Redneck Recipe # 5 - "Esther's First Gingerbread" and Esther's Oatmeal Bars Recipe
Esther's First Gingerbread and Esther's Oatmeal Bars Recipe
Redneck Recipe # 5 – Esther’s Oatmeal Bars
From Gus’s Redneck’s Kitchen (Specializing in Bait, Tackle and Haute Cuisine)
For folks who like funny country stories and great country food all on the same plate
Esther’s First Gingerbread
For some folks, cooking is an exercise in futility. For Esther, cooking has become a no-sweat practice of plain utility. Time does make a difference.
Esther, as you will probably either remember or will guess, is Gus’s keeper. It has always been so, going on now for a large number of years. Even early on, Esther learned that Gus has strong likes when it comes to good food. One of Gus’s strongest likes has always been gingerbread, nice, hot, good-tasting gingerbread.
Gus and Esther had been married but for several months when she had the urge to please her apprentice husband with some fresh gingerbread for dessert at the supper table.
In those days, the old paycheck was mighty small. During the first part of the month, there was usually enough money for hamburger and hot dogs. Toward the end of the month, meals tended more to pancakes or peanut butter sandwiches. Esther got the gingerbread idea at a time when there was some hamburger left in the refrigerator and it became practical to also produce a pancake or two.
Esther thought, "If I make some gingerbread, which Gus likes so much, I won’t have to disappoint him with pancakes or peanut butter sandwiches to go with that leftover hamburger!"
Gus was hungry that night. He downed his leftover hamburger and canned beans, all the while wrinkling his nose while sniffing gingerbread fumes. He had sensed "gingerbread" the minute he had come into the house.
Smiling, Esther went into the kitchen and returned to the table carrying a plate that held a nice, warm piece of gingerbread. She stuck the plate in front of Gus, and he gobbled up the gingerbread just as fast you might expect of him.
"How about another piece of gingerbread?" asked Gus.
"First, I want you to read the back of this gingerbread mix box," said Esther.
"OK. It says here that you stick the gingerbread stuff into a bowl with 2 cups of water and mix it with your electric mixer for 3 minutes," read Gus.
"Now, Gus, you know that we don’t have an electric mixer," commented Esther.
"Right you are. Well, you can mix it by hand some 300 times." read Gus.
Said Esther, "Yes, that’s the part. What do they mean by that."
"That means you take your big spoon and whomp on the batter some 300 or so times," replied Gus.
"Ohhhhhhhhh. That’s what that means! I’m sure glad you didn’t see me mixing the stuff. I had wet gingerbread dough dripping off of my elbows before I put it into the baking pan," said Esther.
Esther's Oatmeal Bars
Esther gave us this "from scratch" oatmeal bar recipe which everyone here likes to eat. We don’t know where Esther got the recipe, but here it is.
Cream 1 cup of soft butter or margarine with 1 cup of packed brown sugar. Mix in 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Mix 3 cups of uncooked oatmeal with 1 cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder.
If you like, you can add 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts. Combine the dry mix with the sugar-butter-egg mix. The "batter" need not be smooth.
Press the batter into a 13x9 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees (F) for 25 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Esther sometimes thinly slices several apples and places the slices atop a thin bottom layer of the mixture in the pans and then covers with a second, thicker layer. Takes a little more baking.
More of Gus’s Redneck Recipes are here on Hubpages.