Irma stayed up long after John had gone to bed so she could finish the last few chapters of A Killer Carol by her favorite author, Laura Bradford.
John wasn’t too keen on her staying up so late, but it was one of those books she couldn’t put down. It wasn’t the first time he went to bed without her, and it surely wouldn’t be the last. She smiled as she thought how he’d given her a hard time before he went to bed, but in a loving tone told her not to burn the midnight oil too late.
Thinking about all the points she wanted to make during their book discussion, she couldn’t wait to hear what Rosie, Phyllis, and Lovina thought about Laura’s new book. Claire and Jakob were exciting characters, and she was interested in knowing if her friends figured out who murdered Daniel and Mary Esch before they got to the end of the book.
Still wide awake, Irma opened her recipe box, hoping to find something she could make for tomorrow’s afternoon ‘Book Buddies Club.’ Fingering through the cards, she stopped at a family favorite, Irma’s Cookie Bars. She felt a sense of longing as she ran her fingers over the stained paper. It was the exact dessert her family often requested. Sitting alone in the kitchen, she closed her eyes and tried to remember the sound of a house full of kinner. The noise had long faded, but the memories were still vividly etched in her mind. With age came new things to occupy her that had little to do with mounds of dirty laundry and hungry tummies. Now she could spend a better part of the day curled up with a good book and look forward to spending time with her book buddies.
Laying the recipe aside and turning down the wick on the oil lamp that hung over the table, she contently climbed the stairs, anxious to snuggle up with John. The end to a perfect day, in her book.
Irma’s Cookie Bars
½ cup melted butter
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
14-oz can condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Melt the butter in the bottom of a 9” x 13” cake pan. Spoon graham cracker crumbs into the melted butter and mix well. Flatten the crumbs to form a crust on the bottom of the pan. Pour condensed milk evenly over the crust. Top with chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts and press down firmly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool and cut into squares.
Tracy Fredrychowski is a country girl, author, homesteader and everything simple living. She has a passion for writing about the simpler side of life, much like the life she lived growing up in rural Pennsylvania.
Her life has always been intertwined with the Amish, and it’s only fitting that she has a genuine passion for their simplicity, sense of community and God-centered lives.
Growing up in Northwest Pennsylvania she spent her childhood immersed deep in Amish Country. The clip-clop of horse and buggy woke her each morning as Amish men drove past her childhood home on their way to work. As a young woman, she was traumatized by an Amish murder that involved a family member and changed her life forever.
Even though she currently lives in South Carolina her travels take her through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin’s Amish Country every year. During those stops, she researches the communities she visits and prides herself on writing Amish fiction that truly represents the Amish culture. She considers herself very fortunate to have made friends in those communities and values the information they share and wants nothing more than to represent their lifestyle as accurately as possible.