My Mother’s Kitchen: Rainbow Bars Square Recipe

 “Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby.”

 When you were little did you watch “The Wizard of Oz”, the 1939 movie that starred Judy Garland as Dorothy? In the movie, shortly before a cyclone picked up Uncle Henry and Auntie Em’s farmhouse, Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, Dorothy sang a song called “Over the Rainbow”, about a magical land she heard of, “once in a lullaby”.

 I was fascinated by this movie, by the way it began as a black and white film and switched to colour when Dorothy arrived in the “Land of the Munchkins”. I remember being frightened by the Witch of the West and the Winged Monkeys in the movie, but I also remember being enthralled with the main characters—Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodsman.  I thought they were courageous to venture forward, to ‘follow the yellow brick road’, not knowing where it would lead or if they would ever find their way back to the beginning.

 Today’s recipe for “Rainbow Bars” made me think about both the “Wizard of Oz” movie and the song “Over the Rainbow”, and I started wondering if maybe Dorothy ate Rainbow Bars at her Auntie Em’s kitchen table when she finally returned home to Kansas.

 If Dorothy didn’t have an opportunity to sample these squares, if her Auntie Em didn’t know how to make this wonderful recipe, I think it’s a shame, because Dorothy would surely have loved them as much for their taste as for their name, and she could have enjoyed them without ever having to leave home. 

 Why don’t you rent “The Wizard of Oz” one rainy day this fall and watch it while you snack on these delicious Rainbow Bars. And if you have the voice for it, join Dorothy when she sings her famous melody.

 “Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”


Rainbow Bars 

2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 cup butter or margarine

Mix well and press in pan. Bake at 350° F oven for 15 minutes. Cool. 

¾ cup cherries
1 cup crushed pineapple (undrained)
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp. almond flavouring
2 or 3 Tbsp. corn starch mixed with some cherry juice

Cook about 15 minutes in double boiler until thickened. Put mixture on top of base while still hot.

Top with meringue
3 egg whites
3 Tbsp. white sugar

Sprinkle with cocoanut and brown in moderate oven (350° F). When cool cut into squares.


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