That brought up some interesting memories, which brought me to this post. Somehow everything reminds me of something else...
When I was a kid, I moved a lot. One of the places I lived in was at the end of a block, on the corner. At the other end of the block there was another little girl who it turned out I had something in common with. Both of our mothers had just given birth to our first siblings when we were both 8 years old. And, coincidentally, it turns out our moms both had better things to do with their time than raise said siblings so this girl and I were the only 8-year-olds raisin' babies around. Of course, we became quite close.
It turns out that there is one problem with this whole scenario. (Besides, the obvious one.) When you meet someone who is doing something that you are doing that is fairly rare, it seems you inevitably find out that there's not a whole lot else that you do really have in common.
Over the years I did try quite valiantly to keep my ties with this girl in tact. Way more than I should have, it turns out. Way after I figured out that the things we did not have in common were so much more important than the things we did. Anyway, I kept in touch with her off and on for about 25 years. She ended up living in B.C. Canada. I guess it was a good thing she wasn't closer as many of the phone calls we shared were when she was in a mental hospital. Or times she should have been but wasn't.
I look at this situation now knowing that the things I learned were priceless, but the price of learning them was a little too much. There were good things that I got out of this whole scene, but I'm not sure I couldn't have obtained them in some other fashion. Sometimes the price to play is just too high.
So, to pass along to you one small thing that I got from this that I feel kind of embodies the whole shebang within the confines of a very tasty treat, I give you this:
Nanaimo Bars (pronounced Na-Ni-Mo, named after a place in B.C. Canada)
Yield 2 dozen (you will so regret that it doesn't make more)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
1. Mix 1/2 cup butter, white sugar, cocoa, egg and vanilla in a heavy sauce pan or double boiler. Stir over low heat until mixture is of custard like consistency.
2. Combine graham crackers, coconut and walnuts and add to the melted mixture. Mix well and pack into buttered 9 inch square cake pan.
3. Cream 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla custard powder and milk. Beat until creamy and spread over melted base.
4. Refrigerate till hardened.
5. Melt semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter and drizzle over custard icing. Refrigerate. When totally hard cut into square bars.These suckers are so good that they will haunt you. Kind of like that friendship did for me. I really only make them for Christmas, but my husband actually asked me just the other day if somehow there were not some still left over in the back of the refrigerator somewhere. After I had first tried these up north of the border I had always wanted to find a good recipe for them. Now that I have, it is oh so dangerous.