Cherry Oat Dessert Squares

Ms. Adams, 64, has been cooking for as long as she can remember. She comes from a family of 5 and her grandmother came from Charlottesville, Virginia, and grandfather from Covington, Georgia. Both sides of her family came from cooks. Her grandfather on her dad’s side of the family worked in restaurants in East Liberty and mother’s side also worked in restaurants in the East End. Her mother’s side of the family did a lot of baking homemade rolls, cookies, danishes, and baked from scratch. On her father’s side, chitterlings was a big hit. They used to make homemade caramel popcorn. As she got older, she always tried to include vegetables and starch in her meals. When cooking for her kids, she tried to be creative — she would make bagel pizzas and English muffin pizzas for them. Every winter she practices baking something and practices for the whole winter until she perfects it, and then moves on to something else the following year. Her favorite dishes include desserts, but she enjoys all kinds of food. She participated in a healthy eating program, and remained a vegetarian for about 2 years after completing the program. She was kind enough to share a cookbook with us that contained some healthy recipes and some of her own recipes.

1/3 cup of sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 cup quick or old fashioned oats

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling (or whatever fruit you’d like)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix sugar, nuts, oats, margarine, and flour until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture. Press remainder into the bottom of a 9 inch square baking dish. Stir cinnamon into cherry pie filling. Spread over crust. Sprinkle reserved crumbles on top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

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