Hello, Hesperia. I had written my introduction for November but decided to change it since the fires started.

Oh, how I remember the fire of 1979 and three of my neighbors lost their homes. Twenty-four homes were lost all over Hesperia including Val and Anita Shearer's. We couldn't get our horses out; it came so fast, so I stood on our patio holding onto them as the flames roared by. It sounded like a freight train going by and destroyed everything in its path. What saved us was our land was cleared: We lost one chicken, my garden and a Joshua tree. Now we have a high school and homes on both sides. How times change.

I'm grateful that I'm thankful; thankful for so much in my life. "We can have everything without having everything." Let's count our many blessings. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and love to all of you.

Thank you, Mom for this recipe from over 50 years ago. Mom also made these cookies when I was very young, and I would take a few out of the round container and hope she wouldn't find out. They freeze very well and make a wonderful Christmas cookie.
Mexican Wedding Cookies 1 cup butter; softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar; sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour; sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup nuts; finely chopped

Thoroughly mix butter, sugar and vanilla. Sift together flour and salt; stir in butter mixture. Mix in nuts. Chill dough. Roll into one-inch balls.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. While warm, roll in powdered sugar; cool, then roll again. Makes about four dozen.

It isn't the load that weights us down - it's the way we carry it.
Billie Gifford gave me this recipe over 35 years ago. I've made these cookies for years and they are always a favorite at Christmas.

Billie's Ginger Snaps 1 1/2 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves; powdered

Mix together ingredients and roll into balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar and then place on greased cookie sheet. Put one drop of water on each cookie (this gives cookies a crackled appearance). Bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes.

A diamond is a piece of coal that stuck to the job.
Thanks to my daughter, Shalon Christensen for these wonderful candy recipes. I started teaching her at two, how to bake and now all four of her children are helping her in the kitchen. I remember flour all over the kitchen and now its Shalon's turn.

Peppermint Fudge 1 1/2 teaspoons butter; softened
2 ounces cream cheese; softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup nuts; chopped
Peppermint Layer:
2 ounces cream cheese; softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup peppermint candy; crushed

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch loaf pan with foil. Grease foil with 1 1/2 teaspoons butter; set aside. In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla. Stir in the nuts. Spread into prepared pan. Chill for one hour or until firm.

For peppermint layer, beat cream cheese in a small mixing bowl. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, milk and extract. Stir in peppermint candy. Spread evenly over chocolate layer. Chill for one hour or until firm. Using foil, lift fudge for pan. Gently peel off foil. Cut into squares.

It is better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.
Chocolate Caramel Candy 1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Filling:
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow cream
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts; chopped
Caramel Layer:
1 14-ounce package caramels
1/4 cup whipping cream
Icing:
1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Combine the first three ingredients in small sauce pan; stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread onto bottom of lightly greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Refrigerate until set.

For filling, melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sugar and milk. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for five minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the marshmallow crème, peanut butter and vanilla. Add peanuts. Spread over first layer. Refrigerate until set.

Combine the caramels and cream in saucepan; stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Spread over the filling. Refrigerate until set.

In another saucepan, combine chips and peanut butter; stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Pour over the caramel layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into 1-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator.

Life is not the wick or the candle - it is the burning.
Thanks to Carolyn Eden for this wonderful recipe. She gave it to me over 15 years ago. I've made it for many functions and I made this last week for company and friends from Hesperia Horseman at the arena. Also some went to the Hesperia Star. You can give this instead of pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Delight 3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 29-ounce can pumpkin
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup nuts (I like pecans); chopped
2 cubes butter or margarine

Mix together eggs, sugar, spices, pumpkin and evaporated milk; pour in a greased 9 x 13 pan; set aside. Sprinkle cake mix over mixed ingredients. Add nuts and sprinkle over cake mix. Melt butter and pour over top. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 60 minutes.

The more difficult the obstacle, the stronger one becomes after hurdling it.
Easy Color Cookies 1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon water
1 egg
1 cup and 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup M & M chocolate candies (plain)

Blend Crisco and sugars. Beat in vanilla, water and egg. Sift remaining dry ingredients together and add to the sugar and egg mixture. Mix well. Stir in M & M's; drop from teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about three dozen cookies.

A good laugh is sunshine in a house...William Thackeray