Way back on Memorial Day weekend, Sous Chef Lauren came to visit. As you well know, SCL and I go way back to first grade. Let me tell you, a guest you’ve known since you were 6 is the best kind of guest. A guest you’ve known since you were 6 knows all of your quirks and wants to stay with you anyway. SCL showed up on our doorstep and promptly apologized for arriving empty handed. “Sous Chef Lauren!” I exclaimed, “I don’t care.”
“I know,” she told me, “But I thought, what would Jennie do? And I realized, Jennie would bring something.”
And folks, as usual, SCL is right. I don’t like to arrive anywhere empty handed. If you invite me over, chances are you’ll have a bottle of wine and a plate of baked goods in your hands when I walk through the door.
So when we had plans to visit friends that same weekend, I figured no sweat. SCL and I would spend the day running around town, and we’d bake just before leaving in the afternoon.
And then we ran into 400,000 other people with the same idea. Who knew that the rolling part of Rolling Thunder was the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend? I could have sworn it was Monday. As a result, we went on a lovely driving tour through the city, the theme of which was the pleasant chime, “recalculating,” each time we ran into another blocked road.
So by the time we were back at the ranch, it was time to push off again.
My biggest fear is that someday I will have a brood of children who will render me incapable of making cookies and cupcakes from scratch, and reduce my baking habits to powdered mixes and grocery store icing. I have nothing against Duncan Hines, nor bakery counter icing. But you see, I know how to bake, and I’m not too bad at it. And I believe in the power of baking from scratch.
But on that particular evening, I was S.O.L. or T (time). So off to the grocery store we went, for a 6-pack and some brownies. Jennie would bring something. But Jennie was, for all intents and purposes, empty handed. I showed up at a friend’s house with store bought brownies. I don’t want to talk about it.
This is what I would have brought. What I planned to make, had I not been thrown off by hundreds of thousands of military motorcyclists. Blondies. Our family recipe (which my mom reminded me I had, after I complained I didn’t have any family recipes). They’re good. They’re a family classic. They don’t require much time, and they get rave reviews from anyone who comes within a mile of them. And they only get one dish dirty. Bet you can’t eat just one…
To make 32 blondies, you will need:
- 2/3 C butter
- 2 C brown sugar (I’ve used dark, light and a combination of both)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 C sifted flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 C chocolate chips, M&Ms, or chopped nuts
- pinch of salt