When my lovely daughter, Grace,
heard what I was going to call my desert, she protested.
“Mom, they’re supposed to be called Seven Layer Bars,
not Garbage Bars.”
But, I thought my name more aptly described
the leftovers in opened bags that had somehow eluded
nibbling, craving, snitching fingers
in my pantry.
Oh, and I can’t forget the best kind of fingers in the pantry,
the baking fingers.
Jon used the most of the chocolate chips for cookies,
Grace used the coconut to make German sweet chocolate cake,
and the butterscotch chips were so old I don’t remember
what the rest were used for.
Don’t worry, though, those waxy things are so close to plastic
they can stay in your freezer forever and not change forms.
But, those snitching fingers can leave only enough
of something so that it’s good for nothing.
Speaking of snitching fingers,
when all of my Mom’s six kids moved out of the house,
she was mystified that her chocolate chips still disappeared.
Dad, you are so busted!
Back to the Garbage Bars.
Take one package of graham crackers and smash them into crumbs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt one stick of butter in a 9×12 pan,
watch carefully, it burns easily,
and who can afford to throw out a whole stick of butter?
OK, I only had to do that once,
the last time I made the bars.
With a fork, mix in the graham crackers crumbs,
lightly patting them down.
I don’t have a picture, but I think you can figure out the next step.
and drizzle it all over the crumb crust.
Don’t go all the way to the edge,
it becomes like caramel when you bake it,
and you’ll never get them out of the pan.
Take your opened bags of garbage ingredients and sprinkle them evenly on top.
There wasn’t enough of anything to use in any other recipe.
I had to make the ancestral mantra
The real recipe is basically two cups of chips
and whatever else you want.
I use 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate,
and 1 cup of butterscotch, vanilla or peanut butter chips.
You can use 1 cup of nuts, but I never do.
Nuts are for squirrels.
I have used little caramel bits, toffee bits,
and this time I cut up extra candy bars into little pieces.
Oh, except for the half of the Almond Joy.
Rebekah Joy ended up eating that.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
The edges need to be golden and the middle can’t be soupy.
I always cut off the edges and let the kids nibble on them,
then cut the rest into smaller squares because they’re pretty sweet.
If I’m hiding them from the family in the freezer,
not meaning my family is in the freezer,
but the bars are going in the freezer
so the family’s nibbling, craving, snitching fingers
can’t find them before their time,
I layer them between waxed paper in my 8×8 Tupperware.
They will stay fresh in the freezer for as long as you family doesn’t find them.
To save time, I’ve even been known to make and freeze the crumbs
and keep them on hand in case I need a quick desert.
Ya’ know what I love the most about this recipe?
You don’t really have to follow it.
You take whatever you have, put it in the heat,
and melt it into deliciousness.
It makes me think about
and our abilities.
Today’s Christianity may tell you about the degrees you need,
the experience you need, the vast talent you need to serve the Lord.
Most of us moms can’t remember to comb our hair in a day
or how we were going to end our sentence.
What do we have to offer Him?
Whatever opened items we have.
An open home, even if it isn’t clean and organized.
An open heart, even if it isn’t fully mature.
An open ear, able to hear His voice.
An open Bible, with a desire to know His will.
An open embrace, willing to draw near those He brings your way.
An open mouth, unashamed of the Gospel.
An open calendar,
an open checkbook,
an open mind,
an open __________.
What do you have?
Don’t let the enemy get his snitching fingers in there,
and make you think that you have so little of something
that you’re good for nothing.
Mix your open ingredients and apply the heat of the Father’s love.
He will prepare something amazing.
It won’t be garbage.