comfort foods

Comforting Easy Pumpkin Dessert

Pumpkin Fest in Boston (Photo credit: lodri)

Pumpkin Fest in Boston (Photo credit: lodri)


I found a recipe card I’d given our daughter Krista at her bridal shower called “Dad’s Favorite Pumpkin Dessert.”  It included a note saying “it wouldn’t be autumn in our home without a night relishing this no-fuss, delicious, creamy dessert…your Dad loves it!” Memorable foods unite families and this go-to recipe reminds me of Hemingway’s image of “A Moveable Feast.”

We’ve served this every fall for gatherings with family and friends. I actually am not fond of pumpkin pie, but this far surpases pie, is far simpler to make and everyone loves it!  I imagined this tradition continuing as Krista created a home wherever she lived throughout the world, even Bolivia.  The waft of cinnamon and nutmeg brings the kitchen alive.  Try this…..guaranteed great for crowds and still delicious on day two or three…but it rarely lasts that long.


1 large can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie)

6 large eggs

2  cups evaporated milk (I use one can which pours about 13/4 cup and add half and half or milk for the last amount)

1 1/2 cup sugar (sometimes I’ll mix sugar and stevia)

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 package any yellow cake mix

1 cube butter or margerine

Prepare a 9×13 pan, sprayed with oil/flour baking spray, or butter and flour pan.  Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Mix first 7 ingrediants for 2 or 3 minutes.  Pour into prepared pan.

In a large bowl, add cake mix and one cube butter sliced into thin pieces.  Cut butter into mix until small crumbles form.  Evenly distribute this on the top of the pumpkin in the pan, slightly patting down with a spatula.  Grate a small amount of fresh nutmeg across the top.

Bake between 45-55 minutes, checking until pumpkin appears set when a toothpick or knife comes out clean.  Let rest for a few minutes.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream….listen for the raves!

During times of loss, somehow familiar foods give a quiet comfort for families.   I have found my love of cooking continues to offer a creative joy to many a day, so now and then I’ll include some soul-satisfying recipes in this blog.  We’re delighted to be in stormy Boston now for Thanksgiving with our daughter Susan’s family with our grandson Hunter and granddaughter Quinlen, adopted from Viet Nam.
Thinking of each of you as you gather with those you love, both those present at the table and those alive in your hearts forever.  Thank you so much for joing the pilgrimage and sharing your stories.  I’m grateful for you!
Do you have favorite comfort foods and recipes you’d like to share?
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About Linda
For everyone, life sometimes brings shipwreck moments.

Ours happened when four friends woke us one beautiful May dawn to break the news that our 25-year-old married daughter Krista had died 7000 miles away while volunteering in Bolivia. Our hearts shattered, much like the shards of her bus that plunged over a mountain cliff.
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Desperate. Determined. Unwaveringly confident. In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant named Helga Estby dares to cross 3500 miles of the American continent to win a $10,000 wager. On Foot. BOLD SPIRIT: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk across Victorian America introduces readers to this fascinating journey of an audacious act of courage and love of a mother trying to save a family farm.

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Support for Parents

+ Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors On-line forum and website

+ American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) (Formerly Candlelighters Childhood Cancer)

+ Compassionate Friends

+ First Candle: Support for Stillborn and SIDS deaths

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+ MISS Foundation (also in Spanish) On-line support groups : Infant & toddler death and advocacy

+Parents of Murdered Children

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