This week's column is dedicated to all the folk who are teaching their children the true meaning of Christmas.


Hot Cranberry Cider


1/4 cup packed brown sugar


3 cinnamon sticks, plus additional sticks to use as stirrers


1 tablespoon whole cloves


6 cups cranberry juice


8 cups apple juice


Put the sugar, cinnamon sticks and cloves in the basket of a coffee percolator. Put the juices in the bottom of the percolator. Let mixture perk as if making coffee. Serve with cinnamon stick stirrers if desired. Note: your coffee pot may retain the smell of the cloves and cinnamon sticks. You may want to dedicate a cheap percolator for this recipe.



Easy Turkey Divan


1 pound cooked boneless turkey breast


1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli spears, thawed


1 can (13 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup


1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese


2 tablespoons dry sherry


1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut turkey into 1/4 inch slices, set aside. Coat a 6-inch-by-10-inch baking dish with non-stick vegetable spray. Place the broccoli in the baking dish and top with the turkey slices.  In a medium size bowl, combine the soup, cheese, sherry and nutmeg. Spread over turkey. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling and brown.



Pumpkin Pie Pudding


1 can (30 ounces) pumpkin pie filling


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed


In a large bowl, mix pie filling, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold whipped topping into pumpkin mixture just enough to create a marbled effect. Spoon mixture into custard cups or fancy glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve.



Cranberry-Orange Chocolate Meringues


Meringue shells


3 egg whites


1 teaspoon vanilla


1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


dash of salt


1 cup sugar


1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed baking cocoa


Heat oven to 275 degrees. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla and salt with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue beating until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy. Sift cocoa, fold into egg white mixture. Drop meringue by 1/3 cupfuls onto cookie sheet. Shape into 3 inch circles, building up sides with back of spoon. Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven, leave meringues in oven with door closed 1 hour.  Finish cooling at room temperature, about 2 hours.




Meanwhile, in a 2-quart sauce pan make cranberry orange sauce by cooking 3 cups fresh cranberries with 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat. Stirring frequently, until cranberries pop and sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in juice of one medium orange (1/3 to 1/2 cup), one can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments, drained, and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Cover, refrigerate until serving time. To serve, spoon one teaspoon cranberry-orange sauce in center of each dessert plate. Top with a meringue shell. Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling into each shell. Top with about 1/2 cup cranberry-orange sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup walnuts. Makes 8 servings.



Our thought for the week: " The greatest wealth is health."