I heart rhubarb.
And then served warm with butter and drizzles of honey.
Because I am a savage.
The May issue of Food Network magazine. Bless you.
It’s funny that we all do the same thing. We get busy and stressed, feeling isolated as life and our silly first world problems take over, and wishing that someone would reach out – but completely forgetting that the others are all feeling the same way.
Yesterday morning was the punctuation of that feeling, as I stood atop the regional landfill, swarmed by 100s of seagulls and
silently cursing other people’s issues with cleanliness.
But, it just made the evening plans even more enjoyable and necessary. As Ben was away on a daddy-and-daughter trip, us gals reached out to get together and organize a home spa and treats night.
One brought all the fixings to make homemade face wash, body butter and masks. Another brought the wine, essential to any good spa activity, in my books. And I was in charge of noms.
Of course, if you’ve been reading this little blog at all, you know that I served carrot sticks and hummus.
Donuts. Not these silly baked ones that make your brain pretend that it’s being healthy – cake mix spiked with nutmeg and sadness. The kind my momma made in the 80s, when I sat at a healthy distance from the bubbling vat on the stove, watching the fluffiest pastries emerge from the pot.
But I did do mini-ones, to offer the appearance of health. Some tossed in sugar and cinnamon immediately after removing from the stove.
Other cooled and then dipped in chocolate.
The truly unfortunate thing is that it was really easy to make. Too easy.
And then I did a few others snacks.
Popcorn cooked up in brown butter and seasoned with sugar, cinnamon, cumin and chili, tasting like something delicious but nothing specific so you had to keep having more to get a sense of what the heck you were eating.
A dip that tastes just like raw brownie batter, minus the egg threat, and served up with kettle chips and pretzels.
Perhaps it was heaps of pent-up energy from the winter.
Or some negative chi or things on my mind that I needed to get out of my system.
But I was a woman possessed today.
The cooking alone would have been plenty. A marathon dog walking session and some shovelling fuelled by anger at spring taking too long to melt the snow off the deck was just crazy.
At least it makes up for the food.
I mean, this cake doesn’t even exist anymore. Gone.
I don’t know where one of the kids got the idea for pineapple upside-down cake. I think a friend has better cable TV than us and they watched someone make this. The only time I’ve ever made it and eaten it was about 20 years ago with Poppins.
The taste (obviously, given my gluttony) was delicious – super bright with pineapple and then this moist coffee cake underneath. I had to babysit the entire cooking process, as the heaps of butter and brown sugar oozed and burned in the oven. In fairness, that was probably my fault for cake pan selection. I’ll totally make it again.
Funny enough, none of the kids, including the one who requested it, liked it.
Us grown-ups? We demolished it.
Thank heavens I did all that walking and shovelling.
I love books. One of my favourite past times is to explore a bookstore, pouring over fine print on glossy jackets before settling on one (or ten) choices. But I find that ever since I really got into grad school, and now with my new job being very similar to academic work – the last thing I want to do after a day of learning, hunched over a desk reading lines of a manuscript or journal articles, is to sit and read more.
Don’t get me wrong. My job is great. Learning is a sport. But, balance, you know? So in the off-hours, I set aside books to hike and explore and take pictures and bake foolish things full of sugar.
I want to do. So, on this gorgeous spring day, I’m heading out to take the dog on an interminable walk.
But first, breakfast. Brown sugar challah bread (courtesy of my new favourite food + photography blog, My Name is Yeh.) Only tweak was a brown sugar glaze and sea salt sprinkles (pomegrantes ain’t so plentiful in Atlantic Canada).
I won’t tell you how many pieces I ate. Or how long I didn’t wait for it to cool completely.
Today was a day that screamed sugar.
Perhaps it was all the attempts I had been making at healthier eating as of late. As the family attacked a Super Bowl-themed bucket of chicken and tots for supper, I chewed on a pile of spinach and chicken. And low fat Caesar dressing. And multi-grain croutons.
(“Pigs wouldn’t eat multi-grain croutons!”, I hear my grandfather say. He’d say that about anything lacking in taste. Usually, a much maligned cucumber.)
So I was owlly. At myself. I’m happy that I’m trying to make better choices. But for whatever reason, today was not to be that day.
It was a day for a brownie.
So I unearthed my grandmother’s recipe (herein known as Poppins). Usually it’s half English, then dissolves into shorthand.
It’s pretty simple yet deadly. Four eggs, a cup of this and that…and a can of chocolate syrup.
The frosting usually used is an basic chocolate chip, sugar and butter in a saucepan deal. No, that wouldn’t do…but I had seen this cookie dough frosting on Pinterest. It can’t be that good, can it?
It can. It is.
The fact that I have a container of that frosting now makes me a happy camper. Maybe it’ll make the spinach taste better, too.
The finished half-baked brownie.