The sweet treats baked by JourneyCare volunteer Nikki Pals have long brought comfort to patients and their families – and to Nikki herself.
She began volunteering five years ago at the Pepper Family Hospice CareCenter in Barrington when her husband, Rich, was a hospice patient at their home. He was unable to speak, so volunteering gave Nikki an outlet to connect in conversation with others.
After Rich died in October 2016, Nikki continued to volunteer on Thursdays. But now her help was needed in the kitchen, and she quickly discovered that baking proved therapeutic after the loss of her husband. Soon, her cookies, pastries and other goodies became a weekly treat anticipated by JourneyCare patients, families and team members alike.
As the holidays approach, Nikki says she is reminded of how she and Rich differed in their opinions on pumpkin pie: he loved it, but the pie in its traditional form was not her favorite. So, one of Rich’s favorite recipes was a twist on pumpkin pie that Nikki created so the couple could enjoy together: pumpkin pie crunch.
For your celebrations this year, Nikki has shared this special recipe that puts her creative spin on an old favorite. Enjoy and happy holidays!
Pumpkin Pie Crunch Recipe