The winter wind was making a whistling sound as it blew past Lovina’s sewing room window. The soft glow from the oil lamp that hung in the middle of the room bounced shadows off the wall as she worked piecing together a quilt top. Excited that her ‘Book Buddy’ friends would be spending the afternoon with her, she woke way before dawn to get her famous Blueberry Bars in the oven.
The sweet smell of blueberries filled the air as she carefully guided the pieces of blue and pink fabric under the needle of her treadle sewing machine. Admiring how the pieces were fitting perfectly together in the Star of Michigan quilt pattern, she was pleased with her progress.
Stopping for a few minutes when the timer on the stove went off, she placed the pan of dessert bars in the middle of the table and picked up the book they’d be discussing that afternoon. Patricia Davids had become one of her favorite authors, and she was looking forward to discussing her latest book The Hope with Rosie, Phyllis, and Irma.
Before returning to her sewing, she looked around her sitting room to be sure nothing was out of place for her afternoon guests. With the Pennsylvania winters being long and cold, she looked forward to the one Saturday a month; three of her closest friends would come together for a day of food, fellowship, and fiction.
Lovina’s Blueberry Bars
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1 tsp ice water
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in egg yolk and ice water and continue blending until well combined.
Press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch square baking dish. Scatter blueberries over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the blueberries and bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.
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.