Friday, January 21, 2011

Simple Oatmeal Jam Bars vs "The Family"

 My husband works in Brantford and drives over an hour to get to his job everyday.  Then back again at night.

The one good thing about this drive as far as I'm concerned is that he passes through "Hewitt's" territory.  Hewitt's dairy is an independently owned dairy in Hagersville and they make 10% cream for my coffee that doesn't have all kinds of stuff in it like the bigger dairies.  It is simply milk and cream.

It doesn't stay good for two years in the fridge like the other stuff, but that's fine with me.  Shorter shelf (fridge) life can be the sign of a good thing.

The Foodland store in Cayuga is where he'll usually stop to pick up the cream and Hewitt's milk as well.
It's the closest place to me in Wellandport that it's sold.  Problem is , most the time when he's walking in the Foodland, funny things happen.  Doritos are bought.  Pepperettes are bought.  Chocolate bars are bought.  They're gone by the time he gets home, but he doesn't fool me.  I find the wrappers in the outside garbage can the next morning when I walk by to do my chores.

Last night he walked in the door with my cream and milk, proudly holding high something in a plastic container.  You know, the great hunter bringing the family home a meal.  Hmm.  I was a little bit suspicious of his find.  Must be good, though.  It says right on it "Simply the Best" and also "family owned and operated."

In my mind though the ingredient list looked long.  Mighty long.  So I had Mollie start counting how many ingredients were actually in this "Raspberry Loaf Cake".  Turns out it had 41 ingredients...41!?
Wow.  Now THATS a cake!

Some of the ingredients I knew.  Some were a bit of a puzzle.  Sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium propionate, sodium citrate, artificial flavour, FD+C Red # 40.  Son of a gun.  And it was my husband who reminded me that Michael Pollan said if it had ingredients your grandma wouldn't recognize, it is better off not eaten, and one should beware of foods with more than 5 ingredients in them.

Exceeded a bit in this case.

41 ingredients really is a lot.

Fortunately we didn't eat it.  Usually when I have food left over, my pig Joey or my chickens will gobble up the goodies.  But this doesn't seem that good to me and I really don't feel good about giving it to anybody.  Not Joey or the chickens.

And what's with the advertising?  Am I supposed to feel good about it, or differently about it because the company is 'family owned and operated"?

I had already made a dessert for supper anyways.  I found the recipe on the internet, and have made it a few times.  Easy squeasy.  And extra good too because I have lots of homemade jam from my own fruit that I can use.  And yes, it is more than 5 ingredients.   But not many more, and I can pronounce them all!!

Oatmeal Jam bars


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats, such as Quaker
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberry jam


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the ingredients are combined and a crumbly dough is formed. Add the oats and lemon zest. Pulse quickly twice to combine.
  2. Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread the jam evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the jam, gently pressing down.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars. 

I find this works just as well with whole wheat flour, and I omitted the lemon zest.


Buttons said...

Thank you I will be trying this recipe. It is funny how family owned and operated does not mean much these days. I like to know what I eat also. B

Linda said...

It's a good recipe..simple. My collie pup ate nearly a whole pan of them , so they must be good :)

Krafty Girl said...

Can't wait to try these. Their is far to much "extra ingredients" in food these days. What would our lives be like if we went back to home cooking of everything and raising and growing food at home? I think we may get rid of a lot of problems for the future. I hope anyway. Thankyou for the recipe.