Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Trifle

Pumpkin Trifle
Dorcas Annette Walker

November is the month where I focus on counting my many blessings that have been bestowed upon me and my family. Despite our country’s economic and political woes there is still much to be thankful for. This year the top of our family’s appreciative list is my husband. As most of you know that read my column, Dana, suffered a heart attack and open four by-pass heart surgery the first of April. Since then my husband has been in and out of hospitals due to chronic lung problems as well as being a severe diabetic. He also has suffered mini strokes affecting his short term memory. There have been constant doctor visits, filling out stacks of paperwork, and endless phone calls to the state, social security, and disability office. Even with stressful days when Dana’s health took a nosedive, juggling our sudden drop in finances, and having to take over the leadership in our family we are very grateful to have Dana still with us. This holiday season will be extra meaningful for our family.

Like my grandmother always said there is a silver lining to every dark cloud in life and a rainbow of blessings if one will look for it. Our rainbow with Dana’s health issues has been getting to know so many caring and wonderful nurses. From the many ER nurses and cardiac staff to the cardio rehab team each one has spread a touch of brightness with individual rays of color into our lives. Knowing that they will be there day or night, week days and weekends, if needed is such a support. Our lives have been greatly enriched with their cheerful smiles and words of encouragement these past months every time we have come into contact. To each nurse that has had a part in caring for my husband we send a big hug and grateful thank you!

For Dana’s birthday, I decided to make a Pumpkin Trifle substituting Splenda for sugar in the pumpkin bread and using sugar-free pudding and caramel. You can add nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips to the pumpkin bread and even replace the pumpkin with sweet potato. Either way the Pumpkin Trifle makes an elegant holiday dessert. Preparation time for my Pumpkin Trifle is ten minutes (not counting baking time) and this recipe serves eight.

Pumpkin Trifle

8 slices of pumpkin bread
2 (3.4 oz) boxes instant vanilla pudding
4 c cold milk
1 (8 oz) container of cool whip
caramel topping
chopped pecans or walnuts

Cut bread slices into cubes and make up the pudding as directed. In individual dessert dishes or one large glass bowl divide and layer the pudding, bread cubes, cool whip, and warmed caramel topping twice. Finishing by garnishing with chopped nuts.

Pumpkin Bread

2 c sugar
½ c cooking oil
2 eggs
2 c mashed pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 c self-rising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg, ginger, allspice & ground cloves

In a large bowl beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Add the flour and spices mixing well. Divide the batter and pour into two greased loaf pans baking at 350º for 1 hr.

Weekly tip: To make homemade pumpkin cut the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds, and bake at 350º for one hour in the middle of the oven to soften the skin. Let cool, peel, and cut into chunks. Put into a Crockpot covering the bottom with water, cover, and cook on high for five hours then low for five hours. Let drain for a couple of hours and then freeze or can in pints!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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