Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Been a week of cold nights so I got a fire going and wrapped up in a blanket and watched Forrest Gump for about the eleventh time. There are a couple movies like that, ones I can watch again and again, and I do. See something new every time. And it’s not just movies that are like that. There are places you go like up the North Shore or to a particular park. Walks you take around the lake. Radio shows with new musicians and old songs. Fishing holes. Restaurants with wild rice soup and bakeries with raspberry Bismarcks. Meadows full of wildflowers. The places and experiences that make life Your Life. The familiar.
I get goosebumps when I talk about stuff like this. I get goosebumps a lot, actually. Not because I live in Minnesota and I’m COLD, mind you. Goosebumps come from way more than cold. Did a bit of searching and what I can tell you is that often cold or fear or emotion gets the adrenaline going in two little glands above the kidneys, and the adrenaline shoots out and ends up contracting the little muscles around the hairs on your body which raises the follicles up above the skin. What we call “goosebumps.” Biologists say they evolved as part of a flight-or-fight reaction, and that they make animals look bigger and more frightening. We don’t have a hair coat, so the latter is pretty much a useless thing, and I sure don’t need goosebumps to tell me I need to be afraid.
I’m more of an emotional goosebump person. I get ‘em at weddings and watching Forrest Gump and when I sing the national anthem or the “Hallelujah Chorus.” I get goosebumps when I hear songs on the radio that take me back to when I was dating Mr. S, or when I learn everyone will be at the table for Easter dinner. Get goosebumps when something ironic and beautiful happens, or when the day is wild and windy, or when I do something really well and right. Like the time I planted cilantro and it grew. I much prefer bumpy skin to the other signs of adrenaline release, like trembling hands or a rise in blood pressure or a racing heart or sweaty palms. I’ll take that tingly feeling anytime. So turn on the radio and fling wide the windows. There’s a waltz to be waltzed, and any broom will do.
Here’s a recipe for a spring day, easy to make and the very thing for which I waited, once or twice a month, very patiently while holding my tray in the lunch line back in elementary school.
School Lunch Peanut Butter Bars
1½ cups flour
1¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
¾ cup butter
¾ c sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1½ tsp vanilla
1½ cups peanut butter (split)
1½ cups quick oats
½ cup butter
3½ cup powdered sugar
2 T cocoa
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars, ¾ cup peanut butter, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Stir in the oats and spread onto a greased 11 x 15 jelly roll pan (cookie sheet). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes.
For the frosting, whip the remaining ¾ cup peanut butter until it becomes lighter colored and fluffy. Carefully spread the whipped peanut butter over the pan cookie.
Next, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the milk and cocoa and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Heat just until boiling. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Stir until thickened. Pour over the peanut butter and gently spread over the cookie. Cool completely, and slice into bar cookies.