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It is Thanksgiving time…time to reflect on all the things we have for which to be thankful. For Jim and I, it is family. Our children and their families are the most treasured gift we have, and we are so thankful they are ours.

Traveling is one of our other most treasured gifts, and because those five children chose to live in five different states, we have lots of reasons (and excuses) to be on the road… a lot.

Our five children, over twenty-five years ago, on a trip to Bent's Fort in Colorado.

Our five children, more than twenty-five years ago, on a trip to Bent’s Fort in Colorado…and a Cabbage Patch doll, too!

So, this Thanksgiving I thought I would focus on the things for which we are grateful to the north, east, south and west, in the spring, summer, autumn and winter. Here are some of the things I came up with, though I have so many photos it was hard to choose my favorites.

To the north, east, south and west

It doesn’t matter what season it is, we love them all! Now that we are retired from teaching, we can take trips in autumn, winter, and spring. too!

Pumpkin Fudge

We discovered Pumpkin Fudge on our recent trip to visit our daughter in Arkansas. It is delicious! I knew I had to find a recipe to make some myself with the pie pumpkins we picked at the pumpkin patch near her home. This is the recipe for the fudge I made, slightly adapted from a recipe I found at https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/143188/spiced-pumpkin-fudge/.

Pumpkin Fudge

Pumpkin Fudge

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1-5 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree’*
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 2 cups white chocolate morsels (12 oz. pkg.)
  • 1-7 oz. jar marshmallow creme’
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring the sugars, the evaporated milk, pumpkin puree’ and spice to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Stir constantly for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer (235-240 degrees F).

Stir in the white chocolate morsels, marshmallow creme’, vanilla extract, and nuts (if using). You will need to stir vigorously for two to three minutes making sure all the morsels and the marshmallow creme’ are melted.

Pour mixture int a foil lined 9×13 pan. Let stand for 2 hours. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

* I use pumpkin puree’ that I have made from pie pumpkins, but you may use any commercially canned pumpkin, as well.