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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

No Regrets

December 31, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was a quiet evening, snow blanketing everything and the only thing on was the radio and the occasional hum of a toy the kids got for Christmas, the one where you press a button and pour some fluorescent green and pink paint on the spinning paper and ta da! — there you have a work of paint-splatter art. Mr. Sundberg has been in Seattle all week at a conference on resolution and goal-setting, so I've been alone, which has been interesting. Combine the post-Christmas lull with pre-New Year introspection, throw in a container of leftover ham, a forecast of continued clouds and a high in the 20s, 15 lb of flour in the pantry, and the calendar switcheroo to take care of, and you can guess what I've been up to. We'll be eating wild rice soup and buttermilk biscuits 'til the cows come home.

I always have a bit of agony at the turn of the year, and this year's no different. A person can't help but glance back at the year past and feel something, whether it's pride or regret or success or whatever it is that makes people cringe nowadays. I'm no different, but I can't help but ask, really, what's the point? What's done is done, and good for you for failing to lose the fifty pounds because you lost thirty in the process and that ain't half bad. It's a shame about the storm in July and what it did to your barn, but wasn't that something having all the cousins show up in August and your barn is good as new? And then there's Dolores, whom we lost on Halloween, and we miss her and those bars, but she got to meet her Jesus and I'm thinking she's not looking back.

I had the recent privilege of hearing a talk by a college professor named Dr. Randy Pausch. He gave his Carnegie-Mellon University last lecture on achieving your childhood dreams, and he said two things that really stuck in my head:
1. Tell the truth.
2. It's not what you do that you'll regret; it's what you don't do.
So that's what I've been thinking about while I pay bills and pack away Christmas ornaments. And I'm thinking hard. Dr. Pausch has pancreatic cancer and a short while to live, and you really ought not take lightly the words of a dying man. Especially when they're intended to help make your own trip a little less wild. So while I'm not much for resolutions, I'm all for mindfulness and looking forward and getting one's act together. If you don't take Grand Prize this time around, here's always another BakeOff. In the meantime, what is it you wish to do with this next year of your life? Tell the truth. And then do it. No regrets.

Well, if you're looking to go into orbit, you've hit the jackpot. These bars are something else, and can be used to win friends and influence people. Or maybe even get a date if you're lookin'.

Kit Kat Bars

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter

Place in heavy pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
Place a layer of club crackers in 9x13 pan.
Cover with 1/2 caramel mixture.
Place another layer of crackers over and cover with the remaining caramel.
Melt about 2/3 cup peanut butter, 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup butterscotch chips together.
Spread over bars.
Refrigerate a while until firm. But not too long.

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