A few weeks ago, my family and I had the pleasure of welcoming a bunch of people who were on a trip to Malawi to learn about how climate change is affecting folks here. I’d been in touch with the group’s leaders, including Ben Lowe of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) about how possibly to meet up with the group as they traveled, but as plans finalized I realized I wouldn’t be able to do that, as I’m phobic both of driving here and of taking public transport. Plus, our car had been less than functional for QUITE a while. (Though it is doing fine now.)
Anyway, as I looked over their itinerary, I realized that they’d likely be passing right by our house as they made their way from the south back to the north. So I offered our house as a rest stop, knowing, as I do, that American style rest stops are pretty much non-existent along the road they would be traveling. What bathrooms do exist are…well, maybe it’s better if we don’t talk about that. Suffice it to say that I was happy to offer my bathroom for everyone’s use.
My kids were so excited.
Jonathan Merritt looked at my kids’ Lego creations and, I think, wished he had time to stop and build a few himself.
Jenny Yang asked Aidan to play his violin (which he did.)
And Leroy Barber told me that my brownies may have changed his life.
It was fun, if brief. It made me wish that in addition to conferences, where we all stay in hotels, drink too much coffee, and rush from session to session, people working in similar fields and in similar ways could somehow visit each other in their houses. It’s nice. It feels right, somehow.
I prepared a number of things to eat that day (how could I not!?) and here is the recipe that Leroy said changed his life. Which of course isn’t true, but which made me smile.
Life-Changing, Hopefully Not Climate-Changing Brownies
Preheat the oven to 325 F
Prepare an 8” x 8” pan by lining with parchment, buttering the parchment, and dusting liberally with granulated sugar, shaking off the excess.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together:
10 tablespoons butter
1 and ¼ cups sugar
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons Dutch-process (fair trade, if you can) cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10-15 minutes. Beat in two eggs, ONE AT A TIME, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Stir in 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and beat in 1 cup all purpose flour until just blended.
Pour into prepared pan and bake at 325 F for 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack before attempting to cut.