Great Aunt Marie’s Chocolate Brownies

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Last year my mom generously gave us a Costco membership. I never would have gotten this for myself, especially considering the love/hate relationship I have for Costco.

Shopping at Costco is simultaneously the most joyous and most horrible thing I’ve ever experienced. In a concrete warehouse filled with hundreds of people, screaming children, and the elderly shuffling about, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. It’s hard to navigate a cart, so I usually try to have a game plan before I head into the depths of Costco wholesale. Typically this involves knowing that I only need five items, grabbing these items (usually too much to carry, but when has that ever stopped me?), running like mad to a check out, and then trying to get to my car with my groceries and my sanity in tact.

But sometimes, I don’t have a plan. Sometimes I grab a cart and wander around and actually look at all of the deals. Like, did you know you can buy six heads of romaine lettuce for like $5? CRAZY. Can I eat six heads of romaine by myself? NOPE. Yet somehow, on more than one occasion, I have left with an enormous bag of lettuce. Or, what about the time I bought mister shaving cream at Costco? Who actually needs 8 jumbo cans of shaving cream? Especially a man who doesn’t even really have facial hair?!

Needless to say, sometimes I go a little crazy. So an entire month ago, I went Costco crazy. I bought a lot of eggs. And we don’t even eat that many eggs. Ever. I have a weird aversion to them (and by aversion, I mean I only eat the yolk, because that’s super healthy), and why would mister eat eggs when he can sneak breakfast Pogos before biking off to work?

It’s the abundance of eggs that led me to make my great aunt Marie’s chocolate brownies. They are my favourite brownies. They are in no way healthy, but they are perfectly moist, and especially good with frozen yogurt and hot fudge sauce (and maybe a sprinkling of peanuts).

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I used the “I have too many eggs so I guess I’ll have to make these brownies” excuse, but you don’t need an excuse… it just makes me feel a teensy less guilty. Sort of.

Great Aunt Marie’s Chocolate Brownies 

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup oil

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

Combine ingredients in order given, beat at a low speed until smooth. Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper (or use cooking spray or butter). Pour batter evenly into pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

Banana Cookies

Banana Cookies

I was feeling peckish today, and, like usual, I had bananas that I needed to use or toss. I hate tossing bananas in the trash. It feels wasteful, especially when you can make so many great things with them. Muffins, bread… but cookies?

These cookies took two minutes to prepare and put in the oven, and it’s a snack you don’t need to feel guilty about (not that I ever feel guilt when I’m shovelling icing into my mouth with a spoon).

So, how do you make these wonderful bundles?

Mash two bananas. Fold in one cup of quick cooking oats. Add other ingredients as desired.

In this batch I added chia seeds for additional fiber, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 until golden brown, enjoy!

Check out the original recipe by clicking on my photo.

Marco’s Rhetoric

We recently moved to a new city, new neighbourhood. We’ve been there about a month now, and while it may not be perfect, I have so far enjoyed living here. Recently, however, what used to be peaceful walks by the lake have turned into unwanted and uncomfortable social situations.

For the most part, these situations involve a stranger (read: white male) who assumes that I would like to spend half an hour to an hour being lectured on a range of topics. This week, the topics have been on how to properly control and train my dog, to today’s lovely lecture on the evils of society, how we are all brainwashed, and how, my chosen field (rhetoric) is the root of that evil. 

You’re probably wondering how today’s stranger knew my field of study, or why I told him. Why didn’t she just walk away? Because every time I am confronted on a walk, I feel that I have to be nice, I have to be polite. If I am not, what will the consequences be? Could I be making things worse for myself? Should I actually be afraid of every man who tries to speak to me on the street? 

Well, I am. I am nervous, and sometimes afraid. I don’t know how to extract myself from those situations for fear that I will make the already uncomfortable situation worse for myself.

So today, for over an hour, I listened to Marco tell me how my field was evil. That, in teaching, working, even having studied rhetoric, I was worsening society. Obviously this is to be taken with a grain of salt – Marco appeared to be in his late 60s to early 70s. I didn’t try to correct him. Because even though he is older than I am, and very misguided on the subject of rhetoric, no matter how angry I felt that this man was not only telling me how awful my field is and I am for choosing it, I was angry that I felt powerless to leave, powerless to tell him that he was wrong. 

I read so many posts that circulate on tumblr (and online in general) explaining how women can get out of uncomfortable or dangerous social situations. And Marco was, most likely, harmless. But being a woman should not be an open invitation to being lectured. I should be able to enjoy my walk with a passing “Good morning,” or a “Have a nice day.” These posts on tumblr do not actually make me feel as though I have the confidence or ability to walk away from these situations. Perhaps this is my problem. 

On the other hand, the feminist in me rages at that suggestion. You? How could it be you? And I remember that I shouldn’t have to be nervous or scared while walking my dog. That I shouldn’t have to be wary of every man who speaks to me, but that I also should not have to endure lectures from men because I am a woman walking down the street. 

But the question still remains: Why me? Why you?