Fair Winds and Dream Bars

Even though I’ve packed up 8 boxes of books and stashed them in a temporary location, I still have a few idle stacks kicking about The Coop.  In one of them is an Encyclopedic Cook Book from 1950; I keep it on my night table for evenings when Mr. Sandman is late to arrive.  I don’t remember where I found this volume.  It may have been a sidewalk book sale at Carlson Turner Antiquarian Books.  Tucked inside the front cover were some Minute Rice recipes clipped from an October 20, 1963 newspaper and this recipe:

Even though I’ve looked at this recipe many times and wondered about the S.S. Laurentia and Dena Teegarden, this weekend I thought seriously about making some “Dream Bars.”  The recipe is simple enough; will unsweetened coconut ruin the flavor?  I don’t have the sweetened kind of coconut flakes.  I might need to add some chocolate chips.

I had already made an apple crisp over the snowy weekend, so I tabled the Dream Bars.  I wondered about the S.S. Laurentia and why Dena Teegarden might have been copying a recipe for Dream Bars while she traveled.  Where was she going? Was she traveling alone?  How old was she?  Did she have children?  Do her great-great grandchildren read my blog?

Thanks to the magic of the internet, I have been able to assemble a few facts about the ship, which was part of The Donaldson Line.  After WWII, this shipping line provided limited passenger service from Scotland to Canada.  Apparently, they also hauled Shetland sheep in their cargo hold, because a farm in Illinois still breeds the descendants of Flett Shetlands which were shipped to this continent on none other than the S.S. Laurentia.

I got sidetracked with some research about the “golden age” of steamship travel and how containerization assured the demise of many small shipping lines.  All of these facts tumbled around in my head yesterday and occasionally ricocheted off thoughts about the Carnival Triumph and the Love Boat.  I consider these two ships as metaphors for things that are broken in the world.  I even texted one of my friends during the day and said “greetings from the Aloha Deck.”

Dena Teegarden might be an interesting fictional creation here on the blog; she could be the Julia Child of Dream Bars.  I wonder if Dena Teegarden ever cooked any steak tips in Moxie?  If the Dream Bars are edible, I could be on to something exciting and new.

In the land of the Sandman, Shetland Sheep, and Dream Bars, there’s never enough time.

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2 Responses to Fair Winds and Dream Bars

  1. Loosehead Prop says:

    Those were recycled Liberty Ships, ships built to be expendable during World War II. They were not high-end cruise lines, and their passenger travel was likely low on comfort. It was a cheap way of moving you and some cargo from the British Isles to the east coast of Canada. That they lasted until the mid-1960s was perhaps a miracle itself.

    Assuming you tried to google Dena Teegarden, is there anything about her recipe or manuscript that would suggest whether she was British? For example, the spelling of “cocoanut?”

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