I would like to introduce you to one of my mom’s easiest but most crowd pleasing recipes, the apricot bar. She was ahead of her time in so many ways, but the first I remember admiring her ability to quickly and efficiently produce this soul-warming little bar cookie was around 1985, I think this predates the time when bar cookies came into fashion at every fancy cocktail party, but that is just speculation. I was only 10 years old at the time, but when this cookie graced our table, I was most definitely plating the other cookies for guests, and keeping these little beauties for myself. To this day, I still get compliments on this cookie, and when I do, I take a moment to reflect on the admiration I have for my mother.
Real admiration comes from the heart. I think as children we all typically admire our mother. Admiration is one of those wonderfully infectious combinations of approval, affection, and regard that comes from respect. We admire people that often times have talents or qualities that we do not. In society today though, it’s seems I overwhelmingly bear witness to the complexities of admiration, which include a sprinkle of envy around every corner. I challenge you to look inside your heart and find purpose in your admirations that is humble, kind, and forgiving. Admire from the heart and it will be reciprocated.
There are losses in our lives that shake us to the core. When my mother passed away over a decade ago, I questioned my existence, my ability to function as a mother, a wife, and I even questioned my relationship with God. I was unsettled; with a newborn and a 1-year old at the time, I had no choice but to focus on the optimism of their futures. My sadness slowly turned to admiration of my children, simply because they were innocent and perfect in every way in a mother’s eyes. The confluence of miracle and loss became apparent over those first few years, and even though she was gone, my admiration of my mother grew exponentially. I encourage you to take a moment to admire from the heart, and then let whomever that person is know how much you admire her. Oh, and bake these exceptionally quick and easy apricot bars…you just might gain a few admirers yourself!
2 cups of walnuts
1 egg yolk
¾ cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
1 stick of butter
Pulse the above ingredients in a food processor and then press ¾ of the mixture into a parchment lined 9×11 baking pan. Spread jelly evenly, and then sprinkle the remaining ¼ crust mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes
One 10-oz Jar of Apricot Preserves
Remainder of crust, form into large chunks and sprinkle on top