Monday, November 3, 2008

Squam Lake French Vanilla Pumpkin Squares

Recipes from the Heart

By Michell Muldoon 

Reunion in New Hampshire

Respect, Recycle, Rethink

Responsibilities for Reconnections


Late August proved to be quite an opportunity for our family to gather on the quiet shores of Squam Lake at the base of the White Mountains.  After 25 years of group vacations, the children of our shared families have gone from toddling babies and high-energy polar bears to becoming engineers, musicians, teachers, West Point grads, pharmaceutical reps, distinguished students and most honored of all accomplishments, parents of their own little children.  New Hampshire was the place we all chose to come together, to take a break from our professional lives to celebrate the 80th Birthday of our mother and grandmother, Marion Muldoon, matron of many, figure-head to four generations.  With this shared history came memories and a new way of seeing how important it is to consider the consequences of our actions, the impact on the land and how we use our resources when we visit such a beautiful place. This was especially true when we had 21 people who came from every major region of this country. It is important to recognize that with so many people there is a diversity of life-styles, attitudes and preferences for everything from foods to creature comforts.

For one glorious week we shared meals, told stories, built castles on the beach, visited Common Man's Ashland location, heard Art Harriman sing, savored New Hampshire's famous and very fresh Stonyfield yogurt, played cards at night, took zillions of canoe trips out into the vast open expanse of Big Squam. Some of us took on the challenge of a hike up Mount Washington.  What was most surprising about all of this was the simplicity we shared and the fact that we were able to enrich our relationships with a light touch that did not heavily impact on the environment.  This was a conscious effort.

As our culture grows, we are more and more convenience-oriented.  This kind of passive participation in the protection of our planet has to be looked at and considered by all who visit this beautiful State.  When we came together as a family, the way we would negotiate our week together was to make compromises.  Staying focused on deepening our history and connections enhanced the experience of this gathering.  Success came through a delicate balance.  This balance was like breathing in and breathing out, knowing there would be times together and times apart.  Respecting individual freedoms while maintaining the group dynamic is a challenge, at best, especially while sharing a week's worth of meals with so many different personalities and preferences.

One of the favorite foods shared with this group was a simple Breakfast Bread that was served with fresh fruit and Stonyfield Yogurt.  With a tiny oven and mini fridge, any kind of treat was well received.  This one was served several times during our visit and, with little variation, we managed to make everyone happy.  Because there were no cooking utensils or measuring cups, the Stonyfield container was used as a tool to estimate the ingredients.  With minor variations, we ate a hearty breakfast and looked forward to the adventures we were so fortunate to share.

Squam Lake French Vanilla Pumpkin Squares

6 oz. container of Stonyfield French Vanilla Yogurt

2 Eggs

Using the empty Stonyfield container, measure and add;

1 Cup of Corn Meal

1 Cup of Crispy Rice Cereal

1/4 Cup of Canola Oil

1 Cup of canned Pumpkin

3/4 Cup of Raisins


A pinch of Salt and pinch of Baking Soda

A sprinkle of Cinnamon for garnish

Stir all ingredients together and pour into a greased square 9" x 9" pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a fork inserted comes out dry.

Serve with canned or fresh Apples and Stonyfield French Vanilla Yogurt with a sprinkle of Cinnamon.


Michell Muldoon is president of Fun Playdates. For more fun Recipes, Recycled Craft ideas for Playgroups, PlayDates and Get-together's, Family-Safe Movie Reviews and Play-related Medical advice, visit:

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