Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Raspberry jam and pecan bars + a discussion about age

Raspberry jam and pecan bars / Barrinhas de pecã e geleia de framboesa

Some of my colleagues on Facebook were discussing actresses that actually look their age – the examples given were Charlotte Rampling and Fernanda Montenegro, then someone mentioned Judi Dench. I always say that when I think of myself in my seventies both Fernanda and Dame Dench come to my mind: talented, beautiful women who aren’t ashamed of all the years stamped on their faces, and I find that admirable – I would love to look that good when I’m older and yet, at the same time, to have so much more than just looks to be proud of.

The conversation went on and Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock were mentioned as opposite examples: their faces have been changed so much by “cosmetic” procedures that it’s even hard to read their expressions – Nicole’s performance in “Rabbit Role” (an excellent movie, btw) could have been epic, magnificent, but unfortunately the big, weird lips and frozen forehead did nothing for the character, especially in very emotional scenes.

The desperate fixation on eternal youth has made male victims, too: while getting my daily dose of gossip this morning I saw John Rzeznik’s wedding photo and for a moment I thought he was Joan Rivers. So sad. :(

People shouldn’t have to worry about silly things like looking 30 when they’re actually 60. Life should be simpler. Simple like jam bars (in this case, with an extra kick of flavor from the pecans).

Raspberry jam and pecan bars
slightly adapted from the always delicious Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe

1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 ¼ cups (175g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (130g) light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
¾ cup (82g) pecans, not too finely chopped
¾ cup (1½ sticks/170g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 cup raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 32.5x22.5cm (13x9in) baking pan, line it with foil leaving an overhang on all sides and butter the foil as well.
Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and mix until it forms crumbs. Stir in the pecans. Reserve 1 ¼ cups of this mix. Press the remaining mix into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and slightly firm to touch. Remove from the oven, spread the jam evenly over the crust, then top with the reserved crumbs. Return to the oven and bake until the top is golden and filling is bubbly, 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan and cutting.

Makes 18 – I made the exact recipe above using a 20x30cm (8x12in) pan


tea with hazel said...

it's hard looking in the mirror and seeing an old grey haired woman looking back at me so i understand the ageing angst only too well..but i refuse to buy into all the age defying must be even harder for those in high profile industries but still i think it would be great if more of them modelled graceful ageing rather than perpetuating a youth obsessed culture..

by the way your bars look great..i have lots of jam i want to use up so i'm hoping to give them a go soon..jane

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I love crumb bars, wish I had a few of these right now!

Anonymous said...

I'm always surprised people make such a big deal about plastic surgery. I view trying to look our best along a continuum. One end are those who do absolutely nothing. No make up, no coloring their hair, no wearing flattering colors, no braces for crooked teeth, etc. Then the opposite extreme are those who have multiple surgeries - face lifts, breast implants, liposuction, more face lifts!!! They start to look freakish (look up The Cat Woman who is said to have spent 4 million dollars)!!! The rest of us fall somewhere in between and doing what we can to look our best. Does it make us look "younger"? Sometimes. But mostly we just think we look better.

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