I had a dream last night … and let me tell you, it was a doozy.
In this dream, 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’d been assigned the center four “lanes” for this particular funeral, but other funerals were going on all around us on the other lanes. Ours was the biggest. In the field below our “stadium,” some sort of sports activity had begun, but I couldn’t quite hear what it was.
Someone put me in charge of lighting the candles, of which there were perhaps 500 — 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 return to 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.
Another friend, Teresa T., had been 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. But a Filipino man appeared with 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. 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 need 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 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 a cookie scoop, drop onto waxed paper or a silicone baking mat. (I’ve had mine so long that I can’t find an exact match anymore. The one I found was so large I was able to cut it to fit a few of my baking pans. These make baking or candy-making so much easier! I really don’t know if I could successfully make my Licorice Caramels or Poor Man’s Almond Roca without it). The mountain bars will 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 🙂 )