What a wonderful week we have had. We celebrated our mom’s 80th birthday on Monday and what a day it was. She received so many cards, flowers, text messages, people stopping in to visit, and phone calls. She truly appreciated every single act of kindness and will never forget it.
This was also Halloween weekend. I enjoyed seeing every picture on social media of all the kids in their costumes, the recipes, and all of the pumpkin carvings. Seeing all of this reminded me of Adam’s great Aunt Marjorie and the “Tale of the missing pumpkins.”
Adam’s grandmother Floraine Martin Scales grew up in Totty’s Bend in Hickman County Tennessee on the Duck River. Totty’s Bend was named after her mother’s family. Her mother was Ida Lee Totty Martin. Adam is actually named after her, his middle name is Lee.
Grandmother was one of 8 children, 7 girls, and one brother. They were raised on a farm and all worked hard. Her family never owned a car, they walked to school, to church, and where ever else they needed to go.
Back in the day, pumpkins were raised among the corn. After the corn had started to grow, pumpkin seeds would be planted in the rows of corn. Grandmother talked about how they would raise the pumpkins for pies and other recipes and save the seeds for the next year. She said they never went to the store for their “pumpkin puree,” they used the fresh pumpkins.
Grandmother loved to tell us the story of her older sister Marjorie and the year she planted the pumpkins. Grandmother would start laughing before, during, and while telling us this story, and I think the best part of it, was watching her laugh so hard that sometimes she could not finish the story.
Marjorie was the older sister so she was in charge of planting the pumpkins. On this particular day, her dad gave her the seeds and sent her on her way. Somewhere between the house and the cornfield, she became distracted and her attention was drawn elsewhere. As she continued in another direction the pumpkin seeds became a burden so she decided to get rid of them. Instead of planting the seeds like she was told to do, she found a rock, rolled it over, dumped the seeds, and then rolled the rock back over. Later that evening, as she went inside, her father asked her if she got all the seeds planted and she shook her head yes.
Several weeks later as her father was inspecting the corn, no pumpkin vines were seen. He was disappointed as it appeared none of the pumpkins made it. He walked in the house and told his wife about the lack of pumpkin vines and both were a little sad that they would not have any for the fall harvest. Later that week he headed out to work in another field. As he was walking he came upon a flat rock and pumpkin vines were everywhere all coming out from under the rock. He took off his hat and scratched in bewilderment wondering how this was possible. He then remembered a conversation with Marjorie. He walked back to the house and called for her. He asked her if she knew anything about all the pumpkin vines growing under the rock over in the other field. She stopped and at first did not know what to say. Then in a very quiet voice, she said “Well you asked me if I got all of the seeds planted and I did.” Grandmother never did really say, but we all speculated that she probably got into a lot of trouble.
This week’s Flint Ridge Favorite is Pumpkin Chess Cake. If you love pumpkin you will love this recipe. I make this several times during the holiday season as it is sooooo good. Many of you probably make Chess Cake already — you just add a 15 ounce can of pumpkin to the filling along with pumpkin pie spice. It takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness!
Wishing you a Blessed week and remember to make time to “Bake a memory” with someone special.
Pumpkin Chess Cake
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 stick of melted butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients and mix well. Pat into a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Prepare filling:
1 8 ounce pkg of cream cheese softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter melted
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
1 lb box of powdered sugar
1 tsp pumpkin spice
Beat cream cheese until smooth, add eggs, vanilla, butter, pumpkin and mix well. Add powdered sugar, incorporating all ingredients, and then spread over the cake mixture. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes — you want the center to be a little gooey so do not overbake.
I like to serve with a little homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.