Our library has all kinds of events on winter weekends — lectures, slide programs, book group discussions, and this year we even had knit-alongs with a scarf-making contest. And there is always coffee, tea, and some treats.

A couple of weeks ago, I came in for one of the programs and there were some really tasty little cookie bars. I asked around and found that my neighbor Pat Hopkins had made them. She said she liked this recipe because the bars are easy to put together. And they are.

Another reason these really appeal to me is that I make jam and jelly and receive even more as gifts. I like making jam, actually probably more than eating it. And a person can eat just so much toast with jam on it anyway. So I have been looking around for ways to use up some of my jam supply before the next onslaught of fruit to put up.

This lovely recipe is adaptable enough that you can use almost any kind of jam you happen to have. I had part of a jar of my own peach jam and another part of a gift jar of blueberry jam. I spread peach on one part and blueberry on the rest. Both were very good.

This recipe works with half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat or spelt if you wish. You could also substitute walnuts for the pecans.

Jam Pecan Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat and half white)

½ cup sugar

¾ cup butter (1½ sticks)

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans (divided)

1¼ cup preserves

Preheat oven to 350. At a low speed, mix flour, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in ½ cup of the chopped pecans. Set aside ¾ cup of that mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture into a 9-by-13 baking pan. Spread preserves over the top. Sprinkle with reserved mixture and the other ½ cup of pecans. Bake 35 minutes or until preserves are bubbly and top is lightly browned. Cool. Cut into squares.

Looking for…

Ham loaf. I’ve got ham and would like to try something different with it. I’ve never made ham loaf, but I bet one of you has a good recipe for it.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: tastebuds@prexar.com. For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

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Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...