Thursday, 31 May 2012

One kind elderly lady...(and homemade granola bars, too!)

It is almost impossible to smile on the outside without feeling better on the inside. - Unknown

When I first began working with the elderly, one lady in particular won my heart.   She had Alzheimer's disease and was trapped in her own world until a song was sung.  Then slowly she would walk over to me, sit down and listen.  Every week I looked forward to being with her.  She was gentle and never spoke.  Occasionally, she would sing a few words together with me and smile. When she passed, I was asked to sing at her funeral. I was impressed at the number of people who got up and spoke about her.  Every one of her four daughters and every one of her four son-in-laws spoke.  I had not known much about her life, but I found out more that day. When her four daughters were small, she had lost her husband.  She, however, was never defeated.  She tried to make her daughters' lives beautiful, even though things were not easy. One point mentioned stood out in my mind.  It was her love of picnics...because she never wanted her girls to miss a beautiful day. Every opportunity she could find (with good weather), they would eat outside. Since then, I have had a love of picnics..and have been searching for the perfect picnic food.  Here is what I have found today.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.  

Homemade  Granola Bars
(adapted from Better Food For Kids Cookbook, by Joanne Saab RD and Daina Kalnins, RD)
makes 16 large bars

4 cups large flake rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 natural wheat bran
pinch salt
1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc...)
1/2  cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup honey
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup corn syrup
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/ 4- 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  In a microwave safe bowl, combine:  Oats, coconut, bran, salt, dried fruit, sunflower seeds.

2.  In a one cup measure, whisk together honey and oil.  Pour over oat mixture; toss until well mixed.

3.  Microwave on high for about 6 minutes, stirring every two minutes, until mixture is slightly browned.
4.  In another medium size microwave safe bowl, combine syrup,sugar, and peanut butter.  Microwave on high for two minutes or until mixture is just bubbling.

 5.  Add sesame seeds and cinnamon to oat mixture.
Add the microwaved sugar/peanut butter to oat mixture.  Mix well.

6.  Press into lightly greased pan.

7.  Wait until cool..  Cut into bars. Uneaten portion can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!


  1. What a nice story. Thanks for sharing! Looks like a yummy recipe too!
    I love picnics!

  2. Thank you for your very nice comment Andrea!!