Friday, October 9, 2009
Grandmothers and Brownies
The world would be a much better place if everyone had a grandmother like mine. She is my biggest fan. I never finish a call to her without hearing gobs of praise. No matter how mundane or off-track my life seems to me, my grandmother always deems it "creative" or "adventurous." Every call ends with her asking me, "Have I ever told you how proud I am of you?"
In a world where we can be very critical of ourselves and those around us, it's comforting to have someone to turn to who will always be in your corner. It would be a poor life if everyone around us only heaped praise. But it would be pretty poor, too, if we only poured on the criticism.
Food is like that, too. Green leafy vegetables, beans, and whole grains are important. But a diet shouldn't list too far to either extreme. We need room for the things that serve no other purpose than to make us happy.
These are the brownies I made as a little kid, from a recipe written on an index card in my grandmother's handwriting. In jr. high, I made these moist brownies at least once a week, sending them home with my best friend without even taking a bite. (Sugar was strictly forbidden for diabetics in the early '90s.) But something about the motions of baking just seemed right to me.
Last Thanksgiving I found out that this isn't my grandmother's recipe after all, but Katharine Hepburn's. But that's OK. It will always be my grandmother's recipe to me.
Katharine Hepburn's Brownies, Veganized
1/2 cup Earth Balance (or other trans-fat free margarine)
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pureed silken tofu
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melt the chocolate and Earth Balance over a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until well combined. Add the pureed tofu and vanilla and stir together. With just a few strokes, stir in the flour and salt. Spread the batter in a well-greased 8" x 8" pan. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool before cutting.