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.






In My Opinion …

Oh, happy day, everyone. It’s Friday!

Today I’m linking up with Rachel over at lala lists for her In My Opinion series. What can I say? I like a good list. So here goes … a few of my deepest thoughts, in no particular order!

… teenagers should not be allowed to have cell phones, unless they’re goofy looking and embarrassing to be seen with. Keep those kids in check before they decide to text the person they’re standing right next to.

… and when they do need to text, they should be required to spell things out. I’m tired of seeing inventive spelling from kids older than 1st grade.

… Oreos should be a food group. {You knew that one was coming, didn’t you?}

… In addition to cider and munchkins for the kids, cocktails should be served after Sunday Mass for the parents who’ve just spent an hour trying to keep their children in line. It’s stressful to have to whisper “Will. You. Be. QUIET?!” a half a billion times.

… they should just tell us the truth at this point : there’s no such thing as “extra volume” shampoo or premium gasoline, is there? It’s just a marketing gimmick to get us to pay more for the bonus we think we’re getting.

people on either side of the political spectrum who get all preachy and downright rude on Facebook should be flicked good and hard on the ear.

… folks at wakes should never say things like “She looks good,” about the dear departed soul who’s resting in the casket. She’s in a casket, after all. She’s been better.

… before parents worry about whether Junior or Lil Princess is enrolled in the right extracurriculars or has the latest gadget, they should concern themselves with whether they remember to say “please” and “thank you” to their elders. And by elders, I mean anyone.

… America should run on Dunkins. Period. And I should get a free coffee or at least one of those cute t-shirts for as much as I sing their praises. I guess the same could be said for the Oreo people.

… Fridays are awesome. And “In My Opinion” lists are fun to write.

Whatchoo-Wish-You-Were-Wearin’ Wednesday: Garage Sale

In a few weeks, I’m helping a friend host a yard sale so that she can clean out her home in time for Christmas. She wants a peaceful and serene holiday season this year, and I’m all for that: I consider purging junk a form of entertainment.

Clutter literally stresses me out.

Want to know what else stresses me out though?

Yard sales.

Hate them. Yuck. Ick. Bleck.

Why? Because I don’t have the patience to haggle with people who throw a fit because they’d rather not pay $2 for an Ann Taylor Loft bag that originally cost me $50!

Wow. I thought I was over that.

I digress. Despite my reservations, my friend wants to do this and I’m supporting her.

Here’s what I’ll be wearing and listening to {have you heard Pink Martini? So swanky and smooth … I just love ’em!} as I’m resisting the urge to slap someone.

Garage Sale Gear

7 for all mankind
$80 –

Vera bradley bag

Stella dot

Essie nail polish
$17 –


Hopefully at the end of the day she’ll be happy, and I won’t be in police custody.

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