Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend Cooking; What's good and right.

The family gathered.

Last week while the book fair was taking up all my waking hours I got a phone call from Teenage Boy, which is big in the first place as he texts but doesn't "talk".  The reason for his anxious phone call was about dinner; specifically where everyone was for dinner?  His voice belied that he was a teenager at all but more like the middle school boy I think of fondly.  He was concerned that he was at home by himself and it was dinner time.  At first I was less than amused because I thought he was asking why I wasn't home to make his dinner.  I kindly reminded him that he could easily make himself dinner, was quite capable of making a good meal for himself and tried not to sound annoyed.  To that his response was "No, I can make my own dinner, it's just that I didn't know where everyone was and we usually eat dinner together."  Oh, yea, right.

We do usually eat dinner together.  It does feel odd when one or more of us is missing from our vintage (old) linoleum table.  And even though I think he's listening as my husband and I make plans for the week he's not always tuned in to the hum drum of what will transpire this week, like I'm won't be home until after 8 on Tuesday and Thursday and my husband says I won't be home Thursday night either and I'll bring Groovy Girl to you at school.  How he misses all that at said table I don't know but we are making a new resolution to alert him to scheduling issues that will affect him.

The greater idea though was that he missed all of us being here at the same time, sharing a meal together. It is a tradition he's had for the part of his life he remembers and I appreciate that this is important family time to him.  He often is the one to start the "So what was the best part of your day?" even though when it comes back around to him he shrugs his teenage shoulders leaving that as his answer.

I made him happy this week by leaving 1/4 of a pan of these brownies at home when I made them for my 5th grade book club.  Book club boys fought over the chocolate ones-I'd interspersed blondies I'd made for a funeral at church and Teenage Boy was thrilled to hear me say they were so easy I'd make more this weekend.  He and his sister polished off the leftover goodies after school, leaving none for their dad much to his dismay. I guess I need to make sure big Daddy gets his fair share from this next batch.

I'm off to scrub potatoes for tonight's dinner and once I have those boiling I will whip these up for late night happiness.  What is your dinner hour like?  Are you able to eat together or is it in shifts?

From The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman

Fudgy One-Pot Brownies

Makes 12 huge or 24 reasonably-sized brownies

1 cup (2 sticks, unsalted) butter, plus butter for greasing the baking pan
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar ( I used turbinado since the color wouldn't matter)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 T pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose (unbleached) flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Butter a 13 X 9 baking pan.
2. Place butter sticks and chocolate squares in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat and let melt, stirring until smooth.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, then blend in the vanilla.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring to mix quickly so they don't have a chance to cook at all.  Blend in the flour.

3. Scrape the thick batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden toothpick comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

4. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.  When completely cool, cut them into 12 or 24 squares.

(It should say hold the family back while they cool-they made the house smell delicious and people were hanging close to the kitchen.)  Enjoy...

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking post.  Click to her link to find many other eclectic food-related posts.


Tanya Patrice said...

That was such a cute story :-) And the brownies look delicious.

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

We always ate dinner together as a family and I think it had a big impact on our two sons. When they went off to college, they lived in an apartment with two other guys, and they all tried to eat dinner together, cooking for themselves instead of eating fast food.
Eating dinner together keeps a family strong, your post made me smile.

Beth F said...

I'm sure you've heard of Jenny Rosenstrach's Dinner: A Love Story by now. It's a great cookbook all about family dinners. Isn't it great to know you started a meaningful tradition?

The brownies sound yummy.

Laurie C said...

The brownies look delicious! I miss our old family dinners, but all three grown kids like to cook, so I guess we did something right!

Joy Weese Moll said...

So cool that your teenage son misses it when you don't all gather as a family -- even if he can't quite express it that way.

Those look like delicious brownies!

Chinoiseries said...

Your fudgy brownies look divine. I wouldn't mind helping myself to a few!

I think it's a great thing that your son calls you because he feels that you should all be there at dinner time, together as a family.

My sister and I didn't have many activities outside the home when we still lived there, so we did spend most evening meals at the dinner table with our parents. We did have this really bad habit though: the tv would always be on. This really did not help our conversations along, as we were all likely to be distracted by whatever was on the telly.

Sue Jackson said...

Aw...that is so sweet that he missed the family dinner! We all eat together pretty much every night, too. My oldest son left for college in August, and it feels very strange to just have 3 of us at the table for dinner.

I just made brownies too (though gluten-free ones). We are hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy, and the boys (and a friend) said I better make brownies NOW in case we lose power! lol

Sounds like we have a lot in common :)


teacherninja said...


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I am having a chocolate craving after reading this post/recipe.