Where did it go? The recipe I've used for years, written on a stained note card that testified to its many uses, has disappeared.
I knew it by heart, really. I pulled it from the recipe box out of habit, but mixed the ingredients without looking at the recipe even once. You could do that when you had many sons who devoured a big pan of anything home-cooked and sweet within minutes of arriving from the school bus.
But the boys grew up and moved away. Big pans of brownies aren't good for middle-aged people; they tend to stay with you in places you didn't know you had. The recipe still lived in the box but only came out on special occasions, like when the grown-up sons and their families came home, or Christmas.
Last year it was gone. Just gone. Granddaughters were visiting and we were baking. We searched. My granddaughters emptied the recipe box and looked through all the recipes stuffed into it in semi-alphabetical order. Egg Foo Yung, a recipe from my sister Judy that I have not yet tried but have had for 20 years? It was there. The Dilled Zucchini recipe carefully typed on an index card by an elderly friend over 30 years ago? It was there. The recipe for making mayonnaise I wrote down when I was 20? It was there.
Everything was there except my brownie recipe. I tried to remember the recipe and it sort of worked. We wrote it down and called it Maybe Brownies. Because maybe they were sort of like my recipe. But they weren't exactly the same.
The missing recipe came from the back of a cocoa box in the 1970's. I know it started with 1/2 cup of boiled water. But after that? Cocoa, baking soda, probably salt, cooking oil, sugar, flour, vanilla, eggs. The usual ingredients but there was something about the order of them and how it was mixed that made this recipe special and the brownies delicious.
Now I'm on a quest for a new recipe. It has to be simple. It can't use baking chocolate because that's expensive and a lot of work. It has to be a cake brownie because that's the kind we like. And it has to be chocolate--that goes without saying, doesn't it?
So would any of you like to share your recipe with me? I will trade a CD of my storytelling for the recipe I like best. If it's my missing recipe, I will owe you forever. If it's one that turns out to be even better than my old favorite, I'll be amazed.
Any takers? Anyone with an absolutely no-fail, delicious, easy and low-cost brownie recipe who wants to share?
(Now watch that recipe card mysteriously return from its journeys after I find a new recipe I totally love. I'd almost bet on it.)