The Brownie Project

The Funk

The kids are not going back to school. I may never have the house to myself again. And, if we don’t get rain soon, I may not be able to leave the house. Public health officials in Western Washington have said stay inside, don’t go outside and breath the air.

Needless to say, I am in a funk.

Kids doing “remote” schooling
Smokey, hazardous , unhealthy air

The Adult Project

MaryCake made me find myself. In this endless mom cycle of making food, cleaning, taking care of kids and pets, she gave me a “project”. She brought me a brownie to “deconstruct”.

“the brownie”

When you are in a funk, nothing seems fun, but “this brownie” forced me to change my attitude. Brownies don’t last long and friends that give you brownies deserve your attention. So I got out my camera and photo box, wrote down the ingredients, took pictures, made observations, and took slow careful bites of “this brownie”. I felt professional.

As a mom who rarely has time to herself, I hesitated to take on another project, but this wasn’t a project for my kids or husband, this one was for me.

The Starting Recipe

So, I told my friend what I thought and did a google search for a recipe. Using the ingredient statement and my senses, I chose a recipe that had a touch of espresso and lots of butter. Tasty ultimate brownie is where I decided to start.

Starting is always the hardest part. But when you are making brownies, and a friend is cheering you on, starting is attainable. Plus, considering I have lived 50+ years and never made brownies from scratch, it seemed like it was time.

I got the ingredients, made the recipe and ate some brownies. I brought a few to Marycake, she was enthusiastic and the rest were gobbled up by the family

Marycake’s Turn

But, we are not done with the brownie project. Marycake made a few adjustments to the recipe and it is much better, in fact, she achieved perfection. I am amazed how quickly she could perfect a brownie. She knew instinctively that it needed less sugar, flour and egg.

One morning she showed up in her bathrobe and delivered three of these brownies.

When she caught me in the same clothes from the day before, she reminded me “girl, I told you not to go down with out a fight”. So I showered, prettied up and enjoyed this amazing brownie with my coffee. The haze cleared.

I hid the rest of the brownie stash, but my youngest kid caught on. Thinking quickly I told her these brownies were for adults only. It confused her and she quietly asked “do they have weed in them”?

No my darling, no weed, just a project that is “mine”. Then she did some chores, ran upstairs and to get my inhaler (so I could feel better) and I gave her one.

Continuing the Project

But, I feel the brownie project must continue. I’ve developed a spreadsheet of ingredients and have begun to record versions/observations. I feel like I’ve regained my professional self.

I am inspired and decided to try to modify the batch a bit more. But my second attempt ended up in the trash can. My observation is that an all cocoa version of this brownie recipe can be very dry.

Marycake reminded me that we obtained perfection and to which I replied “what’s our next project”.

How not to make the best brownies


  1. I will neither confirm nor deny whether I graced your driveway in my bathrobe. In any case, I have no recollection of this event. Must have been another brownie-drunk, smoke-addled crazy lady. Wasn’t it fun? Should we try cinnamon rolls? Except I want them to be cardamom rolls.

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