No-Bake Mountain Bars … and a Dream

I had a dream last night … and it was a doozy.

I was in a foreign land, or so I thought, until I realized it was Brooklyn. Dave was there with me, and someone asked him to do a Catholic funeral at a place that was supposed to be a large church, but which ended up being big and expansive, like a sports stadium, except that it also felt like a small, intimate bowling alley. We were assigned the center four “lanes” for this particular funeral, but there were other funerals going on all around us on the other lanes. Ours was the biggest. And something was going on down in the field below our “stadium,” I just couldn’t be sure what it was.

I was in charge of lighting the candles. There were … like … 500 of them, all in different shapes and sizes, tucked here and there and everywhere. Some were hurricane lamps, some were tea lights, some were votives, tucked way down deep in giant mason jars. All they gave me for my task was a box of stick matches, so I kept having to strike a new one every few candles, and the wicks were too far down on a lot of the hurricane lamps, so I kept having to blow out my match and stop and tug on those blackened wicks. The whole time I was lighting the candles and lamps, these disapproving Catholic church ladies kept circling and watching me, and tsk-tsking my candle-lighting performance. Meanwhile, I kept looking over my shoulder trying to watch this TV interview with Lenny Leblanc, who was explaining why he felt compelled to go back in the studio with six back-up vocalists and remake his 70s mega-hit song, “Falling” (one of my all-time favorites). This may have accounted for some of the tsking.

I thought I was dressed appropriately for a funeral (I was wearing black pants and a black blazer, and a silky red blouse), but people started asking me when I was going to change my clothes. I saw my friend, Janet B., sitting on one of the bleacher/pews waiting for the funeral to begin. “Is this blouse okay?” I asked. She scoffed and said, “Why would you wear red to a funeral?” But she was wearing a red fox stole around her shoulders, which really confused me. Janet and all the church ladies around her started pointing to me and saying, “Inappropriate! Inappropriate!” Figuring I was inappropriate, I looked around for something else to wear, and eventually found a black tank top with cougar print all over it (in shades of gray) that I first tried to pin to the front of my blazer (like a dickie) before realizing I could just put it on.

My friend, Teresa T., was asked to sing Ave Maria at the funeral. I had no idea she could sing. She asked me to pray with her before she went on, so I figured that maybe it was news to her too. After praying with her — and I had to really speak up for her to hear me, because we could hear bowling pins being knocked over and cheering from the sports fans in the stadium — I went around the side of the bleacher/pew to light some more candles and found a torch, but it was out. There was a Filipino man there who had another torch which he tried using to light mine, but it didn’t work, and I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say to me. His friend came over and asked me questions, but I couldn’t understand him either. They stuck some things in my torch that looked like a combination of car fuses and stogies and tried to light those. But I could hear Teresa starting to sing in front of the stadium, so I dropped the torch and ran around to hear her.

She began singing Ave Maria (and she was actually pretty good), but it morphed into the Star Spangled Banner, and she kind of shoved the words into weird spots that made it almost unrecognizable. I finally figured out that she was doing a comedy routine. When I came around the side, she wasn’t in her dress anymore, but in a fuzzy pink costume. She was talking a lot about bunnies and cherry mountain bars. Everyone loved her. They were all clustered around her gushing about her act and listening to her describe her other comedy routines and trying to book her for other funerals. (Wow. Do I get a plaque or something for fitting “her” in that sentence five times?)

I had been asked to recite the Lord’s Prayer, but I couldn’t remember the second to the last verse, so I had to stand up there saying the first part all somber and serious while trying desperately to search for the prayer on my iPhone. I couldn’t ask Siri to do it for me while simultaneously talking into a microphone, so I was just punching in stuff in google trying in vain to find it before reaching that part of the prayer.

The funeral ended, I changed back into my inappropriate red blouse, and I flew to Europe.

When all that was over, I woke up thinking exactly what you are thinking: Man, I want a mountain bar!

So here’s a recipe. 😀

No-Bake Mountain Bars

Before I give you the ingredients, let me explain that we’re trying to substitute coconut oil (which is actually really yummy) for butter as much as possible. Lots of new data is showing how healing coconut oil is to the body, and that it may even help prevent Alzheimer’s. And I really don’t want to be a lonely old lady when Dave and I are ninety.

  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (you could use all white … I just didn’t have enough)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (you could use butter)
  • ½ cup rice milk (you could use regular)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1 TBSP pure vanilla
  • 2 cups regular oats, blended just briefly in a blender to pulverize a bit
  • 1-2 cups oats, just enough to hold it all together

Here’s a picture of what the coconut oil looks like, in case you haven’t used it before. It’s solid at room temperature, but it melts at a temperature a little lower than butter. As you can see by the photo, it is vital that you are extremely accurate in your measuring:


Mix sugar(s), oil or butter, milk and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute.

Reduce heat and add peanut butter. Stir to blend.

Add vanilla.

Add the oats you pulverized (just slightly). Begin adding oats, up to 2 more cups, until the mixture looks like it will hold its shape together when you put it on waxed paper.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or a silpat. They’ll set up in ten minutes or so.

Set a little to-go package aside for your daughter to take with her to school.

Enjoy a few with coffee while listening to Lenny Leblanc’s “Falling” (the original; not the unneeded remix 🙂 )


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13 Comments on "No-Bake Mountain Bars … and a Dream"

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Anita Scheftner

Wow..I’ve been time warped back to my youth…lol…

Teresa Townsell
Oh, Shannon, first you made me sit up a little straighter because I had a starring role in your dream; and, then, as I read further it was a good thing I’d recently filled my order of Vesicare, because I could have had a “little accident” laughing so hard. How DID you know I could sing? (Not!-And it is the biggest joke in my family! However, please do continue thinking of me singing on-key!) —But, yes, please do drop everything and come running when I begin to sing! Also, How DID you know I was such a comedian? (Not!–but, my… Read more »
Sandy Crittenden

Shannon, you crack me up! (Maybe my dreams aren’t as crazy as I thought!) Sounds like a very entertaining funeral. 😀

Your mountain bars sound much like what we Okies call no-bake cookies. My husband loves them. Guess it’s about time to make some.

And thanks for the song — I’ve always liked that one, too. Boy, am I old!

Charissa Steyn

Ahh these sound delicious! gonna write this one down-thanks for sharing!

One incredible dream! Makes me wonder if there is some God-message in all of that. Like…. lighting candles. In my prayer time today, I kept thinking of how we are candles and He is shining through us – Isaiah, about all in the dark coming to us. (I was raised Catholic, too, and can think of some things about that… I am now non-denom evangelical) And the bowling alley… interesting. But what is even more incredible is all the details you remember! I never recall more than a few things and then if I don’t write it down, it flies… Read more »
The cookies are great; thank you! I’m always looking for a better No-Bake Cookie recipe than the one I currently use, and this one is the best so far (I’m not going to say how much of the recipe I ate myself, and within 36 hours!) I think you may have listed the total amount of sugar twice in the ingredients; however, or perhaps your sweet tooth is even sweeter than mine! I used 2 cups of sugar total, and the cookies were just right. Enjoying paging through your blog very much, and you describe recipes a lot like my… Read more »
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