There isn't much that lasts forever
June 2, 2009
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I've been enjoying kitchen time with the windows open lately. Nothing like a gentle breeze, the scent of lilacs, and the glow of a citrus candle to set the scene for an evening of baking. Throw in the "Missouri Waltz" and the News from Lake Wobegon and what more could you ask for? A wooden spoon, maybe, and a few good flour sack towels fresh out of the dryer.
My best wooden spoon is lost to me now. I broke it in half while whipping up a batch of snickerdoodle dough last week, and I felt like crying for a good hour after. I know it sounds silly to cry over a wooden spoon, but you get attached to something and you lose it, you're bound to feel an ache. It was the same way with an old crockery bowl from my grandmother. It was medium-sized, just perfect for making pie crust and cookie bars, gray and cracked and lovely as can be. It just split in half one day out of the blue while I was mixing lemon curd, and I just stood there looking at it for a very long while before I set it gently in the garbage and went out to the porch swing where I sat for a while and watched a storm roll in and thought about my grandmother's forearms and hands and how stubborn she was and how she never gave up.
Of course you can't hold on to everything, and even if you could, why would you want to? I think the trick is to dwell not on what you lost but on what you gained by having had it. There isn't much that lasts forever. Not childhood, not wooden spoons, not lilacs. Not memory, even. Things and people come and go, and you hold on to what you can, and let go of what you must. As long as you manage to laugh once in a while, and take a road trip now and then, everything ought to turn out just fine. A bit of sauerkraut on occasion wouldn't hurt, either.
These bars are just right for picnics on windy days, or boat rides, or visits to the beach. Wrapped in individual squares, they're very much like pecan pie to go.
White or yellow cake mix (set aside 2/3 cup)
1 stick butter, melted
Mix together above ingredients. Pat into a 9 x 13 greased pan and build up a bit on the sides.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or so.
Mix together the reserved 2/3 cup cake mix,
1 1/2 cup dark Karo syrup,
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pour over crust. Top with 1 cup chopped pecans. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Let cool and cut.