>It’s almost Thanksgiving. The leaves are just about gone, the squirrels have gathered every nut and berry they can find, and most mornings there is frost on the ground here in Asheville, NC.
The Carolina Bed & Breakfast will be closed for the week: our family is coming to join us to celebrate the holiday. They have not spent much time in Asheville so we have lots planned: zip-lining with Navitat, Gingerbread Houses at the Grove Park Inn, a birthday dinner at Asheville’s hottest restaurant-the Admiral, and our own pie-baking contest for the big feast!
James and I have a lot to be thankful for this year: the inn is doing well, the renovations are finished (for the most part) and we are happy to have made the move to this lovely Southern Blue Ridge Mountain town. On a more immediate note: I sent my cookbook to the printer yesterday and it should be ready in time for Christmas. I started working on the cookbook more than two years ago. Originally it was a compilation of recipes from my mother as well as those I have collected in 27 years around the world. Initially the purchase and renovations of the Carolina slowed my work on the book but as more and more guests requested recipes from me, it gave me the inspiration to add a chapter of recipes I use here on a daily basis. It was a big project, as those who helped me with pictures, editing and proof-reading know, and I am grateful to all of them. These days, I find myself humming the song “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For” from the wonderful Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film: Holiday Inn. (Too bad I can never remember more than the first line!)
Anyway, as a gift to all of you here is a recipe from my cookbook, just in time for Thanksgiving!
PUMPKIN PIE BARS
2 c. flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 1/8 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
¾ c. butter
2 ½ c. canned pumpkin
1 ¾ c. sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp allspice
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350^
Mix flour, sugars, cinnamon and nuts until crumbly (I use a food processor) then cut in the butter.
Set aside 1-1/4 c. of the mixture for the topping.
Add 2 eggs to the remainder and mix until a dough forms. Spread in the bottom of an ungreased 9×13” pan.
In another bowl, mix well together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt.
Pour over the unbaked crust and sprinkle with reserved topping.
Bake at 350^ for 45-50 minutes.