MELBA'S SWAP SHOP
GEORGE CUT DOWN THE TREE
DEAR MELBA: Since February is the month of George Washington's birthday, and he had “activity with a cherry tree” while a child that almost got him in trouble, I thought you might like this recipe for Cherry Cheese Bars to celebrate his birthday. Please credit the original to Loretta Martin, of Branson, Mo., even though I've made a few changes.
CHERRY CHEESE BARS
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup shortening
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flake coconut
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In large mixing bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in shortening until mixture is fine. Add 1/2-cup of the walnuts and the coconut. Mix well. Remove 1/2-cup of the mixture and set aside.
Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in large bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. When crust mixture is lightly browned, spread with cream cheese mixture. Return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove and spread cherry pie filling over top.
In small bowl, combine remaining 1/2-cup chopped walnuts and reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle evenly over pie filling. Cool. Cut in 24 bars.
DAVE FARRINGTON, Midwest City
That “activity with a cherry tree” may just be a story. According to The World Book Encyclopedia, many stories were told about Washington, and many are probably not true. For instance, he probably did not chop down his father's cherry tree, then confess by saying, “Father, I cannot tell a lie.”
I prefer to believe it is a true story, and I do thank you, Dave, for the reminder and the recipe.
DEAR MELBA: This is a neat joke. Several women, each trying to one-up the other, appeared in court, each accusing the others of causing the trouble they were having in the apartment building where they lived.
The judge, with Solomon-like wisdom decreed, “OK, I'm ready to hear the evidence. ... I'll hear the oldest first.” The case was dismissed for lack of testimony.
CAROL JACKSON, North Carolina
DEAR READERS: While doing research in The Oklahoman's archives, recently, I found a tip from years ago shared by Floyd Ingle, of Oklahoma City. He said when having trouble opening a jar of pickles one day, he remembered that if he heated the outer edges slightly, the lid would come off easily. He was right. Even just holding a jar or bottle under hot water for a few seconds, and the lid comes off easily.
DEAR MELBA: Readers' love for church signs and bumper stickers reminded me of my collection:
Some folks will give God the credit, but not the cash.
Loose living gets some people into tight places.
Rumors are as hard to unspread as butter.
Some members sing “Standing on the Promises” by sitting on the premises.
Put yourself in our place Sunday.
This is not a museum. It's a hospital for sinners.
Kneeling will keep you in good standing.
The Great Physician never gave a wrong prescription.
NO NAME PLEASE, Moore
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you'd like to share, write to Melba's Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please include your name and address.