(Originally 9/2/10)

I love this time of year!  The temperatures have dropped enough that the roses are reblooming, the grass is having an easier time, and the mornings and  late evenings have the smell of earth and coolness.  The garden is in full swing, tomatoes are fragrant and sweet,  most of the lumps that come out of my garden are potatoes instead of rocks, and I get to be creative using squash again.  What a fulfilling time, enjoying the fruits of our labors (or others’ labors, if you prefer the farmers’ market or grocery store).  It brings to mind   D&C 59:18-19 “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

   Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.”

I’m grateful for the beauties of the earth that the Lord has given us, for the wonderful things he’s put here for us to wisely enjoy.  The recipe at the end of the email uses nothing but some of these things that grow for us. Enjoy!

Here is a bit from Elder Maxwell, from a talk he called “Be Of Good Cheer”- both sobering and encouraging. 

“We are living in a time in which we shall see things both wonderful and awful. There is no way that we can be a part of the last days and have it otherwise. Even so, we are instructed by our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, to “be of good cheer.” (D&C 61:36; D&C 78:18.)

Jesus has given that same instruction to others before, when the stressful circumstances in which they found themselves were anything but cheerful.

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33; italics added.)

What precious perspective we obtain from the gospel of Jesus Christ concerning things that really matter—against which we measure the disappointments of the day!

Jesus calls upon us to have a deliberate trust in God’s unfolding purposes, not only for all humankind but for us individually. And we are to be of good cheer in the unfolding process. The Lord has made no secret of the fact that He intends to try the faith and the patience of His Saints. (See Mosiah 23:21.) We mortals are so quick to forget the Lord: “And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions … they will not remember him.” (Hel. 12:3.)

Given the aforementioned grand and overarching reasons to rejoice, can we not “be of good cheer” in spite of stress and circumstance?

President Brigham Young said of a geographical destination, “This is the place.” Of God’s plan of salvation, with its developmental destination, it can be said, “This is the process”!   

(from “Be of Good Cheer” by Neal A. Maxwell,  Oct. 1982 Conference) http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=1ca9c5e8b4b6b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD
If you can make the time, please read the whole thing, it’s wonderful!

Now for the recipe: these fruit/nut bars are basically the same as the old-old recipe for ‘fruit balls’ or ‘dried fruit candy’, if you’ve run across those before.  The dates are there both for sweetness and stickiness to hold the whole thing together.  

Just-Fruit-and-Nut Bars (the original 'energy bar') and naturally gluten-free!

1/3 cup chopped pecans - toasting the nuts will increase the flavor
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup chopped dried apples 

 Put the pecans in a food processor (or blender?) and chop until finely ground.  Remove and do the same with dates and apples.  Add the nuts back in, add a pinch of cinnamon, and process until it holds together.  Divide into 6 pieces, mold each one into a bar, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, waxed paper, or parchment.  81 calories each, if you care.   (I’m thinking these things ought to be double-sized- plus I’ll make my batch with 1 cup of each ingredient.)

If you can’t have nuts: the nuts are there to give body and fat for shaping, digestibility and energy, so try a combination of chopped-up rolled oats and coconut oil (or butter)


Apricot-Almond: use equal amounts dried apricots, dates, and almonds

Cherry Tart:  equal parts dried cherries, dates, and walnuts or almonds

Peanut Cookie: use peanuts and only dates (2/3 cup).  Add a pinch of salt and a bit of vanilla.

Cashew Cookie: same as Peanut Cookie, except use cashews.

How about using dates, dried pineapple, macadamias, then rolling in coconut?

Or use any nut and dried fruit you have, or whatever else sounds good…..



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