spice in large mixer bowl; beat for 1 minute or until blended. Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping.

WARM dulce de leche in microwave-safe bowl power for 15 to 20 seconds to soften; stir well. Spoon dulce de leche on top of each crust. Spoon in about 1/2 cup pumpkin filling. Top with a dollop of remaining whipped topping and a dusting of pumpkin pie spice. Keep refrigerated at least 2 hours before serving.


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