Gone But Not Forgotten and Blueberry Crumble Bars

9 Sep


This weekend my Grandma Mary passed away. She was 91 when she was diagnosed with cancer and as a family we decided it would be best if she forwent the pain and uncomfortableness which always accompanies aggressive cancer treatments. We were warned that her time here with us would be limited and so we made the most of it, we visited her as often as possible and loved her more than ever.

And when she passed away we wept and mourned but we also laughed and reminisced. We told stories and remembered her, knowing that by doing these things we would always be able to keep her memory alive in our hearts.

I was about 9 or 10 when my grandmother began to suffer from Alzheimer’s and unfortunately unlike the rest of my family I don’t have too many memories of her before, because of this my relationship with my grandmother was always a bit different.

My grandma suffered from short term memory loss, but she could very easily recount stories from long, long ago, and so she became a sort of story teller. Eagerly I would ask her questions about her younger years and she would comply and tell me very detailed renditions of her life. It was through these stories that I got to really know my grandmother and the person she was.

I learned about Mary the troublemaker, who use to take sips of alcohol while cleaning My Grandpa Charlie’s bar and then refill the bottles with water to make it look as though they had been untouched.

I learned about Mary the athlete, who used to go swimming every Thursday and Friday afternoon, although she never got her hair wet, because god forbid one single strand on her head be out of place.

I learned about Mary the food snob, who refused to eat anyone elses food at potluck dinners.

And I learned about the Mary who held grudges and had never quite gotten over the fact that one hot day in July her mother had completely forgotten her birthday.

These are the stories she told me and the way in which I began to understand my grandmother,

However, the one thing I never needed a story for was to know that my grandmother was a giving person with a heart of gold. I can remember visiting her as a child, she always was fully prepared for our visits with a fridge filled with our favorite foods, like stuffed peppers and the pound of butter cookies. She’d always send us home with a goodie bag full of items and encouraged us to walk through the house and take what we wanted (toilet paper, Lorna Doone cookies, butterscotch candies).

 Even as she got older and her Alzheimer’s began to worsen her giving personality remained. A simple compliment of her outfit or accessories would usually mean she would offer it up to you.

That’s just the kind of woman she was.

I know even now in heaven her giving way will follow her and although she can no longer offer us her cookies and clothes she can now offer us her guidance and support and I am so happy to know we have another guardian angel looking down on us. Love you Grandma!

This recipe is dedicated to my Grandma, a dessert lover!

Ingredients for Blueberry filling

2 cups of blueberries

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

8 ounces of cream cheese

Crust and Topping

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons of butter
1) Preheat oven to 350, begin to mix together all the ingredients for the crust, place parchment paper down into a pan, press about 2/3 of the mixture into the pan, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown, once down set aside and let crust cool
2) In a sauce pan combine together the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch, let the mixture thicken and set aside to cool
3) Spread cream cheese on top of crust, next spoon out the blueberry filling and sprinkle the remaining crumble on top. Bake for an additional 25 minute or until crumble is golden brown and blueberry mixture begins to bubble, let cool and then enjoy!



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