Thanksgiving season a time to realize just how lucky we all are

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2000

I love Thanksgiving. It is really a very uncomplicated holiday unless you choose to make it otherwise. After all, you don’t have to wrap presents at the last minute, you don’t have to get up at daybreak for a sunrise service and you don’t have to have turkey if you don’t want to.

All you really have to do is stop for a minute and give thanks. To tell the truth, it probably should take you no more than just a minute.

Here are just a few of the things I am truly thankful for in my life.

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My husband and children. As most of you read about them every week, you know they are a special, wonderful group that I wouldn’t trade for anything. My extended family, both by birth and by marriage. My family’s and my health. Even with broken fingers and asthma, we are still very lucky. My many friends. They have sustained me through good and bad and are a true blessing in my life.

This is definitely only a partial list. Like most of you, I have plenty to be thankful for. I hope you and yours have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

A reader e-mailed a request for a pumpkin cheesecake. Here it is. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 cups gingersnap crumbs

1/3 cup melted unsalted butter

24 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

12 cup light brown sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

14 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

12 teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 cups sour cream, room temp

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9- or 10-inch springform pan and coat lightly with flour. In a medium bowl, toss the gingersnap crumbs with the melted butter until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom and one inch up the side of the pan. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the crust begins to color. Let the crust cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 34 cup of the granulated sugar and the brown sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is thoroughly combined, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.

In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and heavy cream with 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until combined, scraping the bowl a few times.

Wrap foil loosely around the bottom and up the side of the springform pan. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan and set it in a large baking dish or roasting pan. Place in the middle of the oven and pour one inch of hot water into the baking dish. Bake the cheesecake for about 70 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the center of the cheesecake is still slightly shaky.

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream with the remaining 14 cup of granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and pour on the sour cream topping. Gently spread the topping, and continue baking the cheesecake for 10 more minutes.

Transfer the cheesecake to a rack and let cool for 1 hour. Remove the foil and the side of the pan and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Christina Hall is the food editor at the Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 442-9101 or by e-mail at