I try not to complain about anything that has to do with summer. Really. I love sun and warmth. Flowers and trees full of leaves. I can even get along with the bees if they just focus on their honey making job and steering clear of me.
What I can’t deal with are thunderstorms. Yes, I know, we need rain, though preferably not measured in inches at a time. Rain is one thing though. nice, garden variety rain that makes you feel all cozy and want to curl up on the couch with a good book or movie. I can handle that kind of rain.
Pouring rain, pelting the window. Thunder that makes me jump a mile in the air. Lightning that makes the darkness suddenly flash as bright as the sun. That throws me off course in a way I can’t describe.
And when it wakes me in the middle of the night from a deep sleep and keeps me awake for the better part of an hour, the noise far too loud and alarming to be soothing, well that almost makes me wish for fall. Almost.
A day or two of thunderstorms is more than worth the price of admission to summer, but if we could keep them to a minimum and the nice days with sunshine, puffy clouds and a gentle breeze coming at us frequently, that would be much appreciated.
By looking at the extended forecast, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, but a girl can dream.
When I am cooped up inside with rainy days, I love to bake even when it’s hot out. I whipped up these Peach Oatmeal Bars not too long ago. They are perfect for summer. Easy to make, full of fresh fruit, and wholesome oats and nuts, these are sure to be on your summer to-do list.
The contrasting textures add complexity to this dessert that is not too sweet. It would be perfect with a cup of coffee or tea and dare I say, I think these are even breakfast appropriate.
4 cups diced fresh peaches
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
Make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together peaches, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.
Make the crust and topping. In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, add the butter and mix in with your hands until the mixture forms clumps and starts to come together.
Place just over half of the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Press down firmly with your hands. Stir walnuts into the reserved crumb mixture.
Pour filling over the crumb mixture in the pan. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown. Cool completely in pan before cutting into pieces and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 30 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Land O Lakes