by Debbie Dance Uhrig
Welcome to fall, it’s here, it’s glorious, and it’s my favorite time of the year. Thought a few of my grandmother’s and mom’s would enjoy making these homemade granola bars. Truth of the matter is I may be giving these the wrong name! A friend of mine at Silver Dollar City, Jane Franck, shared these with me about 3 years ago. They are delicious, easy to make and everyone enjoys munching on them! Jane drives a school bus, but in the summer season she is known as the ‘tie dye’ lady at Silver Dollar City.
Jane lost her husband in the last year and she has found a great deal of solace in cooking these last few months. She experimented with lots of different recipes because her spouse was diabetic. This summer it seemed like every morning she was sitting at the back gate with another baked good in tow. Cooking becomes a place of serenity, gratification and fulfillment in the avenues of life.
Just today I was asked what would be my favorite thing to prepare in the kitchen. It’s not an easy question because I love cooking and creating new dishes. However I would say my favorite category would be bread making. There is something about putting my hands into dough, working the product, letting it rise and watching it grow. Then turning it and twisting it into a delicious loaf of bread, cinnamon roll, tea ring or pizza! It seems to be the favorite delicacy of many palates and one that evokes precious memories. Actually it’s much like the Master Gardner who enjoys working the soil with their hands. We work the product, we water, and pretty soon it’s rising and producing beautiful flowers and plants. “All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.”
Surprise yourself with this yummy treat. Jane prepares this differently every time she brings it in to work. With the addition of raisins, nuts, coconut and seeds you can create your own favorite mixture. If you were afraid of over-eating I know exactly what I would do. I would cut the bars into pieces much like a granola bar. Then I would wrap them in saran and place them in the freezer. It would make a wonderful mid-afternoon pick-me-up. But don’t forget the lunchbox for school or work. Then you know what’s in your food and you won’t be relying upon something pre-packaged with a big agenda of hidden ingredients.
On the home front I am pleased to announce that the book is presently being proofed! By the next column I hope I’m telling you I mailed it off to the publishers. I felt like I climbed the first mountain and I’m in the valley getting ready for the next peak.
After work Ervin and Phillip were off helping some friends who needed help with outdoor chores. Tomorrow they’re painting for them and planning another home improvement. Wish I could help but since my days off are not the same, it’s not exactly possible.
Life is good and I’m realizing I’m working too much! Trying to take what I say each week to my readers and apply it personally. Grab ahold of the week and find a piece just for you. For me it was time on the screened-in porch doing nothing but resting on the chaise. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
By June Franck
1 stick butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups quick cook oats
Optional: nuts, peanuts, coconut, dried fruits, miniature chocolate chips
Melt the butters, sugar, and honey together; then add the vanilla and wheat germ. Remove from the heat and stir in the quick cooking oats. Cover oats entirely and add any of the optional ingredients that you desire.
Pour mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Cook in a 350 degree oven until lightly golden. This is usually no longer than 15 minutes. Cool and enjoy!
One additional tip might be to line your baking pan with foil or parchment paper.