Autumn is once again in the air. We’re still enjoying beautiful warm, sunny days but I have noticed a chill in the early morning air. A relief from the humidity of the last few weeks, but I’m not ready for Summer to leave us just yet.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of my dear friends who I’ve known for 11 years. We met shortly after I moved here and started working at the company where she was just about to go on maternity leave with her eldest. One of those “instant clicks” with someone. We’ve shared a lot together since we met: kids, job losses, loved ones passing on, new jobs, moans about bosses, laughs, tears, new homes; been shoulders to lean on for each other. I am truly blessed to have Stacey in my life. As our life paths have taken us on slightly different courses, we still make the effort to get together every couple of months for a few hours of chatter, laughter, catch-ups and fun. The hours fly by.
Do you have a special friend like that? I hope so, special friends are gifts from God. They are sisters from other families who come into our lives to make them better; whole. If friendships aren’t uplifting or balanced, they cannot last. She always gives 100% of herself to whatever she has committed to. She is organised, level-headed and kind; can be an absolute hoot at times and always makes me laugh – just being down to earth, chatty and friendly; she is infectious. Long may our friendship last Stace!
A great friend is like chocolate I think; sweet or even bitter-sweet as you share each other’s experiences; makes you feel good; can never get enough; you can always do with a bit more – but it has to be the good sort. Some friendships can be a little like compound chocolate – not the best quality, a little fake, possibly disappointing and perhaps a let-down. So whether it’s chocolate or friends, don’t waste time on anything that isn’t absolutely the best. It always has to be a two-way thing.
So whip up a batch of these simply delicious chocolate peanut bars and share them over a cuppa with a friend or two. You might want to double the recipe – just saying…
90 g butter
100 g soft brown sugar
60 ml (4 Tbsp) golden syrup
few drops of vanilla essence
175 g rolled oats
90 g plain chocolate (good quality)
75 ml (5 Tbsp) peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
45 g raw peanuts, chopped
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and line or grease a 23 cm square baking pan. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until well mixed. Add the golden syrup, vanilla and oats.
- Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together, either in a double boiler or in short bursts in the microwave taking care that it doesn’t seize. Spread it over the cooled base. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.
- Chill in the fridge before cutting into bars.