With summer in full swing and 4th of July less than 24 hours away, the smell of grilling is in the air. You’ve got your burgers, your brats, your chips and potato salad, and of course, you’ve got to have an assortment of bars. While I know I have mentioned this before in my Midwestern Dictionary , I decided I needed to dedicate an entire post to the glory that are bars.
It had only been about a day into our big North Dakota move when we were invited over to a friend’s house for grilling. As we loaded up our plates with all the delicious food, we were reminded to not forget the bars. “The what?” I questioned.
“The bars,” she responded and gestured over in the direction of what I now know as Scotcheroo Bars.
“Oh,” I replied. “I’ve never heard them called that before.”
“Well, what do you call them then?” she asked.
“Umm… whatever they are called. Like brownies, or lemon bars or I guess Scotcheroo Bars.”
This wasn’t the last time I would have this conversation with Midwestern locals. In fact, it is still hard for me to call them bars without giving a little giggle or adding a little bit of a Midwestern accent to my pronunciation. You see, while I knew what she was referencing, I had never heard them called such a generic term before. Sure, I have a section in my ‘Better Homes and Garden Cook Book’ just dedicated to cookies AND bars, but I still would never say, “Oh, I’m making bars”. If someone asked what I was bringing to a BBQ or potluck, I would say specifically whatever the dessert item was. For example, chocolate chip bars or blondies. Not simply “bars”.
Additionally, if I was asked to bring some sort of dessert, “bars” would probably not be on the top of my list. In fact, I had never seen so many bars until I moved to North Dakota (ironically, this statement could also hold true to the kind of “bars” that serve adult beverages as well). I may bring pie, or cake, or even cookies… but probably not bars. Now don’t get me wrong. I love bars! They are just not really something I grew up eating or really paid much attention to. What is it about Midwesterners and their bars? What happened to simple chocolate chip cookies or a few Snickerdoodles?
As I ponder this question, I suddenly feel in the mood to make some bars. So on that note, happy 4th of July everyone and enjoy the many bars you will consume in celebration of America!
side note: as I Googled “bars” to post a few photos up on my blog, you can guess the first 100 or so images were not of dessert bars but instead… the other type.