Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hand Picked Fun - Revisited


The First Day of Autumn, Really.

September 23rd and the calendar reads, First Day of Autumn.
The high today is 106. 
Living in AZ on the first day of Fall is like living far away from one of my dear friends when they are having a birthday party. I can think of them, but miss all the fun. As they say, 'you have to be there.'

To honor the change of season, aside from hopping a plane and taking a fall foliage tour, I thought I'd post my apple-picking poem today. And - I have a have a fall-inspired recipe, too. (Does that mean the recipe is inspired by fall or it will inspire me to think about fall? - Either way - the bars are delicious.) Oh, and for my AZ readers- if you ignore the part about turning on the oven on a triple-digit day - the caramel-apple-cookie smell is wonderful!

Poem first, then recipe. Enjoy!

Hand Picked Fun

I don’t know what happened to my bathing suit
Summer up and left                                                                                       
Mom moved the sweaters
From my big sister’s drawer
To mine
And the sun inched west a little sooner each day
Taking all the fun with him

Until we piled into the maroon station wagon
And drove north
Long enough for us to wonder if Dad got lost

We found the trees. Green leaves gone to yellow and orange.
Did the colors bring the cool air?
I thought so, but they told me it was the other way around.

Rows and rows of heavy laden trees.
We picked for hours, climbing, stretching
Dropping, joking
With cold noses and fingers
We filled our bags and bushels full of red, ripe apples.

And the country store had heated, fresh pressed cider.
One sip and my brother laughed at my eyes
Popping from the burst of flavor
Sweet and spicy
And warm.
Like those apples had figured out a way
To store all the rays of summer sunshine.
Just for me.

Tamara Passey

Easy Caramel Apple Bars

Easy Caramel Apple Bars by Betty Crocker
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Total Time 2:55 Hrs:Mins
Makes 36 bars

1/2 cup cold butter
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix
1 egg
1 cup finely chopped peeled apple
3/4 cup caramel topping
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1.) Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2.) In large bowl, cut butter into cookie mix using fork or pastry blender. Stir in egg until mixture is crumbly.
3.) Reserve 1 1/2 cups cookie mixture. Press remaining cookie mixture into bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle apple evenly over crust. In small bowl, mix caramel topping and flour; drizzle over apples. Sprinkle reserved cookie mixture over apples.
4.) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.

Makes 36 bars

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