Unbearably Enticing Brownies

As somebody who enjoys basic, recreational baking when the holiday season rolls around — that is, cookies of all kinds, but not much else —  I’m in awe of the really good bakers out there.  If you can craft light, flaky pie crust that melts in your mouth, I’ll be a big fan.  If you can bake an angel food cake that doesn’t partially collapse on one side, you’ve admittedly outdone the best baker in the Webner family, and I’ll sing your praises.

bear_1494327955157_9409774_ver1-0But if you can bake brownies that smell so good that a large black bear will scale your back porch, stand up on its hind legs, balance on the railing encircling your deck, and start banging on the patio door in an effort to get a taste, then in the baking world that really takes the cake.

OK, that was an incredibly bad pun, but the bear incident actually happened.  This past weekend, in Avon, Connecticut, a woman was innocently baking brownies when she hear a pounding on the glass patio door.  She looked up and saw a bear peering in, obviously angry that it couldn’t get at the baked goodies.  The bear actually opened the screen door, but it wasn’t able to open the sliding glass door.  The incident freaked the woman out, but eventually, after the woman and a neighbor made some noise and the frustrated bear wasn’t able to get in, it wandered away.

I can see how the bear incident would be disconcerting, but I think the woman in question should take it as a compliment to her baking.  And I want to know one thing that isn’t addressed in the article linked above — when is the woman going to publish that unbearably enticing brownie recipe?

Mom’s Birthday

Today is Mom’s birthday, the first one since she left us almost a year ago.  She would have been 86 today.

00019463It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since Mom’s death, but time has a way of moving on.  We’ve all moved on, too, which is how Mom would have wanted it.  I think of her when one of her sayings or deliberate word choices suddenly pops into my head, or when I remember an incident from when the five little Webners were growing up.  It just demonstrates the many ways in which a mother can touch one of her children and leave a lasting imprint, and the memories are all good ones.

I’d rather think of Mom on her birthday than mark the day she died.  Birthdays are days to celebrate.  In the Webner household of days gone by, birthday were always celebrated with a light, airy angel food cake baked by Gramma Webner and ice cream.  The angel food cake never left the baking pan quite level on top, so when Gramma Webner iced the cake with her trademark frosting she would try to use extra frosting in the tilted down area to make the cake look perfectly level.  That meant one or two slices of the cake got more frosting than the rest.  As kids, we always hoped we would get one of the pieces with the extra icing.  Today, I’m hoping that Mom gets that special slice.