Arlene’s Apple bars

I haven’t actually been working on these today, but I made a batch on Sunday and am finally getting around to posting them. I am putting this under several categories just because. The apple bars will be my homemade project, but the story is an I remember.

Apple bars with glaze

Apple bars with glaze

Apple Bars:

3 eggs, 1 cup oil or oleo (I bet 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce would work as a less cholesterol version), 2 cups sugar. Mix these together and add: 3 cups chopped apples, 1/2 cups chopped nuts, 2 tsp vanilla and stir well. To this add: 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp soda and 2 tsp cinnamon. Pour into well-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 40-45 min. Glaze with powder sugar frosting while still hot.

The “I remember” category is for Arlene. We called her Mogie. She made these bars for James and me one weekend when we were first married. We lived in Eagle Butte and Arlene and Richard lived in Rapid City. Richard was my mother’s step-brother. We wanted to go skiing, and stayed one night with them in Rapid. In the morning we woke to a fresh  batch of apple bars for breakfast.  James loved them, which really excited her. She promptly gave me the recipe, and I was excited to be able to use it this week. I always enjoyed visiting with Arlene and Richard, but they ended up moving to California shortly after the stay with the apple bars. Arlene has since passed away, but I enjoy remembering her today.

Arlene was a family friend before she was part of the family. She was a good friend of my mother’s and they had the same exact birthday. They were born on February 29, 1936, Leap Day babies. Because they were born in the middle of those Dirty Thirties in the middle of the Dakotas, they were raised to understand financial tough times. Yesterday my sister Kathy and I talked about how our mother was always busy doing something while still holding down at least two jobs, sometimes three. We got on the subject because we were speaking badly about some young parents we know who just can’t keep up with the demands of their lives.

I know that sort of discussion is not really positive, and even those thoughts are not positive, but we kept it private, and we were remembering how you do get it all done. I am not sure that maybe we aren’t as tough as the people who lived before us. I can’t imagine how we would survive trying to live as the frontier people did. We would probably starve. Although, when I took Jessica downstairs on Tuesday morning to let her choose some carrots to take along home, she told me she would be moving in to our place if there was any type of catastrophe. No problem, we might even start making quilts out of the boxes of old clothes in the basement.

Come to think of it, making the quilts is why I have been saving those boxes in the first place. Now I just need to start and finish the project before I am not able to do it. I have been having aches that I am attributing to arthritis, but I am thinking that I need to do a diet log and keep track of when I have problems. I overheard someone talking on Monday night, and now I have an idea that I might have a food thing happening. On the other hand, it could be the cold wet weather we have been having lately.

Anyway what we were remembering on the positive is how our mother worked and got it all done. Before she was married and in the early years of my parents’ life together, she was a teacher in rural schools. Later she spent years she was a farm wife doing everything from running the combine during harvest to raising 500 chickens each summer. The money from the chickens pretty much bought the clothes for the year. She didn’t sew or do any serious crafting, but she could cook and bake like crazy. Later she took jobs off the farm to earn extra money. Also when we moved to town she did everything from working at the local livestock sale barn to running a crew that shingled and winterized homes for older people. Her final job was as owner of the local café and while doing that also did catering.

In going back on this post, I am not sure why I put in that last paragraph other than to explain all the jobs mother did while still going to all of our activities she could fit in when not at work and maintaining a home and participating in community groups. In looking back, I guess that is where my sisters and I get this attitude that we should try to do it all. Like I said, I wasn’t trying to go this direction with this post, but sometimes you type away, and when it is finished, you make the decision to hit publish instead of erasing. Well, hope you all have a great day.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jesshaak
    Sep 08, 2014 @ 22:39:13

    Ok just tried these. They’re in the oven. They don’t look as good as yours, I’ll let Tony be the taste tester 🙂

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  2. Glenda
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 09:48:05

    I read a book called A Woman of Substance and I thought of Patsy and our mother the whole time I was reading it. They were truly pioneer women and I would have to say quite successful. Goes to show you what hard work and determination can do.

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