Brownies v. House Fires

Brownies v. House Fires

This is a story about how two six-year-old boys can overlook just about anything when their goal is to wolf down a brownie for lunch.

The day before Thanksgiving, I was prepping the two things I’d been put in charge of for the next day’s family dinner:

kid-friendly desserts and the holiday cocktail.

The desserts were—for the most part—fun and simple to prepare: two pans of brownies and a gaggle of angry, protesting turkey cupcakes. {Almost a Pinterest fail, until I added the picket signs}.


The cocktail—a Ginger Rogers—was easy as well, but included preparing a ginger simple syrup ahead of time.

I followed the recipe, and thinly sliced 2 oz. of ginger, added it to a small{ish} sauce pan along with water and sugar and some peppercorn. Brought it all to a nice boil then reduced the heat to medium for a sweet simmer. According to the recipe, it would take about 35-40 minutes for the syrup to thicken. Excellent! Plenty of time to walk to the corner and get The Boy off the bus, which is what I did.

Fast forward 10 minutes. The Boy and his buddies get off the bus.

Fast forward another 2. The Boy and one of his buds run directly to my house to play, while I take a few moments to enjoy some conversation with my friend, Bud’s mom.

Fast forward another 17 seconds, which is just about what it took The Boy and Bud to notice that there were two pans of brownies on my kitchen counter, which they’d both decided would be appropriate for lunch.

Fast forward another 2 seconds, when Boy and Bud began repeatedly coming to the front door, hollering across the street to me

Could we have some brownies for lunch?

Mom, we’d like some brownies!

Mom? Mom! Moooooooooooooooom!

After a few more rounds of that and a total of about 23 minutes had passed since I’d last looked at my sauce pan {which, let me reiterate, was at a beautiful gentle simmer when I left the house}, I said goodbye to my friend and walked back across the street to make two young men some lunch so that they could enjoy a brownie each afterwards.

They waited happily for me at the door.

Amidst smoke.

Yup, smoke.

Lots of it, hanging just about a foot above their heads, thick and wavy and curling throughout the house, from the kitchen, to my family room, through the dining and living rooms,which neither boy seemed to notice in the least as they jumped and giggled and danced at the prospect of post-ham sandwich chocolatey delight.

I ran, grabbed the pan off the stove {which by now looked like a ginger graveyard … each thinly sliced piece was sticking out of the brown, dark, and sticky ground that was once a simple syrup}, opened all the windows on my first floor, and asked them,

GUYS?! Didn’t you notice the smoke in the house!??!

Their answer?

We thought something smelled funny, but we were talking about brownies.

The moral of this particular story:

1. Don’t use a small{ish} sauce pan to make a simple syrup. Use a SMALL saucepan, doofus.

2. Don’t leave something simmering on your stove when you leave to grab your kid off the school bus. That should’ve been obvious.

3. Don’t chat it up with your friend after said pick up, no matter how much time you think you have left on the timer.


4. Don’t trust men to use their best judgement when brownies are on your kitchen counter.






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  1. Love it! 🙂 So true on all counts! 🙂 I can relate. Miss seeing ya at preschool dropoff, even a year+ later!

    • I loved those 20 minutes, 3 times a week, B. Let’s try to meet for coffee in the new year. I’d say December but it’s already nutso! xoxo

  2. OMG. Sounds about right though. Thick smoke? What thick smoke? All I can think about is this sugary yummy goodness in front of me 🙂 sorry about your ginger, but glad there wsnt a fire!

  3. TupperDiva says:

    What an experience! Nothing comes between a boy and his dessert, I guess. 😉 While it makes for a fun ready, I’m a bit worried about why your smoke detectors didn’t go off!! Hopefully you were able to make a “round two” attempt more successful. Ginger syrup sounds yummy… over vanilla bean ice cream!

    • I thought the same thing, Nik, because normally my fire alarms are SUPER-sensitive. I tested them and they’re fine, so my only guess is that it had to do with the smoke not reaching the sensors yet. It was thick and curling {kind of pretty, actually} below my eye level, but the air was clear above it. Strange …

  4. HA!! I have been there more times than I can count!!! God forbid we get distracted with someone or something!! Just glad the house didn’t burn down…that would have been a ‘wholenother’ blog post…and one that’s not so funny! But the real question is: How DID those amazingly yummy sounding drinks taste after you started a new batch of syruppy yummness? I can taste it now… hmmm…..dreaming….. 😉
    Chris Carter just wrote this gem …November…My Profile

    • I have to say, the cocktails were worth throwing a pan out {oh yes, that baby was totalled}. Refreshing and gingery and accented with mint and lime. YUM!

  5. haha love your tips. i was in charge of the bread… the problem i had a house full of hungry people who eat most of the bread before dinner 🙂
    christina just wrote this gem …may or may notMy Profile

  6. Hahaha! #4 is especially true! 🙂
    Rach just wrote this gem …Thanksgiving at the BeachMy Profile

  7. My entire house could be on fire and if my boy was eating chocolate in any shape or form…he would not notice.
    Thank you for the laugh this morning Michelle!!!! loved this.
    Susan just wrote this gem …A Kid’s Christmas Wishlist Under $50 & A Huge LeapFrog GiveawayMy Profile

  8. LOL I love this. Brownies are a rather distracting topic, at least your baked goods were clearly tasty looking enough for them to overlook a potential fire? Thanks for the tip on the simple syrup, I’ve been meaning to make some lately!
    Evani just wrote this gem …Loving Lately: QuotesMy Profile


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