Sweet Raisin Bars


I was blessed with two sets of farming grandparents – one in Kansas, one in Montana.

Many of my childhood memories are from visiting their farms. Somehow, lots of those memories are from times with my grandmothers in their big, wonderful-smelling, farm kitchens.

When we visited my Kansas grandparents, I was always happy when our trip came during harvest time or planting time or whatever it was that made my grandpa and uncles spend a lot of time in the fields. Just because I have farming in my blood, it doesn’t mean that I paid attention to what was happening, though.

My grandma, busy mother of nine and grandmother of many more, made everything from scratch. I’m positive she never ordered out for pizza even once. One of those from-scratch recipes were her sweet raisin bars. I’m sure I was a completely unhelpful granddaughter because, although I liked to watch her work and sample everything she made, I was also a rather lazy child and probably a complete hindrance to her progress.Yet I don’t remember her ever showing impatience.

The amazing combined scent of nutmeg and cinnamon meant that we were taking raisin bars to the menfolk in the field. Yes, menfolk. It’s a lovely antiquated word that is filled with more memories.

Kansas was often frying-pan hot and dusty when we visited from our home farther north. ┬áThe fields where we delivered those raisin bars were no exception. The hot, sticky, itchy dust would get under your collar and probably would make me miserable now, but then I just remember sitting in the wheel well of a big tractor, eating raisin bars, sipping sweet tea – still icy cold from the silver thermos – and listening to the menfolk discuss the price of wheat.

Do you ever wonder what memories your child will think of years from now? Sometimes I think that my busy brood of eight gives me an excuse for being impatient or for just throwing a quick meal together and slapping it down on the table. But then I think of my farm grandmothers who managed to keep their big families running smoothly and left amazing memories which I still treasure.

Something to think about for today.

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Gwen (26 Posts)

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