Katie’s Carrot Salad

“In Adam’s Fall,
we sinned all.”

This is how children were introduced to the alphabet in The New England Primer, the first and most famous textbook published in the American colonies. The rhyming verses and woodcut images taught children their letters and gave them a moral lesson.

The Primer included The Shorter Catechism, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles Creed as well as hymns and verses used to teach children to read and learn how to become good Christian adults. Though I didn’t know that it was one of the verses from The New England Primer, I can still recite this famous prayer that we recited long ago in Sunday School and before we went to bed.

“Now I lay me down to take my sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep, 
If I should die before I wake, 
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

But despite the guidance of our parents and teachers, we all slip sometimes and even a pastor can mislead a member of his congregation. Thus it was that Jerri came came home from a church potluck praising Pastor Jim’s carrot salad. She made it several times over the next eight or ten years until she was distracted by some other recipes.

A few weeks ago, she asked me if I had put a carrot salad on Courage in the Kitchen. Since I had not, she suggested that I do Jim’s Carrot Salad. When I asked for the recipe, she confessed that she was no longer certain about all the ingredients. An email to Jim and his wife produced the recipe and the truth.

It is Katie’s, not Jim’s salad. I’m sure Jim did not intentionally lead Jerri to believe that it was his salad, but it is very tempting to claim ownership of a recipe that good cooks are swooning over. We must always remember that even pastors are human.

Here is Katie’s introduction to the salad:

“The recipe is really my mother’s but she taught me to throw in what tastes good to me. Her version didn’t include coconut but Jim loves coconut….My carrot salad is sort of a throw anything you want in.  I put in grated carrots, coconut, raisins, apple, and mayo thinned slightly with pineapple juice. It’s mostly carrots, but I do like to put a little chopped raw apple in also.  Sunflower seeds may be Jerri’s version and that sounds good, too.  I do like salads and usually guess at what I would like to eat most in the salad.”

Here is some guidance to help you create a delicious carrot salad. I call it Katie’s, but she credits her mother with teaching her to make it, Jim inspired her to add the coconut and Jerri apparently contributed the sunflower seeds. This is a very forgiving recipe (pun intended) that you can customize to fit your tastes.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup grated or flaked coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 – 3 T pineapple juice

PROCEDURE:

Wash and scrape or peel four or five large carrots. Grate them into a large mixing bowl. You want about three cups of grated carrots. Add a quarter cup of crisp apple chopped into a quarter-inch dice along with the coconut, raisins and sunflower seeds. Mix everything together.

Blend two or three tablespoons of pineapple juice with a quarter cup of mayonnaise or salad dressing and stir the dressing into the other ingredients. If the salad is too dry, add more mayonnaise and pineapple juice. If it tastes bland, try adding a teaspoon of lemon juice. If it is not sweet enough, use a little more pineapple juice or add a tiny bit of sugar or honey.

NOTES: Obviously, you should feel free to omit or add an ingredient or to increase the amount of one you like. My advice always is to be cautious when changing a recipe. You may really like sunflower seeds, for instance, but a cupful might have an effect you didn’t intend.

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Nancy’s Caramel Pecan Squares

Jerri and I both like to read and we value libraries, but she is more generous of her time than I am. That’s why she has been active on the Board of Directors of Friends of the Friday Memorial Library for the past twenty years or so. I just show up for the annual meeting to listen to the speaker and enjoy the snacks.

One time many years ago Nancy, who was an officer of the group, brought two plates piled high with some tasty dessert bars loaded with pecans and caramel. Those bars were a big hit, and we asked for the recipe. She emailed it to us, and here it is.

INGREDIENTS:

1 yellow Pillsbury Plus cake mix or equivalent
1/4 cup butter
4 cups pecan halves
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup whipping cream

PROCEDURE:

Preheat the oven to 350º.  

Put the cake mix into a large bowl.  Use a pastry blender to cut in a quarter cup of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Line a ten by fifteen-inch jelly roll pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Make a bottom crust by pressing the cake mix evenly into the bottom of the pan and top it with the pecan halves.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugars, butter and honey.  Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil for three minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the whipping cream until it is well blended.  

Pour the mixture evenly over the pecans.  Bake for seventeen to twenty-two minutes or until the entire surface is bubbly.

Cool completely and cut into bars.

NAN’S NOTES: “Be sure to line the pan with wide heavy duty foil so that you have at least a two inch overhang.  This prevents spillovers, and makes cutting and removal of the bars easier. I have used half and half instead of whipping cream.  Seems to work just fine.”

MY NOTE: These bars are very rich. One and a half-inch squares are big enough. You can always take two.

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Cheesy Sour Cream Potatoes

Church potlucks, family reunions, picnics and buffet dinners are all occasions when you are likely to encounter hash brown potatoes as the main ingredient in a casserole. This version is one from The Krehbiel Family Cookbook. Jerri’s nieces compiled this cookbook to preserve recipes that their mother used when they were growing up.

Phyllis was busy raising four girls, helping out with the lambs on the farm, tending the garden and directing the music at their church, so a lot of her recipes are ones that don’t take much time in the kitchen.

This particular one is very easy to make if you remember to take the hash browns out of the freezer an hour or two before assembling the dish. You stir everything together, put it in a covered baking pan and slip it into a hot oven for an hour.

The result is a rich combination of cheese and potatoes that goes particularly well with a ring of smoked sausage steamed for a few minutes after you take the casserole out of the oven. And it’s even filling enough to serve as the main dish with a salad and bread for a light supper.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cups sour cream
1/2 stick butter or oleo
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup onion
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

PROCEDURE:

Preheat the oven to 350º and grease a nine by thirteen-inch baking pan.

Thaw the potatoes, melt the butter or oleo and grate the cheese. Chop the onion very fine to about a sixteenth-inch dice.

Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Spread the mixture evenly into the baking pan. Cover and bake for an hour.

NOTE: Jerri’s nieces noted that you can freeze this casserole either before or after baking. If you are baking an uncooked frozen casserole, bake it for about an hour and a half. If reheating a cooked casserole, bake for forty-five to sixty minutes.

This recipe serves as a main dish for six to eight diners or a buffet offering for a dozen or more. You can cut the ingredients in half and bake it in an eight by twelve inch pan if you wish.

One of our friends used to make a very similar casserole that she brought to a church choir potluck one year. Hers had a topping of crunchies. If you want, you could add them to this recipe after it has baked covered a half hour. Sprinkle a cup or two of crushed corn flakes on top, dribble a couple of tablespoons of melted butter over them and bake the casserole uncovered another thirty minutes.

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Gluten-free Chilean Quinoa Tabbouleh

One of our great-nieces and her husband have twin sons with wheat or gluten intolerance. Although most of us don’t think about this particular allergy, people who are allergic to wheat or other grains with gluten such as rye and barley need to avoid recipes or prepared foods that contain it. Ordinary soy sauce is made from wheat, and many commercial products such as pasta sauce, ketchup and mustard often are thickened with wheat starch.

However, many gluten-free foods are now available on store shelves and lists of gluten-free alternatives to common diet ingredients are now easy to find on the Web. For example, most supermarkets today sell both bulgar and buckwheat groats. Bulgar is made from wheat and contains gluten. Buckwheat groats are cracked buckwheat seeds which have no gluten.

We like pilaf pilaf which is made from cracked wheat or bulgar, but we also like kasha, kasha which is made with buckwheat groats. If you are careful to make your kasha with gluten-free chicken broth, you will have a wonderful side dish with no gluten that tastes different but is just as delicious as pilaf.

Another example is tabbouleh, an Eastern Mediterranean vegetable salad commonly made with bulgar or couscous, both of which contain gluten. Made with quinoa, it is a delicious gluten-free side dish. Quinoa originated in the Andes and has been cultivated for at least three thousand years by the Andean people. The Incas thought of it as sacred and called it the “mother of all grains.”

Though it has no gluten, it does have a lot of protein, dietary fiber and minerals that make it a healthful ingredient in your next batch of tabbouleh.

Kristi makes this salad often. Her introduction to the recipe says it all: “This makes quite a large dish, but it is SO good! This is one of our favorite summer dishes.” 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
5 T fresh lemon juice, divided
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup finely chopped red onion
4 plum tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumbers
1 ripe avocado 

PROCEDURE:

Shuck two medium ears of sweet corn and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the cobs. You should have about a cup of corn kernels. Put them in a container and microwave them on high for about 2 1/2 minutes. Check that they are lightly cooked, and set them aside to cool.

Put the quinoa and water into a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent. This will take ten to thirteen minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork as you transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Let it cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa is cooling, wash and peel the cucumbers, leaving small strips of green for color. Slice the cucumber lengthwise into quarters, trim off the seeds and chop it into a half inch dice. Wash and chop the tomatoes, also into a half inch dice. You should have about a cup of each vegetable.

Remove the husks from the onion and garlic. Chop the onion into a quarter inch dice and mince the garlic.

Wash and coarsely chop the cilantro into three-eighths to half-inch pieces.

Wash and juice two or three lemons.

Sprinkle the quinoa with the salt and pepper and stir. Use a fork to fold the ingredients together from underneath the grains of quinoa. Fold four tablespoons of the lemon juice and the oil into the quinoa, then fold in the cilantro and garlic.

Toss the avocado with the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
Fold the corn, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado into the quinoa. Let the salad rest for three or four minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings.

Serve at a cool room temperature within two hours of preparation.

NOTES: Kristi says that the recipe makes enough to serve eight to ten people. If you offer it as a side dish, we think that it will serve twelve or more.

If your tabbouleh seems too dry, add a little more olive oil and lemon juice.

Tabbouleh is pronounced “tah-BOO-luh.”

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Easy Oatmeal Pancakes

As I have written elsewhere, we had a lot of pancakes for breakfast when I was growing. up. Most were Mom’s ordinary thin pancakes, but she made other kinds from time to time.

Though I don’t remember them, chances are good that she made oatmeal pancakes once in a while, since she loved trying new recipes and always had a big box of old-fashioned oatmeal in the kitchen. She made oatmeal bread, oatmeal cookies and even oatmeal cakes along with oatmeal toppings for apple and berry crisps.

We had hot oatmeal for breakfast at least a couple times a month. When it was really cold outside (thirty degrees or more below zero) even my dog, Nugget, and Mama Kitty would have oatmeal for breakfast. Mom would make an extra large batch of oatmeal and spoon the steaming leftovers into the two bowls on the back stoop. Dog and cat would dine peacefully side by side on mornings like that.

Considering the nutritional benefits of oatmeal, you might want to add these pancakes to your list of breakfast dishes. They are a bit chewy but delicious. If you serve them with butter and plenty of maple syrup, even the most finicky person at your breakfast table will almost certainly find them more than merely edible.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk
2 T vegetable oil

PROCEDURE:

Preheat a griddle over medium-low heat to about 350º while you make the batter. If the griddle is not non-stick, grease before heating, or use a non-stick vegetable oil spray.

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs in a small bowl until they are lemon colored. Beat one and one-half cups of buttermilk and two tablespoons of oil into the eggs, and gently stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients.

Mix the batter only enough to make sure that all the dry ingredients have been moistened. If the batter seems too thick, add more buttermilk.

Cook the first side for two to four minutes, until brown, then flip each pancake and cook the other side until brown.

Serve with butter and maple syrup.

NOTES: This recipe makes about twenty four-inch cakes.

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Great Gram’s Sugar Cookies

Some jokes precede the World Wide Web! It’s true, though some have been updated. For instance, we used to ask, “What do cats call mice on roller skates?” instead of skateboards, but the answer was the same: “Meals on wheels!” I think that it was a pretty new joke when I was a kid, but my dad taught me this riddle that he learned when he was a boy: “What has ears but can’t hear?” The answer, of course, is a cornfield. I thought it was pretty neat and shared it with my friends.

The ancient Romans enjoyed some of the same jokes that now float around cyberspace. Here’s a pretty good one: A senator walks into the barbershop. The barber asks, “How would you like your hair cut?” and the senator replies, “In silence.” Probably a bad day at the forum.

Like jokes, recipes have been around long before the invention of the World Wide Web, and indeed even before the invention of paper. Three clay tablets from Babylon written nearly 3,800 years ago are the oldest cookbooks discovered up to now. They record twenty-five recipes for preparing different kinds of meats and vegetables.

The biggest difference between then and now is that today common folks like us can read while only the very highest classes of people in Babylon could read even really important things like King Hammurabi’s code of law. The recipes may have been written down so the grandson of Hammurabi could have a royal scribe read the instructions to the cook. “Tell him to make it just like grandpa’s cook did it, or I’ll have him sent to the mines.”

Today we can find hundreds of recipes for sugar cookies just by tapping our computer trackpad or mouse. Most of us like to recall that perfect sugar cookie Mom made when we were little and think of it as the original and best sugar cookie of all. But Shakespeare probably felt the same way about his mother’s sugar cookies, since “sugar cakes” were popular in Elizabethan England.

More recently, our first three Presidents, George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, all enjoyed varieties of sugar cookies. Though only the rich could afford them until modern times, sugar cookies have been popular since sugar was first crystalized in India more than 1,600 years ago.

Perhaps it is enough to paraphrase the slogan of Composer’s Datebook broadcast on National Public Radio by reminding each other that “All sugar cookie recipes were once new.” Here is an old one that is new to me. Our neighbor Jill found the recipe in a St. Croix county AARP newsletter, and I asked her to share it after she tempted us with a plateful.

The recipe is from Sharon Fregine, who has been cooking for her friends and neighbors at the Woodville Senior Center for over twenty years. This is her recipe for Great Gram’s Sugar Cookies.

INGREDIENTS:

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

PROCEDURE:

Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tarter into a bowl. Put the sugars, butter and oil into another bowl. Use a wooden spoon to cream them together until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and flavoring.

Stir the flour mixture into the liquid ingredients a cup at a time and beat thoroughly. Use a spatula to form the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375º.

Use a small cookie scoop to drop the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet or form balls with about two tablespoons of dough for each cookie.

Put a couple of tablespoons of sugar on a saucer. Lightly butter a glass, dip it in the sugar on the saucer and use the glass to flatten the balls. Bake for about ten minutes.

NOTES: Jill uses a mug with a concave bottom to flatten the balls. Be careful not to bake the cookies too long. They should just barely begin to brown on the edges.

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Andrea’s Poppy Seed Dressing

Earlier this summer our neighbor Andrea gave us a bottle of a creamy poppy seed salad dressing that she had made. Jerri and I thought it was delicious, and we discussed how to make one as good. We thought that Andrea had started with some kind of cooked base to give it the creamy texture that made it so lovely on our salads.

A few days later, when I was dropping off a sample of something I had cooked, I thanked her for the dressing. I told her that we enjoyed it very much and asked for the recipe. When I remarked about how cooked dressings are so velvety, she said, “It’s not cooked. You just throw everything in the blender to emulsify the oil and vinegar. I found the recipe a long time ago on the web.”

It’s just as easy as she says. Here is what you do.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. onion juice or 2 tsp. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 T poppy seeds

PROCEDURE:

Put the vinegar, onion juice (or chopped onion), sugar, mustard and salt in the blender container. Blend the ingredients for twenty to thirty seconds on medium speed to make a smooth liquid. Increase the blender speed to high, and add the oil slowly to make a thick dressing. Turn off the blender and stir in the poppy seeds.

Transfer the finished dressing to serving-size bottles or jars and refrigerate.

NOTES: The recipe makes about one and three quarters cups of dressing. It goes well with both green and fruit salads. Though it tastes quite sweet, two tablespoons contain fewer than twelve grams of carbohydrates.

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Lorrie’s Roosevelt Beans

Once in a while I admit to being a “heat and eat cook.” Here is a recipe that combines the convenience of opening cans for supper with the added flavors of freshly sautéd sausage, bacon and onion plus the zip provided by condiments that you are almost sure to have in your kitchen.

Lorrie emailed me a photo she took of the recipe for Roosevelt Beans printed on the menu at the Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. She was also kind enough to explain how she modified the recipe and even shared the results of her research about it. A comment about Roosevelt Beans on Recipelink states that Roosevelt Lodge got the recipe from a cookbook published by a Lutheran Church at McIntosh, Minnesota and attributes the dish to Naomi Jean Thompson (Hillgartner).

Considering the courage and ingenuity of the ladies who bring dishes to potlucks, I think it’s very likely that Naomi Jean did bring this bean casserole to church one Sunday morning and was urged to share the recipe with her friends and neighbors. A few days ago a lady told me that the “old” First Lutheran Church cookbook had the same or a very similar recipe, so it may be one invented by many different ladies once beans were being sold in cans.

I like both the name and flavor of this dish, it is easy to prepare and the different beans make it attractive. You can set it proudly on the potluck table or serve it as a main course for five or six with a salad and bread.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 lb. country pork sausage
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium onion (2 1/2 inch diameter)
1 (16 oz.) can pork and beans
1 (16 oz.) can kidney beans
1 (16 oz.) can lima beans
1 (16 oz.) can butter bean
2 T brown sugar
2 T cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder, optional
1/2 cup ketchup
1 T spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste

PROCEDURE:

Preheat the oven to 325º and chop the onion into a half inch dice.

Cut the bacon into quarter inch pieces. Fry the sausage and bacon together over medium heat, breaking up the sausage as it cooks. When the sausage is about half done, add the onion and continue frying until the onion is translucent but not brown. Remove the meat mixture from the heat but don’t drain it.

Drain the liquid from the butter, kidney and lima beans and put them in a large mixing bowl. Add the can of pork and beans with their liquid. Stir in the meat mixture along with the sugar, vinegar, garlic, ketchup, mustard, black pepper and water. Add a little salt if you wish.

Transfer the beans to a three quart casserole and bake uncovered at 325º for forty-five minutes.

NOTES: Lorrie said that she used a cast iron skillet so she could use the same pan to fry the meat and onion and bake the casserole. I like one-dish recipes, but our cast iron skillets are not large enough.

Be very careful with the salt. The meats and beans have plenty of salt for us, but you may want to add a little. Some versions of Roosevelt Beans give you a choice of substituting ground beef for the sausage. In that case, I would definitely add at least a quarter teaspoon of salt.

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Lihamurekepiiras—Finnish Meat Loaf in Sour Cream Pastry

Many years ago our niece Gina and her husband gave us a little spiral-bound cookbook, Fine Finnish Foods. Compiled by Gerry Kangas of Palo, Minnesota and published in 1988, it is still in print and includes a lot of recipes passed down from mothers to daughters.

Here is a beautiful main dish that tastes as good as it looks. Even better, it is surprisingly easy to make.

INGREDIENTS:

For the dough:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chilled butter or margarine
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream

For the filling:
4 T butter
1/4 lb. mushrooms
2 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef, veal or pork
1 medium-small onion (about 2” in diameter)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Cheddar or Swiss cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 T milk

PROCEDURE:

Sift the flour and salt together. Cut the butter or margarine into the flour with a fork or pastry blender until the flour looks like coarse cornmeal. Beat the egg into the sour cream, then stir it into the flour mixture. Work the liquid into the dry ingredients until you have a soft ball. Wrap it in waxed paper or plastic film and refrigerate the dough for an hour.

Make the filling while the dough is cooling. Clean and chop the mushrooms into a quarter-inch dice. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet and sauté the mushrooms for about six minutes. Add the meat, onion, salt and pepper and cook them until the meat is done and the juices have evaporated. Lower the heat if necessary, so the meat and onions do not get crisp.

Preheat the oven to 375º and grease a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.

Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the meat to cool for five or six minutes. Grate the cheese while the meat is cooling, then mix the cheese and milk with the meat.

Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a six by fourteen-inch rectangle. Put one rectangle on the cookie sheet and spoon the meat mixture into a ridge along the center of the dough. Shape the meat into a loaf, leaving about an inch of dough around the meat. Brush the exposed dough with a little milk.

Lay the second rectangle of dough on top of the loaf and trim the dough to make a neat rectangle. Seal the edges with a fork. Beat the egg and milk together and paint the dough. Prick holes on top to let the steam escape.

Bake the loaf for thirty-five to forty-five minutes until it is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, then cut thick slices to produce six to eight servings.

Serve with sour cream and lingonberry or cranberry sauce.

NOTES: I have modified Mrs. Kangas’s recipe slightly by including a little salt and pepper and using only two and a half pounds of meat.

OPTIONS: If you like spicier foods, you can add a little more salt and pepper to the meat mixture, but be especially careful with the salt, as some cheeses are quite salty. Some recipes call for three or four tablespoons of finely chopped parsley along with garlic salt and Worcestershire sauce. Try them if you want, but the Finns like to keep things simple.

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Pam’s Date Squares

Many years ago a lady who liked the recipe for Grandma Rang’s Date Cookies asked if I had a good recipe for date squares. I emailed two of my sisters for help and my youngest sister, Pam, came through with the recipe. She said that it was from one of her cookbooks and that it made delicious date squares.

When you go to a church potluck or the coffee table between worship services you will often find bars like this. Mom made bars with oatmeal crusts and fruit fillings all the time. I think that dates make the best filling, but apricots are a close second. You might want to substitute dried apricots for the dates sometime just to compare the results.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp, baking soda
1 lb. dates
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice

PROCEDURE:

Chop the dates into a half inch dice and put them into a saucepan. Add the water and sugar and cook the dates over medium to low heat until the mixture is clear. Stir often to keep the mixture from scorching. Stir in the lemon juice and set the pan aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350º and butter an eight by twelve rectangular or nine-inch square baking pan.

Sift the flour, salt and soda together in a medium-sized bowl. Cream the sugar gradually into the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the rolled oats and flour a quarter cup at a time to the creamed butter and sugar and mix well.

Press one half of the oat and flour dough in the bottom of the greased pan. Spread the date filling evenly over the bottom crust and cover it with the remaining dough. Bake for about twenty minutes or until the top begins to turn golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool a few minutes. Cut into squares while the pan is warm.

NOTE: Don’t even think of using oleo for these bars.

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