Martha Len Nelson / Food

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Fall brings bounty to town

So much to see, so much to eat, so much to do, so tempting to buy! There’s never a dull moment in Denton county.

On Saturday, you can dine at the Empty Bowls luncheon at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church or get your chocolate fix in Krum, where the First United Methodist Church is having its “Chocolate Festival” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — or do both!

Next week, Donna Trammell’s new production, celebrating the new donor tile wall at the PointBank Black Box Performing Arts Center on East Hickory Street, begins at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1. There are still 66 tiles that may be purchased to honor someone; when those are sold, the theater will be able to pay off the loan used to renovate and outfit the space.

The cabaret production, titled Top Hats and Tiles, features five of Denton’s favorite female vocalists, accompanied by John Priddy.

Donna salutes legendary ladies of Broadway with songs from shows about women, from Annie and Aida to The Unsinkable Molly Brown. The always listenable Bob Rogers will entertain with his music before the show.

Seating is limited; tickets at $15 each may be reserved by calling 940-382-1915. The show runs through Nov. 4.

Also on Nov. 3, Ryan High School will host its annual Arts and Crafts Show from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with more than 100 vendors that could really help in your Christmas shopping, plus a “Goodies Galore” booth.

At the goodies booth, you’ll find baked goods from biscotti, “Anything Goes” cupcakes, pies, cookies, loaf breads, even snack mixes — all packaged for gift-giving. I’m even making some pumpkin bread to donate.

And of course, homecoming at the University of North Texas is Saturday, Nov. 3.

The football game starts at 4 p.m., and at 11 a.m. there’s an opportunity to come to the ’Fessor Graham Luncheon at the Denton Country Club for $35 to hear great music by guitarist Jack Petersen, who played with Floyd “’Fessor” Graham’s stage band. Petersen, a Denton High School graduate, went on to teach at UNT and the University of North Florida.

Brad Leali will bring the UNT Three O’clock Lab Band for your dancing pleasure.

Tickets for the luncheon must be purchased by Wednesday by sending a check to the Floyd Graham Society, 915 Ector St., Denton, TX 76201 or sending money via PayPal to 940-565-0804 (the charge will show as Tattersall Publishing).

Each of the events mentioned above are fundraisers, all going to good causes: food for the needy, theater needs, interfaith efforts, overseas giving, music and high school scholarships.

Isn’t Denton a great, giving town to live in?

Speaking of pumpkin, that flavor seems to be the flavor of the season: pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin-flavored coffee — and now pumpkin cheesecake, our recipe of the day from the Denton Woman’s Club Cookbook.

Yankee Pumpkin Cheesecake Crust:

•  1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers

•  1/4 cup sugar

•  6 tablespoons butter, melted


•  3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

•  3/4 cup sugar

•  1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

•  5 eggs

•  1/4 cup heavy cream

•  1 teaspoon cinnamon

•  1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

•  1/4 teaspoon cloves

•  1 pound pumpkin, canned or freshly cooked


•  6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

•  1 cup brown sugar

•  1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Combine crust ingredients. Press firmly into bottom and halfway up the sides of a lightly greased 9-inch spring-form pan.

To make filling, use an electric mixer to cream the cheese, then add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in cream, spices and pumpkin.

Pour filling into prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for one hour.

In the meantime, prepare the topping. Cream butter with brown sugar, then stir in walnuts.

After cheesecake has baked for an hour, gently spoon or drop topping over the top. Bake 15 minutes more.

Cool completely and refrigerate to serve.

This cheesecake can be made two to three days before serving, and it’s so rich, it serves several.

MARTHA LEN NELSON can be contacted at 940-382-9597 or e-mail .


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