I adore reading cookbooks, cooking magazines, and recipes in general. The pages of well-worn Jr. League cookbooks, church cookbooks, and hand-written recipe cards call to me with memories of holidays past, afternoons in the kitchen with my mom, family reunions at Lake D’Arbonne, and platters of my Great Aunt Louise’s tea cakes that were enjoyed at many Tasting Teas following Hanging of the Greens. The sights and smells of my Mammow’s kitchen come alive as I read through her recipe for Cornbread Dressing. The aroma of cinnamon, sugar, and buttery dough waft through my heart while I review ingredients for Cinnamon Rings, a Christmas treasure that my mom and her shop, The Upper Crust, made famous in our area. Cookbooks are like photo albums for me. This is my happy place.
While I’m in my happy place, I thought I’d share this simple, but heavenly recipe with you. It is a recent discovery of mine and made great use of the leftover graham crackers and marshmallows hiding in my pantry. The addition of chopped pecans or sliced almonds takes these treats over the top.
Inspired by a recipe found in By The Water, a Jr. League of Columbia, South Carolina, cookbook
Note: No graham crackers? No problem. Substitute saltine crackers in their place.
12 graham cracker planks
2 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Line a 10 x 15 inch baking pan with foil or a silpat mat and arrange the graham crackers in a single layer. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly across the top.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, then cook over medium heat until the brown sugar dissolves, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle over the marshmallows, then top with chopped pecans and coconut.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into 3 inch squares or triangles. I used my pizza cutter. Heavenlies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. They may also be frozen, but mine have yet to last that long! One batch makes 30 servings.
November has arrived with rain, and I have the house all to myself. My precious hubby is spending his weekend soldiering, and our youngest is blessed to have a good friend willing to take him along for opening weekend. Deer season has begun, and he is suddenly concerned about the lack of meat in our freezer. Smile. With my guys out-of-town and house cleaning under way, the pantry has been calling my name. Cluttered is a good description for it. As the holidays approach, I am challenged to get things back in order, so that I am prepared for the cooking and shopping that is to come.
One of the best ways to budget wisely is to make a plan. I am compiling a list of the dishes that I know will be on the menu during the holidays, as well as those that my guys have personally requested; i.e., my hunter has realized his love for Aunt Carol’s Polish Mistakes, and our middle son feels that Trash Mix is a holiday necessity. Consequently, I need to spend some time with my favorite cookbooks and recipe cards to be sure that I have all the necessary non-perishables for those dishes. Doing this in advance will greatly decrease the number of trips needed to the grocery store throughout the holidays and help me be a better steward of my time, energy, and resources. I am planning ahead for more joy and less stress.
Cooking With What I’ve Got and thanking God for it,