Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reflections on Christmas With Bryan Grubbs

We've been asking GFW writers to share their fondest holiday memories. Today we welcome Bryan Grubbs .Bryan is an English and Art teacher. He is also a member of Greater Ft Worth Writers and is an active member of the GFW Writers critique group. Members of the group will tell you he can pick out redundant words at forty feet and is quite willing to show what paragraphs or sentences are not compelling. He is a husband and father of three beautiful girls, enjoys writing science fiction/ urban fantasy/ horror, sketching, or playing video games in his free time.

If you love Christmas, can you say why?

It used to be a good chance to get together with family, now my kids make it magical.

What’s one thing you’d like to get rid of during the holiday season?
Ridiculous seasonal romantic movies.

What are your favorite childhood memories of Christmas?
Falling asleep waiting for Santa, only to wake up in my bed Christmas morning

What’s your idea of a perfect Christmas meal?
When I was a kid, my parents ordered pizza as Christmas dinner one year. It was my favorite feast.
 As an adult, I like to think of Christmas as Thanksgiving 2.0.

Do you have a dish that has become a tradition with your family?
Pumpkin pie cheesecake

What’s the best Christmas present you ever gave?
My daughter's art table. She's gotten so much use out of it.

What are your favorite Christmas movies?
Muppet Christmas Carol. One of the best movies ever made.

What’s your favorite Christmas carol?

I won't be home for Christmas by Blink-182. Although its not really much of a carol.

What’s your idea of a perfect holiday season?

Everybody getting along and Hallmark-happy.


Here's a delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie recipe:

  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


3 packages (24 ounces total) cream cheese, softened

2 cups cooked pumpkin purée or 1, 12 oz can canned pumpkin

2 cups sugar or splenda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspon ground ginger

dash salt

dash cloves

7 large eggs

2cups evaporated milk

2 9-inch deep dish graham cracker pie crust or baked deep dish pie crusts.
Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla. Beat in eggs and spices; mix with a hand mixer at medium speed until well blended. . Pour into pie crust. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, 1 cup of sugar, a dash of salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg ..Lightly beat 3 eggs and blend them in. .Mix in the 2 cups of evaporated milk. .Pour the pumpkin mixture over cream cream cheese layer that is already in the pie crust. Neither stir it in, nor worry about floating it on top. Just gently pour it in..Bake the pumpkin pie in the oven at 350° for about an 70 minutes; possibly another 10 minutes (until it has firmed up). The cream cheese layer will bubble up to the surface some; that's fine; it gives it the characteristic appearance. Make sure you cover the edge of the pie crusts if you use the baked deep dish regular crusts and not the graham cracker crust.
Cool the pumpkin pie and refrigerate it! It won't really firm up unless you do (it IS a cheesecake!) Refrigerate at least 3 hours, or overnight. Serve garnished with sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping.

What's your favorite memory of the holidays?


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Ruby Johnson said...

I was amused by the pizza story. I bet your mom loved not having to cook, but I wonder if she cooked the next year. Thanks for sharing your memories.

SusieSheehey said...

Amen to the Hallmark happy! I'm going to try your pumpkin cheesecake recipe. That's my husband's favorite dessert.
Might also try Pizza for Christmas one year. Never know until you try it!

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