Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fascination: Pecan Squares

"The world fascinates me."
Andy Warhol

I love this quote and quite agree. The world fascinates me too. That's why I don't watch much TV or why often I just want to find out where others have been and what they think, know or remember. Wherever I go there is so much to see and hear that is illuminating. The world's inhabitants are fascinating creatures. Show me a room full of people and I see beauty and stories and lots of common threads. This was so true on Sunday at the Kauffman Museum. We gathered together to talk about memories and cooking and a very special book.

People came for various reasons I believe. I know a few attended because they are related to me and I had asked them 6 times if they were coming! (thank you) Some came because they were curious about some aspect of the cooking/blogging/history part of it. But many came because of their memories of the Mennonite Community Cookbook. Some folks came clutching this treasured cookbook, ready with page numbers of their favorite recipes. There were stories of receiving the book, traveling abroad with the book, cooking from it and knowing the author or illustrator. The stories told aloud to the larger group or to me personally after the program were each precious and rare. I loved hearing them. They are still trickling in with suggestions for recipes or offers of information and each one is like seeing a new star in the sky. Each shared experience is a story with meaning and a connection to a source of love or happiness. Keeping these stories alive is one way we give meaning to growing older I think.

I made these pecan squares to share at this time on Sunday afternoon at the museum. It was a fascinating experience and the appreciation for the memories bubbled over and spilled out and made me eager to learn more. I have suggestions, new information and even some elderberries that will provide me with more cooking experiences to continue on this journey.

Here is a recipe for some bars that were served at that gathering...

Pecan Squares
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup margarine
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter, margarine and sugar together.
Add egg and beat until fluffy.
Add flour and work well into mixture.
Spread in a buttered 9 X 13 pan.
Beat remaining egg and spread over mixture with a brush. Spread the egg all the way to the edges of the dough.
Sprinkle with brown sugar and top with chopped nuts.
Bake at 350 for 25-27 minutes.
Cut into small squares.

This recipe is adapted from the Mennonite Community Cookbook. I confess, I had to make it twice, learning some things after the first time. So, my learned lessons are reflected in this adapted recipe. These are good, not the most memorable thing you may ever eat, but tasty and fairly efficient to make.

Thanks for sharing in this fascinating journey,

1 comment:

  1. I certainly enjoyed listening and sharing last Sunday. My brother took the cookbook to The Congo in Africa when he was in mission work there. Unfortunately, he had to escape the revolution in the late 1950's or early 1960's and lost most of his possessions including the cookbook. I'm looking for a good used copy. Ebay, Amazon and other booksellers will probably see a rush for this book. Keep blogging.