February 11, 2009
oh so chocolate brownies.
one of my favorite cookbooks of all time is a little wonder i picked up in my younger years. in fact, it was the first book i ever bought all by myself.
i was a wee little eight year old, taking my turn at the book fair in second grade. we were living in tokyo at the time, and my copy still has--among other childhood ephemera--an envelope stuck into the back cover, ripped at the top, with my papa's handwriting on the front stating my name, 2A, 'BOOK MONEY', and 2,100 yen. (which really isn't much money.)
yes, my sophisticated book of choice is Betty Crocker's NEW Boys and Girls Cookbook.
mine seems to be the 1990 reprint. the pictures are of little ugly children in 90's gear, adding their opinions to the easy recipes, which are categorized in such groups as 'super snacks and drinks', 'good morning eye openers', and 'noontime fixin's'--to name a few. i was enamored with it as a child, but i barely made ANY of the recipes--i just looked at them and thought about them. i was strange. i actually remember envying the kids on the 'test panel'. and i had their names memorized. it was a lot like my obsession (um... at 15(!) years old) with ZOOM on PBS, and all the kids on it.
in any case, i actually got the most use out it in middle school, when my taste for cooking finally went farther than melting american cheese and milk in the microwave, adding pepper, and proclaiming it salad dressing. (seriously. and i ate it.) i have made a few of the recipes many, many times...though most of the book goes unused.
the recipes i have actually used are a funny collection:
-chocolate milk shake
-chocolate popcorn bars
-egg in a frame
-big puffy pancake (this one is actually UNBELIEVABLE and a way better recipe for a german pancake than most. i will be sure to post it at some point. mmmm. i impressed many a sleepover buddy with this... in high school! and college!)
-i <3 shortbread
-big burger cake (we forced my mom to do this one)
-cranberry apple sparkler
-toasty hot dog roll-ups
-and of course, the oh so chocolate brownies
all in all, it's actually a great book for kids. it makes everything sound easy, explains what every term means, and has pictures of almost everything--and the pictures are fairly realistic. for instance, the one pot spaghetti looks disgusting, and the vegetable soup looks appropriately bland. i treasure this little wonder.
to be honest, all the childhood reading of this book is probably responsible for my innate ability to make chili and macaroni and cheese without ever bothering to 'learn'. cute.
and here are my oh so chocolate brownies, freshly made this afternoon--off to eat them in front of some little house!!! hooray for my 23 year old childhood!!!