Cherry, apple, chocolate chip bars
On days like this I’m so glad that I have everything in my life tidy and organized. That I’m on top
of it all! I’m looking forward to the meeting that all three
of Malcolm’s teachers requested – I’m sure they want to tell us how well he’s doing, and how he’s
got everything tidy and organized, and he’s
on top of it all, too! I’m glad I don’t have to spend the day feeling guilty as hell because I yelled at him about the state of his notebook and his backpack and his uncorrected essay and his seeming complete apathy about anything related to school. So that he left for school saying he hated me, and I don’t have a chance to apologize and tell him how smart he is for nearly eight hours. That would be a horrible feeling! I’m glad that I don’t have to feel like a bad example to him because I’ve got teetering piles of bills (piles? Heavens no! You should see my up-to-date and immaculate filing system!) that I only seem to pay when the next one is due. I’m glad that I didn’t yell at Isaac on our snowy walk to school because he’s always half a block behind, and he can’t walk faster because his rib hurts, and I’m glad that I don’t have to worry that he has low energy and constant bouts of strep and tummy aches. Because, of course, he eagerly eats every meal I lovingly prepare, in all their wholesome goodness, and gets plenty of protein and vitamins. I’m glad that I can keep my house spotless and tidy, and I don’t feel as though I spend hours digging in sand, as I clean, because within seconds the clutter collects and the dust settles, and the counter is covered in crumbs. I’m having a lovely, peaceful day, sitting in my pristine, spare-but-stylish house, watching the soft snow fall quietly outside, not thinking about the crumbling plaster in every wall, that can only be fixed by a fellow this guy knows, who was an excellent plasterer, but is now long-dead. Who is having an anxious and grumpy day? Who is? I feel better now, though. The snow has shifted to rain and back to snow. But it’s warm in here. And it’s Clio’s first snow! She may have pink eye and an upset tummy, but can that stop her enjoyment of the snow? It cannot! Snow makes her crazy!! She races back inside and flies around the house, bouncing off of furniture, throwing herself at me at an alarming speed. And yes, this is an old house and the plaster is crumbling, but I love it anyway! Yes, we have numerous teetering piles of papers, but the papers are mostly drawings by the boys, and they’re beautiful, clever, well-executed drawings! Maybe I’m not exactly on top of this sea of worries and responsibilities, but I’m floating along with it, rising and falling, okay for now.
Malcolm likes fruity candy. Many days he asks for a dollar to go buy some fruity candy at the store down the block. But as nice as it seems for him to come home from a long day of school, when it’s cold and wet outside, and buy a box of candy, and cuddle on the couch with the puppy and watch a movie – nice as that seems, I can’t let him do it every day! So I bought him some dried tart cherries. They’re very nice! Chewy, fruity, lovely and sweet/tart. He ate half the bag, and then I put the rest in these bars, along with some apples and some chocolate chips. I added ground walnuts to the batter for a change of pace, and they made the bars lovely and dense, with a mysterious walnut flavor. I made these like brownies, which is a fairly lazy and easy way to make something. Melt some stuff in a pot, stir some other stuff in, and spread it in a pan. And that’s that!!
Here’s A Tribe Called Quest with 8 Million Stories. They’re having a bad day. But it’s a good song!
4 small apples, peeled, cored and cut into small dice (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
2 or 3 tablespoons cassis, rum, or any other liqueur/liquor. Or orange juice, if you don’t want to use alcohol – I think that would work!
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
generous pinch of nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly butter and flour a brownie tin.
In a large saucepan combine the apples, cherries and liqueur. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce heat and cook for about five minutes, until the apples and cherries are softened. Add the butter and sugar, and remove from the heat. Stir until the butter is melted.
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the walnuts, flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Process until the nuts are finely ground.
Dump all of the dry ingredients into the fruit mixture, beat to mix. Then beat in an egg. Stir till quite smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Spread the mixture into your prepared pan and bake for about half an hour, till it’s starting to turn golden brown on the edges, and springs back when you press it lightly.