Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Festive Fudge Filled Bars and Visiting with an Old Friend

I was in Pennsylvania last week for work.  I also got to have dinner with an old friend, Nancy. We worked together one school year and became fast friends.  We were partners in crime, and boy did we stir things up.  As some point during that school year someone filled a pickup truck cab full of popped popcorn, someone saran wrapped a car, someone covered a pickup hood with dish soap so it bubbled all the way home in the rain, and someone kidnapped the wire man statue from the principal's office and took pictures of him all over town.

The Wire Man kidnapping happened by accident.  The principal had this wire man, that balanced on a stand, on his desk.  One day when I was in his office he had to move the man out of the way, otherwise I probably would never had noticed him the the very messy busy office.  Later that day he was gone, and I was still working.  I was working on a picture history of the school, or something like that, and was trying to figure out the old camera they gave me...a polaroid (It was about 15 years ago), so I grabbed the wireman as a model as I tried to work this old camera...and he spoke to me! Not the "I hear voices and have really gone off the edge" kind of speaking, but the inspired "he spoke to me" kind of speaking.  I took a picture of him with the camera outside the principal's door and wrote a note on the picture...something like "I'm tired of living in this messy office.  I'm going on a trip.  Be back soon."  Taped the picture to the office door and took the wireman - straight to Nancy.  We spent the next 6 weeks or so taking pictures of the wireman in different locations...the airport (for his trip you know), the local bar, in a bubble bath, on the bumper of the principal's car, at the museum...and mailing the pictures to the school to the principal.  And finally, we returned him with a couple little gifts from several of the places he visited.  I don't know if the principal ever really knew who did it..but he did suspect Nancy!

Oh, it was all in good fun and it did help break up the tension of dealing with middle school children and bus misconducts.  All in all, looking back, that was a fun year (although my husband does call it the year from hell).

So catching up with Nancy was a little perk of my job.  We visited, had dinner, caught up with the last 12 years since we have seen each other, remembered our 'adventures' and laughed.  It was a wonderful afternoon and evening.

Nancy knows how much I love cookbooks and she gifted me these two books from the area.   One is full of cookie recipes and the other is full of favorites from different cooks in the area.  What a fun treasure.

Festive Fudge Filled Bars
from Dutch Pantry Cookie Collection, submitted by Jill Wood

2 cups oatmeal
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
1.5 cups M&M's
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 375°.  Combine oats, flour, chopped nuts, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Stir in melted butter until it's crumbly.  Reserve 1.5 cups of the flour/oat mixture; press the remainder into a greased and floured 9 X 13" pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Melt shortening in a saucepan.  Stir in 1 cup M&M's, pressing until broken and melted.  Remove from heat and stir in condensed milk.  Spread over the baked layer to within 1/2" of the edge.  Add 1/2 cup M&M's to flour mixture and sprinkle on top, pressing lightly.  Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown.  Cool and cut into bars.

1 year ago:    Garlic Chili Chicken and my Saturday afternoon date
2 years ago:   Warm Brussels Sprout Slaw and and the Baby Boy Moving Home
3 years ago:   Posole because Winter is Coming

October 20, 2015   Sunrise 8:59 am  Sunset 6:11 pm  Temp. H 38/ L 27°F

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