I’m a lucky girl.
I’m married to the best husband a girl could ever marry, my kids are awesome (they all like “Monty Python” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends”), and I have been blessed with good friends.
What follows are recipes to celebrate three of my friends; two from high school and one that I should’ve known in high school, but I’m glad I met him when I did…
1) Thomas Keller’s Bouchons (brownies)
I met Cordell when my family moved to Las Vegas in the 8th grade. I had no friends to speak of except some chick who swore she was a witch and offered me a spell to keep the scary Mexican girls with the black lip-liner away from me. While on a field trip to former nuclear testing site (no joke. field trips in Vegas are special.) I sat next to a quiet guy. I promptly began talking his ear off about dumb teen-age girl stuff; he talked back about dumb teen-age boy stuff, and we laughed and we looked out the window at the vast Nevada wasteland, and then we pinned on our personal radiation detection buttons, and then by the end of that very underground and weird day we were friends. Our senior year we ended up in the same Creative Writing class with a British teacher (“alyoominium”) and giggled almost incessantly about “flesh wounds” and Star Trek and Friends. Yeah. Nerds. I know. But we were happy in our little corner of the room with our other chums Barry and Steve and we did well. We even went on to make a short film called “Don’t Whiz on the Electric Fence” in which I actually got to go into the boy’s bathroom! (gasp! tsk! for shame!…) Today, Cordell is successful at designing all sorts of wondrous things for companies and entertainers and whatnot; I still have his kick-ass drawing of Venom, though. Cordell can draw like nobody’s business. Check out his website. Cordell’s mom always made brownies when I went to his house to hang by his pool; that’s why this Brownie recipe is under Cordell’s name…
—-preheat oven to 350f—butter or grease muffin tins or small timbale molds.
mix thoroughly in the bowl of a large mixer: three large eggs, 1c + 2Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp vanilla.
in a separate bowl, sift together: 3/4c flour, 1c cocoa powder, 1tsp salt.
melt: 3 sticks of unsalted butter. Let this cool slightly, otherwise you’ll scramble your eggs…
with mixer on low speed: slowly add 1/3 of the flour combination to the the egg mixture. When that is well mixed, add 1/3 of your melted butter, then alternate the remaining flour and butter, 1/3 at a time until all is well mixed.
fold in: 1 bag of chocolate chips
Fill your molds only 1/2 full; bake 15-18 minutes depending on your oven and the type of pan you’re using. Let these cool for ten minutes in the pan before you remove them; they are squishy and will collapse if you remove them too soon.
2) a Bug-Out-Bag in case of Zombie Apacolypse
I met Jeremy Fish our senior year in the same Creative Writing class as mentioned above. Jeremy was quiet and usually misunderstood. I liked him immediately because I “got” him and I thought he was funny. Every once in a while, I’d help him with some assignment or other, but mostly Jeremy was really good at poetry. And working out. Jeremy joined the Navy after high school and we lost touch until a couple of years ago. Now we swap advice for survival techniques, cooking, green living (mostly Jeremy is the expert in this), and surviving whatever doomsday scenario this whacky government of ours has planned. What follows is a “Bug Out Bag” in case you have to high tail it out of Dodge because Zack is coming to eat your brains. …Jeremy and I have this particular situation in the bag…
1) Choose a backpack that you can carry. Be realistic. The huge mountaineering packs can hold a ton of stuff, but can you carry it for long distances with any amount of speed? Be smarter than your pack.
2) Shelter. Water. Fire. Food. these things are what you need to survive the elements; there are many good hammocks and tents on the market that collapse down and weigh very little. This will cost you some money. Suck it up or die. Water purification tablets are a must, as well as reliable carrying and gathering options. Don’t forget a sponge. Sponges can mop up even the smallest puddles to be squeezed into your canteen. All weather or waterproof matches are a must. Also, learn how to start a fire The Boy Scout Way: sticks and rocks and whatnot. Become a good shot and learn to trap wild animals. Pack protein bars to help sustain you. Learn poisonous plants to avoid; live off the land where possible.
3) Weapons. Weapons. Weapons. Carry an aluminum bat (“alyoominium”) as they are lighter weight and less destructable than the wooden bats. Choose two firearms (at least one being a hand gun with extra magazines or cylinders) that you are comfortable with and can service yourself. Ammunition needs to be readily available and fairly easy to carry. A long range and high powered rifle would be nice, but you need to be able to carry the weapon and its requisite ammunition: can you realistically do that? If you choose to carry a rifle, be sure there is a bayonet attachment. Zombie head shots are a necessity; rifles are loud and attract attention. Do you want to risk it? Be smarter than a zombie. A knife is also a must, both for defense, offense, and survival. A pocketchopper from RockFarm Knives would suit this situation well.
4) clothing: be smart. You will more than likely have to survive in varying climates and temperate zones. Pack a bar of soap to clean your clothing and yourself, as disease loves dirt and sweat. Pack a toothbrush and toothpaste. I will shoot you in a dark alley if you have Zombie breath. Shoes should be durable; pack extra laces and socks. Pack a hat and gloves. You’ll need your fingers to shoot Zack and your ears to hear it coming…
5) have a plan before you set out. Wandering the countryside like Mad Max will not do you any good unless you have a pre-established plan of action. Remember: zombies love a crowd, they want you to make noise, and they want your brains. As soon as possible, you should establish a stronghold somewhere, do it smartly, and stock it well. Also, remember to secure your goods, as fellow humans will turn quite cranky if they think you’ve got something that will help them and their sorry, unplanned and unprepared lives.
Be Smart. Stay Non-Zombie.
Key Lime Fluff
For my husband
I didn’t know my husband in high school, but I should’ve. We weren’t anywhere near each other, mind you, but he was definitely my Type: tall, smart, slightly geeky with a hint of Knight in Shining Armor. I’m glad I met him when I did, though, because I was old enough to appreciate a wonderful thing when I saw it. He walked into my office and I knew. I just knew. Aside from being the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, he smiled. And he smelled good. And because he was in my office, he was employed gainfully. I immediately broke rules and laws to look his phone number up in the company database. That was almost 13 years ago…this is one of his favorite desserts:
juice: enough key limes to make 1c of juice. Strain this, as seeds and pulp aren’t really yummy here.
mix: the juice with one can of sweetened condensed milk. Whisk, whisk, whisk.
fold: the juice/milk mixture into one tub of cold (but not frozen) Cool Whip or make your own sweet cream. Fold carefully so you don’t deflate the fluffiness. 🙂
This stuff can now be eaten straight from the bowl (we’ve been known to do this) or use it as a pie filling. Just remember to cover and refrigerate any leftovers. …yeah…right…leftovers!…