It’s funny how the days of this insanity have passed rather quickly. Just like that another day or week of stress and worry and fear and sadness and anger is over. For better or worse or whatever lingers in between.
I measure the time in times vacuumed. Days Dad has worked. Times I’ve worried about him going to work. Times I’ve worried about friends not going to work. Worried about people I don’t know working and not working. Times I’ve silently thanked the men and women delivering the many, many boxes we have received. So. Many. Boxes.
Words written and revised and read. Trying to be productive. Sometimes being very productive for a spurt of time and then being unable to focus on anything for far longer. For those of you who have read my book on Wattpad, thank you. For those that haven’t please consider checking it out. Chapter three is up now!
Things baked and cooked and eaten. Bags of coconut sugar and almond flour used up. Bottles of olive oil emptied. Steaks sizzled and eggs baked and scrambled and boiled. Fish roasted. Vegetables and fruit washed, often in 151 vodka to kill anything hiding, lurking. An unseen force driving my life and every decision I make.
Wiping. I wipe all day long. Everything that comes into the house from outside get a wipe. I am so tired of wiping. And searching for wipes to buy online. I officially hate wipes. Wiping sucks.
I measure the days in texts sent. I do a lot of texting, but it doesn’t fulfill the same void of seeing another person, making eye contact, hugging them. Talking on the phone comes close, but it’s not the same as that unexplainable feeling that comes from being in the world of another person.
Hours spent watching the daily press briefing, one of the very few ways I get my news because the news is too much for me as it is twisted this way and that until it isn’t news but fear. I come up with enough fear all by myself.
Times crying. And crying. And crying some more. Sometimes I can’t explain why save for everything going on. Sometimes I can’t stop no matter how hard I try. Times screaming and yelling, trying to work these emotions out.
Times laughing, those are few and far in between and usually involve dropping something on the floor or the five pound bag of spinach Dad brought home from Costco.
I measure it in hope or sometimes the lack thereof. I’m lucky to not have to worry about putting food on the table or a roof over my head. That doesn’t make this easy. It’s hard, harder than things I considered in even my worst nightmares. Knowing I’m theoretically okay in a country that most definitely is not makes me not okay. How does anyone cope when the world is on fire?
But then I see the numbers getting better. I hear about medicines and vaccines. Um the guy from Oxford wants people vaccinated in September. September ya’ll. I know that we can both social distance and do things like go to restaurants. To eat inside. Go to the mall. Or the zoo. Starbucks. Who is with me on wanting a Starbucks???
There are so many, like so many, people in the world who are exponentially smarter than me. They’ll figure this out. They are figuring it out. Right now. As I type this. They are working on this instead of seeing their families or sleeping. Because when they do figure it out, things get better for everyone.
I can’t make things better for everyone. Oh, if I could how I would. But I can share these Butter Pecan Turtle Bars with you. Baking helps. The activity and the smell and the end result aka devouring them. So maybe this recipe will help.
It’s so good it makes your eyes roll back when you take a bite. The snap and crumble of the brown sugar shortbread. The caramel-y filling with specks of vanilla and a hint of salt. The chocolate-y or carob-y topping. Together, everything just works together in an irresistible way that makes the rest of the world fade away if only for a bite.Print
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ vanilla bean
1 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup carob or cocoa powder
2/3 cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour until a slightly crumbly dough forms. This can be done by hand or with a hand or stand mixer. It’s super easy since the butter is softened. Press the dough into the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch pan and sprinkle with the pecans.
Make the filling. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar, stirring frequently. Continuing to stir often, bring to a boil and boil for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and salt, and pour over the crust and pecans.
Bake for about 15 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
When cool, make the topping. Melt the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Once fully melted, stir in the carob or cocoa powder and pour into an even layer over the cooled bars. Allow to set (you can speed up the process in the refrigerator or freezer) before cutting into bars and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.
Recipe adapted from Bake or Break
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 20