Friday, May 9, 2008
Filling The Air With My Essence
So, I'm headed to a baby shower this weekend with 30 women - and I know exactly ONE of them, the one with the soon-to-be-born baby. Let me set the stage here: I didn't attend my own college graduation, I didn't have a wedding shower, I didn't have a wedding registry - and the only attendant at our wedding was our dog, Wylie. To the chagrin of all, there was not a microsecond when I wanted a "real" wedding. To be honest, I never understood events like showers, reunions, and other seemingly obligatory events. I like to breeze past Christmas, for crap's sake, so getting me to a shower is nothing short of the immaculate conception itself.
I don't know what it is. I suppose I'm partly - fine, gigantically - bugged by the requisite games we gals are often forced to play at showers. Literally, the games could be Pin The Tail On The Baby, Baby Crossword Puzzle or, my favorite, Yikes The Water Broke. Figuratively, the games could be more subtle. Case in point: the last bridal shower I went to, I wore black (is that a sin?) - and, as I passed two friendly girls, one of them muttered under her breath "God, she looks like she's going to a funeral". So friendly! Punks. Frankly, I stink at both types of games.
Luckily, my friend is incredibly down to earth (my kind of girl), so I'm hopeful the rest of these kittens will be equally earthbound and cool. But here in Statusdale - one just never knows about down-to-earthness, one just hopes. So, like a lamb to the slaughter, I could be heading into an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County. Then again, maybe they're all going to be just as cool as she is, can you imagine? A girl function where everyone is just chill, where the mix is perfect? Like, if I could make my ideal mixed-drink of girl energy, here's what I think I'd toss in: some Debbie Harry, a bit of Gabrielle Reece, a dash of Aung San Suu Kyi, Exene Cervenka, Talitha Getty, Billie Jean King, Meryl Streep, Julia Child, Mother Teresa, Lynn Hill, Anne Frank - SOMEONE PLEASE STOP ME. [you realize I'll be up all night editing this perfect list in my head, I now wish I'd never thought of it...]
Anyhow, like a soldier going off to battle - I know not what I face on the 'morrow. Or, what gear I should arm myself with. Don't think I'll wear black though.
What I would really love to do though, as a crowd tester - is to pass some gas. To take an opportune moment and just suddenly announce: "Oh my god, so sorry - I just totally farted!". Not only would it be a staggeringly beautiful example of uncomfortable woman-silence, but I think it would also really serve an essential larger purpose.
With that one efficient move, I could both clear the air about who I really am while also filling the air with the essence of who I am. Good idea?
Bow To Me Brownies
Now, these are really incredible. Did you hear that? INCREDIBLE. I've really been wanting to find a great brownie recipe - but every time I'd ask Tony if he wanted brownies, he was all "nah, brownies are just blah, just kinda boring". Well, OKAY then. Like I was born yesterday and couldn't smell the stench of reverse psychology all over THAT statement. Or, he was just a man making a statement. In any case, I was up for the challenge - real or imagined. And I triumphed and it was glorious and Tony literally got down, bowed to me, and kissed my feet. Well, okay, I imagined that last part, but they were glorious - there were tiny molten pockets inside; they were a tad gooey, a tad fudgy, a tad crumbly, moist. Oh, how we loved them, people at work loved them - it was love, love, love! I don't know how I'll ever bake any other brownie.
1/2 lb. unsalted butter
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips for melt
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, unmelted
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 extra large eggs
1 tbsp. + 1 heaping tsp. instant espresso powder (or instant coffee powder)
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour for batter
1/8 c. flour for coating unmelted chocolate chips
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 pan. Alternatively, grease pan, then line pan with aluminum foil (leaving overhang), and grease aluminum foil; after baking and cooling, use foil overhang to lift bars out of pan for cutting.
Melt the butter, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly. Stir eggs, instant espresso powder, vanilla, and sugar. Add and stir in the chocolate mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and combine. Toss the chocolate chips with the 1/8th cup flour, making sure chips are coated. Add chips to the batter and combine until distributed evenly throughout batter. Pour batter into pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool, and cut into squares. Once again, adapted from Ina, that Mensa. ENJOY!