September 21, 2018
The Flavors of Fall
Me, doing a little apple picking last weekend.
September 16, 2018
My daughter just called me. I love chatting with my kiddos! She pointed out to me
that tomorrow is the first day of autumn! Until that phone call, I had thought that the first day of fall was another week away, and that I had that “other week”
to write this blog post, as sort of an ode to autumn! Oh, well…
Wow, where did the summer months go?!
Where did the summer go?
I love autumn! In fact, it is my very most favorite of the four seasons: apples and pumpkins, with all of the goodies that you can make with them, football, crisp clear days, sweaters, fires in the fireplace, and the changing color of the leaves… I am sure that you, my clever readers, can add to this list of all that fall offers.
(Please, mention “a few of your favorite things” about autumn in the comments).
Mini-pumpkins adorn my kitchen table in honor of autumn’s arrival.
A Visit to the Farm
Last Sunday, I happily joined some of my family members for our
annual apple picking day, at not -too -far -away, Larriland Farm.
It was nice to visit Maryland farm country.
We checked out the apple orchard, and the colorful flower patch.
The big red barn welcomes its guests to Larriland.
Calico corn (also known as Indian corn, or Flint corn ) decorates the barn.
I bought thee best (homegrown) tomatoes that day,
and had delicious BLTs for dinner!
(You can see the tomatoes in the lower middle of the photo above.)
Colorful gourds and mini pumpkins were plentiful.
Larriland’s apple cider is always a good choice.
I use Larriland’s easy recipe, here,
to make tasty, soothing (Larriland’s) hot apple cider every fall.
It is a family favorite.
We never go home empty-handed from The Farm!
Thank you to my daughter in-law for this photo!
My basket of apples from last weekend’s apple picking outing.
Actually, we visited the red barn while at Larriland to purchase these beauties. :o)
What flavors make you think fall? One item, that “falls” into this category for me
(yes, that was a pun), are my grandma’s recipe for moist, yummy maple bars. My grandma would make them often, and for some reason the distinct maple flavor of these bars evokes in me the warm, cozy feeling of fall.
(My grandma also made oh-so scrumptious chocolate chip cookies, that she always kept stored in a large reused coffee can in the chest-style deep freeze.)
A bowl full of chocolate chip cookies made from my grandma’s recipe.
For the recipe for these perfect chocolate chip cookies, click here.
Grandma’s Maple Bars are a nice compliment to a hot cup of tea.
Iowa was experiencing a major snow storm, in early January 1999, when I was visiting my grandma to celebrate her 90th birthday. Aside from enjoying the celebration, I desperately wanted to get her recipe for her signature maple bars during this visit.
My favorite photo of my maternal Grandma and Grandpa on their Iowa farm.
Her response? She had no recipe! She always made them from memory, without a written recipe. So, together my grandma and I came up with a written recipe, with Grandma walking me through each step of the process, deciding on exact measurements as we went along. The recipe that you see below is the yummy result of that cooking collaboration. My grandma went to Heaven in 2004, but the sweet memories of her,
and her maple bar recipe lives on.
This is the actual recipe (in blue pen) as dictated to me by my Grandma.
Later on, I added the pencil notes.
The calico salt and pepper shakers were Grandma’s.
Making Grandma’s Maple Bars
You can get an idea of the basic steps of this recipe via the photos below.
The Maple Bar Ingredients
I use a Baker’s Quarter Sheet pan for these bars.
The quarter sheet pan, that I use, measures about 11.5 x 8 x 1.5.
Creaming ingredients together with my tried and true blue Kitchen Aid mixer.
A half of a scant, or 1/4 of 1/4th teaspoon, of cinnamon is all that is needed.
Raisins just put on the stove to “plump” them up.
Cooked and “plumped” up raisins
Strain the cooked raisins, saving the juice/water.
Stir in 1/4 cup reserved juice/water, and then add quick oatmeal.
Spread the batter over a parchmented(is that a word?), or greased, pan.
Make frosting while bars are baking. Frost while warm.
Once cool, divide bars into squares, and garnish with English walnut halves.
As you can see by the photos above and below, my son and I could not wait to try these tasties. :o)
(If you like Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies, then you will LOVE these!)
For another photo of these yummy bars, click here.
Grandma’s Maple Bars gets Chandler’s seal of approval.
Grandma’s Maple Bars
1/4 cup butter
(My grandma used Imperial Margarine in this recipe, rather than butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
additional 1/2 cup flour
a pinch, or 1/2 of a scant(1/4 of 1/4 of a teaspoon)*, in other words a small amount) cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup quick oatmeal
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
Powdered sugar, enough sifted to make spreading consistency for icing.
English walnut halves to decorate each cut square of bars, if desired
Preheat oven to 325-350 degrees.
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) with
1/2 cup sugar,
and 1/2 cup light brown sugar.
Add 1 egg, mixing well.
Add in slowly
1/2 cup flour,
1 teaspoon baking soda,
and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
another 1/2 cup flour,
and the pinch of cinnamon.
Set aside this batter.
Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes-
1/2 cup raisins in 3/4 cup water until raisins are plumped up.
Strain raisins, reserving the water that they were cooked in.
To batter stir in (or very slowly mix in)
the 1/2 cup cooked raisins
and 1/4 cup of the water/juice that the raisins were cooked in.
Stir in(or very slowly mix in)
1/2 cup quick oatmeal
In small greased (or parchment) 11.5 x 7.5 pan, or 9×9 pan,
(I use a half sheet cake pan 11.5 x 8 and parchment.)** spread batter.
Bake at 325-350 degrees until done and no longer doughy
(toothpick comes out almost clean.),
about 20-25 minutes.
Let bars cool 5-10 minutes.
Frost bars while warm with icing (recipe below).
When cool, cut into squares, and garnish each square with an English walnut half,
Enjoy with a cup of hot tea!
While bars are baking make the icing.
Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter.
2 Tablespoons of milk
and 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
enough sifted powdered sugar to make spreading consistency (about 1 and 1/2 to
1 and 3/4 cups)
*A scant is 1/8 of a teaspoon.
**I use a half sheet cake pan 11.5 x 8 size and use parchment, rather than use Pam.
I like these bars served warm.
I often cut up these bars, storing them in an air tight container,
with parchment in-between each layer.
I put frozen bars in microwave for about 25 seconds to heat up, before eating.
I have said it many times, right here on this blog, that I was fortunate to be surrounded by good cooks while growing up! My mom, grandmothers, and aunts all made the best dishes! That love of food was passed on to me. I recently re-found this photo (below) of me cooking in my teen years in home ec class. This cooking class was always one of my favorites. :o)
(Left to Right) Libby, LeAnn, and me in high school home ec class. (1973?)
I also found these two retro fun fall “fotos”!
My, now grown, daughter and son (my two youngest children) enjoy the
Yes, that IS the same son eating a maple bar earlier in this post. :o)
My niece plays in the fall leaves of Iowa.
Photo courtesy of my sister and niece. Thank you! :o)
Other Fall Recipes,
with other autumn blog posts
Click on the highlighted link.
Hot Apple Cider
Chicken and Dumplings
My childhood red wagon, mentioned here in an earlier blog post ,
is currently serving as fall decor in the front of my house.
Thanks for reading,
I’m Annette Stuff
I post my blog once per month, or more.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, October 18.
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My loved and weather-worn Happy Harvest sign makes its appearance each September, to hang by my front door.
Happy Harvest to you!