Thursday, February 17, 2011

Turtle Bars

B’s hip us really bothering him. He played a pick-up game of basketball yesterday- can hardly walk today. This is the same problem he was having a little over a year ago when they spotted the tumor in his femur. His actual diagnosis regarding his hip pain is leg length discrepancy. His left leg is more than an inch shorter than his right. Thus pain ensues when he runs. So he's a little bummed today.
This leaves me conflicted as a mom. On one hand it's good for him to have trials away from home so he can learn to navigate how to deal with them without the immediate help of his parents.
On the other hand, I want to make vats and vats of food and treats, and jump on an airplane to go see him.
I'm reminded of a story I recently heard told in a talk given by Elder Quentin L. Cook-
“Last winter my daughter had a white-knuckle experience driving in a severe snowstorm. She reminded me of a similar situation I had with my two sons many years ago. My youngest son, Joe, was three years old, and my son Larry was six. We were traveling by car from San Francisco to Utah in June. The weather had been very good.
As we started our ascent to the Donner Pass summit in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, suddenly and without warning an enormous snowstorm hit us. None of the drivers was prepared. A semitruck in front of us had jackknifed and was spread across two lanes. Other trucks and cars had slid off the freeway. One lane was open, and many vehicles, including ours, were desperately trying to gain traction to avoid the other vehicles. All traffic then came to a halt.
We were not prepared for this blizzard in June. We had no warm clothing, and our fuel was relatively low. I huddled with the two boys in an effort to keep us warm. After many hours, safety vehicles, snowplows, and tow trucks began to clear up the massive logjam of vehicles.
Eventually, a tow truck hauled us to a service station on the other side of the pass. I called my wife, knowing she would be worried because she had expected a call the prior evening. She asked if she could speak to the two boys. When it was the three-year-old’s turn, with a quivering voice, he said, “Hope ya know, we had a hard time!”
I could tell, as our three-year-old talked to his mother and told her of the hard time, he gained comfort and then reassurance.”

Sometimes in life, we have a hard time. Sometimes, we just need someone hear us say, “I had a hard time."
If B were closer, I'd make him his favorite brownies, or maybe his favorite cake or his oft requested favorite other treats: Turtle Bars.

Turtle Bars

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1 pkg. two layer yellow cake mix
• 1/2-2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
• 7oz caramels or 1/2 jar of Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch caramel Topping
• 1 can evaporated milk.
• 1 cup mini Hershey kisses or chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter, cake mix, and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in large bowl. Mix. Add nuts. Spread 2/3 of mixture evenly over bottom of 9” square baking pan and press to form crust. Bake for 8 minutes. Melt caramels into 2 T evaporated milk. (I found these caramels that you don’t have to unwrap, yet I still prefer the ease of this recipe with the jarred caramel). Spread over cooked crust. Sprinkle with chocolate. Pat together and form remaining crust mixture on the top in pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes more. Cool somewhat to let set before serving.
(This recipe can be doubled nicely in a 10 x 15 pan.)

I got the idea for this treat from a local cafe that I love. I purchased many of these treats and experimented until I decided I was content with my efforts. If you know of someone who has had a hard day- they might appreciate a Turtle Bar treat.

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