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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

There Are a Bazillion Ways to be Together

March 10, 2008

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I'd spent the latter part of the afternoon in the kitchen making French toast with that extra thick bread, and bacon and hash browns, and we sat down just as the show started up, and it was all so good. We were celebrating the birthday of Child Number Two, and when I brought the two-layer double chocolate sour cream cake out everyone oohed and aahhed and we sang and clapped, but no one was all that hungry and the kids suggested we wait awhile.

Now usually the kids all take off after dinner and the kitchen is quiet and I get some thinking time while I clean up. Not so on Saturday. I don't know whether it was the jokes or the lit candles that kept them there, but there they sat. Perhaps they were too full to move. Whatever it was, I was glad for it. They're getting up there in age, and pretty soon Number One will be heading on out into the world and things will be a bit quieter, and the phone bill will skyrocket.

That's the thing about kids. You have them and they're wonderful but they make you crazy at the same time. You go from wanting to hold them close to wishing they'd go outside and stay there awhile until the cows come home. You invite them along grocery shopping for some company and quality time and they whine as if it's some kind of torture, and then you turn around and slip away for some alone time in a hot bath, and BOOM - there they are, all three of 'em, lined up at the edge of the tub on their knees in birth order, chattering away: "How come you take a bath every night?" "Remember I need a dress for the dance, only it doesn't have to be formal." "Who invented Daylight-Saving time?" "I have my birthday list almost finished." "What are those brown dots all over your knee?"

We sat there at the dinner table long after the show ended on Saturday, talking and finishing homework and listening to Mr. Sundberg tell joke after joke. Someone remembered the cake, and before I sliced it I lit up the candles again and set it in the middle of the table. There was a very long silence as the candles burned down. "Will we always be together on birthdays?" someone asked. Well, I said, there are a bazillion ways to be together, and I imagine we'll always find one.

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cups oats
2 c chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars in a small bowl. Add vanilla and egg
and beat well. Gradually add flour. Stir in cinnamon, oats and
3/4 cup chocolate chips.

Spread into lightly greased 9x13 cake pan, and bake at 350 for 22-27 minutes
or until center is set. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
Let stand awhile, then spread the melted chocolate evenly over the bars.


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