Creative pumpkin cooks put their mixers to the test last Friday, all vying for the opportunity to have their recipe added to Heritage Assisted Living Community Dover's Thanksgiving menu.

To connect with the community, Dover's Heritage Assisted Living Community held its third cooking contest this year on Friday, Nov. 16, asking for pumpkin creative pumpkin recipes that could be included on the community's Thanksgiving menu this week.

Fifteen people, including Heritage staff and teachers at St. John's Lutheran School, participated with 17 separate recipes that included cupcakes, dip, cake, bisque, pralines and soup.

Each entry was rated on a scale of one to five across several categories: creativity, originality, appearance, taste and bold use of pumpkin flavoring.

Recreation Director Kyla Teed recruited nine judges for the task: Anne Sterling and Dominick Napolitano, both HAL residents; St. John's Lutheran School eighth graders Tyler Wingfield, Akira Wise, Avery Fairbanks, Jasmine Bunkley, David Harwood and Ramon Morning; And, Dover Post Arts and Entertainment Reporter Christine Miller.

After sampling each recipe, the ballots were calculated and three winners emerged. Diane Yiesley's pumpkin pudding came in third placed, Teed's "No Fuss Pumpkin Cake" earned the number two spot and the overall winner with the highest score was Whitney Palmer's layered pumpkin mousse parfait, which also featured a crumbled cookie topping alongside a single gingersnap embellishment.

For her efforts, Palmer will see her recipe added to the 2012 Thanksgiving menu at HAL Dover.

Teed, who said she's never won any kind of cooking contest before, was pleased with all the submissions and contributions.

"I think it's great that so many people participated and I'm pleased with the turnout," Teed said. "It's just such a great cross-generational community event. Watching the kids interact with our residents was wonderful and you could see them enjoying the food and each other. We can't wait for our next one."

The next competition will be a chocolate lover's cook off, just in time for Valentine's Day 2013.



By Whitney Palmer


½ cup fat free milk

1 (1 oz) package instant butterscotch pudding

½ cup canned pumpkin puree

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp all spice

2 tbsp confectioner sugar (can add more to suit taste)

1pint heavy whipping cream

10 crushed ginger snap cookies

4 whole ginger snap cookies.

Putting it all together-

Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl. Whip for two minutes. Then, let it stand for two minutes. Repeat until mixture is thick. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and all spice. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream and confectioner sugar until peaks are formed.

In a serving dish (clear cups also work well) layer as follows: crushed cookies, pumpkin mixture, cookies, cream. Repeat until the dish is full. The top layer should be whipped cream. For garnish, add a bit of crumbled cookie and one whole cookie. Keep chilled until ready to serve.