November 30th, 2005


Fig Bars recipe for Stryck


1 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar (can be replaced with 1/2 cup honey, as I recall)
1/2 cup brown sugar (can also be replaced with 1/2 cup honey)
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (can be modified by replacing any amount of the ordinary white flour with whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
Fig Filling

Cream shortening and sugars. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; eat well. Sift together dry ingredients. Stir into creamed mixture. Chill at least one hour.

On well-floured surface roll out dough flat. Cut out small rectangles about 4 x 5 inches. Spread fig filling on one half of rectangles; fold over like closing a book. Press edges together to seal. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 10 minutes. (Using honey and/or whole wheat flour will make cookie softer, so do not remove immediately from cooling sheet. As fig bars cool, they will harden up. Also, watch time if using honey and/or whole wheat, as they will tend to cook faster. Honey/whole wheat also will look only brown around edges, not completely browned, when you take them out of the oven.)

Fig Filling: combine 2 cups finely chopped dried figs, 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or honey), 1 cup orange juice, and dash salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, till mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Commentary: It's been a long time since I made these. I don't ever remember using brown sugar, so I either used all white sugar, or just honey. I think I've made them with all whole wheat, and with only part whole wheat. If I were going to make them again, I'd have to experiment a bit to get back in the groove. When I was making them frequently, I remember that siege's teacher at St. Richard's School went gaga over them in the school silent auction. (I had a plate of a dozen fig bars as our contribution.)
saxon cross

Another oldie but goodie

I was going through my files, looking for something someone had asked me for a copy of, when I stumbled across this sermon I preached last Memorial Day weekend. It may not be very topical as an Advent meditation, but with all the brouhaha about Iraq and casualties and so on, it might provoke some thought. It is the only time in nearly thirty years I have addressed war and the warrior so directly; usually, I've sidestepped these issues. But I thought it needed to be said.
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by himself


He's ill-behaved and rowdy much of the time, but he loves to sleep on my lap and soak up kitty noogies. We may civilize him yet.