It’s a challenge, for us, yes, a kind of thrill, even
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It’s cooled off quite a lot these past few days and the skies have darkened. I’ve been outside cleaning up a bit, some leaves and litter and dead worms and such, and taking in potted plants and lawn chairs for the winter. I know that stretch of warm is still ahead, but I like the feeling of getting some it done now, and there are going to be more leaves, certainly, so no sense in leaving it all for later.
I’ve been out walking, too, along with everyone else on the planet, it seems. Along with the cooler air there have been a few afternoons of nearly-perfect weather where the sun is silvery- golden on the lakes and the trees have inclinations toward turning and hair stands up on bare skin without a person shivering. You take a sweatshirt along but end up not wearing it, and your skin and the air feel about the same temperature. It’s about my favorite time of year, now until sometime in February when it all goes downhill, but I don’t think about that part, which doesn’t last long at all. What does last is this lovely feeling of gathering and golden warmth, when people set up stands and sell from the harvest, and there’s still enough of summer in us for lingering on park benches and walking not once but twice around the lake.
This is what gets us through the winter, I thought as I walked earlier this week. This is where we go out and gather it all up and store it those long cold months of piled-up snow and blinding cold. This is why we can live here, because it’s not the same thing all the time. We move from green spring to hot summer to golden autumn and that’s how cool blue winter is not the demon everyone says it is. Of course it’s not. It’s a challenge, for us, yes, a kind of thrill, even. We move into it head-on with our pantries full of potatoes and squash and all manner of canned goods, and our drawers piled high with long johns and wool sweaters. We get ready. We stock up. We attend.
During my walk around the lake earlier this week, I received five — yes, five — winks: four from men, one from a woman; all had graying hair. Three were sitting on benches and two were passing by. I receive at least one every time I take a walk. I imagine those winks are substitutes for words. A silent wisdom, an affirmation. Something about having been there, and keeping on, and I’m doing something right, and though I’m not sure what that something is, I’ll just keep on doing what I do. It’s gotten me this far, and where I am ain’t bad. Not bad at all.
If you’re headed for a gathering where you wish to lighten things up a bit, this recipe may be just the thing. Double it, and you’ve got half a cup of amaretto in the mix, and are these bars ever something to behold. Can’t stop at just one.
1 stick butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
6 oz choc chips
1/2 cup flour
4 T amaretto
1/4 tsp salt
Melt butter and chocolate. Beat eggs until light. Beat in sugar until thick.
Add chocolate mixture, flour, and salt. Stir in vanilla and chips.
Bake in 8″ x 8″ greased pan at 375 degrees for 15 min. With fork poke hole in brownies.
Pour amaretto over. Cool. Frost with white frosting. Refrigerate.
Drizzle glaze over after a while.
1 stick butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 T butter
To double, use a 9″ x 13″ cake pan, and double the brownie and glaze recipes.
(Make only 1 1/2 times the frosting recipe.)