My grandmother was a pretty fly lady, though I am not sure anyone called her “fly” in her lifetime. She loved anything glamorous and I’m pretty sure she saw the point of doing a whole lot in moderation. She’d send my sister and I (beware, frightening New Jersey-in-the-80s references ahead) glittery and puff-painted jaw clips and manes from the flea markets in Florida, she never discouraged the splattered and acid-washed jeans and neon slouch socks I wish someone would have formed an intervention over (shudder) and I specifically remember her finding me a pair of silver moccasins that in my mind couldn’t have been any cooler.
When I first saw this recipe on the homepage of marthastewart.com last month, my first thought was “ooh, how perfectly fall!” but then a second later, “wait, this can’t be right.” I mean, chocolate and pumpkin together? I have to admit, it sounds off to me.
If you’ve made as many brownies as I have in my life–and that’s a lot. I mean A LOT. Just ask my hips.–you come to realize a couple things: There are no bad from-scratch brownies.* Seriously, not even the batch that I forgot to add the flour to when I was in middle school, that I am pretty sure my mother still brings up whenever someone mentions what a great cook her daughter is, was destroyed. A little charred at the edges, perhaps, but they still quite tasty in the middle. Because you know we totally ate them anyway.
It’s amazing to me, and crushing to Alex, that in the year that I have posted to this site I have not produced a single peanut butter recipe. How could this be? I love peanut butter. I have waxed poetic about the peanut butter cookies from Billy’s Bakery more than once. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups are the only widely-distributed candy I consider ‘worth it.’ I am weak in the knees in the face of it, to the point that I actually make an effort to not buy any. It’s just not safe around me. Armed with a spoon and the door to the fridge swung open, it gets ugly. There is safety in distance.
Alex’s birthday was Friday, and if there is one thing I think we all know by now about my sous-chef, assistant photographer, sometimes (coughoften) dishwasher and starry-eyed compatriot is that he is the true chocoholic in this family. There is rarely a dish, from strawberry tarts to banana bread, raspberry-filled sandwich cookies to bretzel rolls that he does not insist could be improved by the addition of chocolate. Or cheesecake. Or brownies. But mostly chocolate.
Last weekend, en route to the Professional Bull Riders Showdown at Madison Square Garden, and after some beers at what, without a doubt, must be the most sordid bar in Manhattan, Jocelyn’s roommate told me that even the sound of a baby crying could immediately bring on PMS-like symptoms for her. She’s that repelled by them. I laughed, because she’s damn funny, but then it hit me: earlier this month I held a friend’s 3-month old baby, marveled at his wrist-less arms and ankle-less legs (hidden beneath rolls, you see) and sniffed his tiny baby noggin and since then, I cannot stop eating chocolate. It’s getting worse and worse. What is usually just a two to three day bout of increased chocolate cravings every, oh, 28 days or so is incessant. Unending. Borderline obsessive, minus the borderline part.
I’m back! But not really, as I got home an hour ago, whipped up a batch of the only blondie recipe you’ll ever need for our favorite blondie’s umpteenth 25th birthday and now I have about 45 minutes to find something in my closet that camouflages my sling because ugh, it’s such an eyesore. (On the flipside, when I don’t wear it and someone bumps into me I get all outraged like ‘don’t you know my shoulder is injured?!’ Well, no Debbie, they don’t.)