Blast from the past – # 1 of 2011: “A nutty discussion”

The end to our Best of 2011 blogs week!  Here is the most popular blog post of 2011 (hey I don’t rate ’em, I just write ’em!):


Our final installment for “memory lane week” comes a weekend late and a memory short, but that was Super Bowl weekend!  Who has time for workly pursuits (yes, I am destroying the English language before your eyes) when there are preparations to make?

Still, today’s post is kinda-sorta a memory lane post, so let’s just agree to say it was completed this week.  I don’t think I had anything more interesting to blog about today anyway.

I’m not a big cake fan. Because of this, I am very particular. It MUST be topped with buttercream icing. I will not eat whipped cream topping. And no chocolate topping either. And the cake can’t be chocolate either. It has to be white or yellow.

Given the above requirements, I don’t eat a lot of cake.  I do enjoy cupcakes, but they must follow the same directions.  Often I see cupcakes on sale and I am drawn to them immediately only to be met with a relieved sigh as I see half are white and half are chocolate.  No deal!

So is this a treatise on how much I dislike chocolate? Or only chocolate cake?  Perish and forfend!  In fact, it is to talk about my only favorite chocolate cake:  Brownies!

Boy do I love brownies!  Mmm mmm.  My Mom baked them for me when I was a kid (as many Moms did for their kids, I’m sure) and with a big glass of milk, I was set.  My only problem was Mom not letting me eat the entire batch in one sitting.  Boy do I love brownies!

At the recent baby shower I blogged to you about (check the index…oh wait, still not done…uh, it’s the “But you’re a man” post), my friend’s Mom (the impending Great-Grandma), brought her brownies to the party for “afters”.  Of course, as a gentleman, I let the few dozen ladies have first crack at them.  I knew I would not only get my share, but due to my loyal friendship and amity (combined with an hour or so of helping clean up afterwards), I would also get a nice batch to take home with me.

The brownies she cooks are almost as good as my Mom’s.  She does it right, with no frosting on top (I mean, c’mon, with frosting it’s a cake, not a brownie) and she crisps the top to a crunchy level.  Nearly perfect.


She puts nuts in her brownies.  It’s not uncommon.  When I was in college, I used to buy the Little Debbie brownies.  Pale in comparison to home cooked, but when they stopped making their devil food cakes (not to be confused with devil food squares), I had to have some non-nutritious sugar-filled food to go with my milk (Mallomars were too expensive for my pauper-level college income).  Little Debbie brownies had nuts too, but they were all on top and easy enough to swipe off.

My friend’s Mom was surprised by my dislike of nuts in brownies (as opposed to loving just about any nut by itself except for those ones that look like garbanzo beans – which, come to think of it, I don’t like garbanzo beans either.  Twilight Zone material?  Eh, maybe not).  She told me she couldn’t imagine anyone making good brownies without nuts.  I felt obligated to defend my Mom (kindly) and point out to her that I had years of brownie eating expertise that could refute her opinion quite firmly!

Of course, it didn’t stop me from eating her brownies.  Nor did I pick the nuts out.  I enjoyed the brownies in their natural state; I just felt they would be even better without being interrupted by crunchy things at unpredictable moments.

As I said, her brownies were excellent, apart from the error of including nuts.  They still are the top brownies I’ve eaten in years.  There was one other who cooked amazing brownies that I enjoyed greatly.  She worked at my last company and would occasionally bring them for a pot luck or birthday party.  These were made even more delectable because of the brownies provided by the company’s cafeteria.  Not only did these things have icing on them, but they had powdered sugar on top as well!

Calling something with icing and powdered sugar on top a brownie?  That’s nuts!