The summer after I turned 16 I got a phone call at 7am on a Saturday morning. It went like this:
Me: (super groggy tired) Hello?
Caller: Megan? It's Shannon (my 19 year old sister). My boss wants to talk to you.
Me: What? Your boss? Why?
Shannon's boss: Hi, Megan? This is Janeen, the Aquatics Director at the YMCA. We are way understaffed today and need you to come in. Can you be here in an hour? (The pool was 45 minutes away.)
Me: (still super groggy tired) Umm ok?
I threw on a bathing suit, drove down to the pool, and jumped in the water with 10 kids I'd never seen before. I began my first job as a swim instructor at the YMCA.
The only reason I tell you this is because the snack bar at the YMCA had the most amazing fruit and oatmeal bars. Some local bakery would drop off the oatmeal bars and huge chocolate chip cookies, all individually wrapped and all amazingly delicious. For $1.25 you could get a huge oatmeal bar that I would swear I was only going to eat half of on my break, but would always end up eating the whole thing. For three years I ate those amazing treats and the whole three years I never got sick of them. I probably had one at least once a week.
But now... I can make them myself! And these are equally delicious. But better because I don't have to pay $1.25 every time I want one!
2 cups flour
2 cups uncooked quick oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam (or any other kind - apricot is the bomb-diggity)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; mix well. Add butter and stir with a fork until mixture is crumbly.
Set aside 1 1/2 cups of crumb mixture for topping. Press the rest evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Spread jam onto crust and sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting and serving.