Layered Apricot Squares

  • 2⅔ cups flour, divided
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1½ cups dried apricots
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

Sift together 2 cups flour and sugar, and cut in butter with a blender. Press into a 9-inch x 13-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until light brown. Place apricots in a small pot, and simmer 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and chop. Beat eggs, add brown sugar, and beat mixture well. Sift together ⅔ cup flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to egg mixture. Stir in apricots, vanilla, and nuts. Spread over baked crust. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Cool, and cut into squares.

Lord, Ain’t the Gravy Good: The Vasgaard Family Cookbook

Elizabeth Tucker Vasgaard was known to throw a party. At every gathering, there were two things: good food and a poem. In the poem, everything else on the table tastes terrible, but, “Lord, ain’t the gravy good.” The poem is funny, but the message resonates.

In 2009, Vasgaard was working on this cookbook with her granddaughter-in-law, Page Hall Bowman, when Vasgaard died unexpectedly at 88 years old. Most of the family wondered if the cookbook would be completed. But Bowman and her cousin Kristen Vasgaard pressed on and finished the book in 2010, once again proving that even when it seems everything on the table seems bad, there’s always something good you can take away.

To order a copy, contact Vicki Bowman at (828) 322-8010,, or 23 Eighth Avenue NE, Hickory, N.C. 28601.

Additional recipes from Lord Ain’t the Gravy Good that appeared originally with this one:
Pork Loin

This story was published on

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