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.
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 8x8" baking pan, Spread with date filling (see below) cover with remaining oats. Pat lightly in place.
Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
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.