I have a confession to make. I’ve been away for about a week and didn’t tell you. I thought it would be more fun to see if you could figure out where I’ve been (and still am). Take a guess – not just the country, but take a stab at a smaller geographical region within the country. These cookies are a clue about the country. We stopped at a bakery to enjoy a cup of tea and a snack when I spotted these and they took me back 30 years. I first tasted them when my good friend Jan and I were next door neighbors. They’re really date squares, but they’re called “matrimonial cakes” in the western part of the country where she’s from. Another clue – I’m in the eastern part of that country. We sat at an outdoor table eating them, and this was the view: Here are a few more pictures I snapped that might give you some idea of where I am (some subtle and not-so-subtle clues within the photos). They catch a lot of fish here, including lobsters. This is a very photographed lighthouse in one of its towns: There are thousands of shipwrecks off the coast here because of the many hidden rocks under the water: There are lots of these birds here along the shores: And bald eagles too: Here’s some of the food I’ve been eating this week:
It’s easy to find shops here selling tartan plaid clothing: There are lots of sandy and pebbly beaches on this place. Here’s my husband with a watercolor painting he worked on for an hour or so the other day: This is the view on one of the many scenic drives here: Have you figured it out yet? If you don’t have a clue about where this is, not to worry. Just take a guess anyhow and leave a comment on the blog by Monday Sept. 7 no later than 10 pm EDT. I’ll pick one name at random and send the winner a cookbook I bought yesterday featuring recipes from this place I’m visiting (and it’s really nice with lots of beautiful photos). Just make sure you leave a way for me to reach you, via an email address or a blog url. But in the meantime, try baking these matrimonial cakes and make your very own treat. Matrimonial Cakes For printer-friendly recipe click here Jan’s mother still makes a batch of these bars once a week so she can take them with her as a hostess gift if invited to dinner or for tea. She always has some in the freezer. They warm up in the microwave very well. She has even developed a gluten-free variation for Jan’s sister and father who are gluten-intolerant. If you’re interested, email me and I’ll try to get it for you. 1 cup all purpose flour cut in chunks 1 cup lightly salted butter 1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/8 tsp salt Mix above ingredients with pastry blender until crumbly. Pat half the mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ baking pan, Spread with date filling (see below) cover with remaining oats. Pat lightly in place. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Filling: 8 oz finely chopped dates 1 tablespoon brown sugar (I don’t use any additional sugar) 1/2 cup water Bring to boil in small sauce pan. Cook until thickened. Cool slightly before spreading on oatmeal layer.