I had three big events of the week/weekend that I was preparing for, and they were hanging over my head all week: Thursday night's opening night for the class I teach mid-week; today's ladies' fellowship meeting for our church ladies; and tomorrow's Sunday school lesson. Two of those are past now - only Sunday school is left. I am SO glad that this hectic week is almost finished and all has gone well!
The ladies' meeting had a low attendance, I suppose because it's only the second one we've had and they're not used to having them yet. But those of us who were there had a nice time of fellowship together. I'm planning the next one to be a Christmas tea. I plan to really play it up over the next two months so that the ladies will be excited about it. Today I used some of my fall decorations from home, including a table runner I bought the other day for just $5.00. It has apples, pears, and grapes on it, so I'm thinking I can use it year-round, not just for fall. I also used mini pumpkins piled in a black wire basket and a round wooden hinged box filled with fall floral picks, with a candle and a pilgrim couple beside it. On the dining table, I used the table runner with an open-wire pumpkin centerpiece, leaf candles, and two small green plants, which I gave away at the end of the meeting. The decorations really came together nicely, and I enjoyed using things I already had at home. The only decorations I bought specifically for today were the two plants.
This morning I put a homemade soup in the crockpot, so that when I got home this afternoon all I had to do was make some bread to go with it. It's rising now and will soon be ready to bake. I love crockpot meals! Not only are they so easy to serve at dinner time, but they smell delicious while they're cooking and everybody is starving by dinner time! LOL Including me!
Our missionary will not be eating with us tonight after all. His plane doesn't get in till 7:00 this evening, so Wes will treat him at the hotel restaurant if he hasn't had supper already. He will eat with us tomorrow, though! I'm putting a roast in the crockpot tonight, and I'll roast some potatoes and carrots tomorrow morning in another crockpot. I'll fix our biscuit dough before we leave for church, then just shape and bake them. I plan to bake a Praline Pumpkin Torte after supper tonight - it's a pumpkin cake with a praline topping, with whipped cream between the layers and on top. I made one a few weeks ago, and my husband loved it. I have some whipping cream I need to use up, so I figured I'd fix that cake for dessert tomorrow. Here's the recipe:
Praline Pumpkin Torte
From Taste of Home, October/November 2000
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter (no substitutes)
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 cup pecans
1-2/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-3/4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional chopped pecans
In a heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into two well-greased 9-in. round baking pans. Sprinkle with pecans; cool. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar and oil. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to pumpkin mixture and beat just until blended. Carefully spoon over brown sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Place one cake layer, praline side up, on a serving plate. In a mixing bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Spread two-thirds over cake. Top with second cake layer and remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional pecans if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-14 servings.