The Random/Abstract Side of the Fence

Made some crème de menthe bars Saturday and they were not bad. I’ve had some time to myself with Mr. S away speaking at a conference in Arizona, an event promoting the benefits of being organized. On Sunday evening, after a round of bread baking and chili making, I was out lookin’ at the moon, the big ol’ beautiful Super Moon. Mr. S called and we talked a good half hour about nothing much at all. He told me about his day and I told him about mine, something we do most days and the point isn’t much about what we share as it is that we do.

He said people were quite responsive to his thoughts on organizing one’s life, and I am not surprised. It’s good to be organized. You know where things are and you find them. You show up on time. You emanate efficiency and self-awareness now and then. You appear less clumsy. You feel better about each day because you have created a sense of order, and people often look to you for answers. If there’s a fire, you are less likely to put yourself in danger because you know where the important stuff is. And your children, following your lead, are more likely to at least be aware of what it means to be organized, if not blossoming models of organization themselves.

I’m all for it. Order and consistency and less is more and such. I’m all for ducks in a row. But I confess I have, over the years, gained an appreciation for the Random/Abstract side of the fence. I’m all for pockets of chaos now and then, and some time along the way, I stopped folding my underwear. It’s much more fun to toss it in a glorious wad into my top right dresser drawer. I prefer the leaves blowing over the grass and down the street to a neat pile under the tree, and sometimes I go Random Grocery Shopping. No list. No sales ad. Just me and my thoughts and whatever holds appeal.

Though the Concrete/Sequential is important when it comes to bills and taxes and what meds a person takes in a day, and perhaps Thanksgiving meal-planning, a life without the Random/Abstract is no life for me. Bring on the sudden road trip, the snowstorms, the impulse baking. Bring on the shower of confetti, a walk through Menards for no reason at all, a pie in the face, even. Well, on second thought…maybe not, but you get what I mean. Let chaos in now and then, and, for Pete’s sake, stop folding your underwear.

This one’s for the long week, the rough day, the crazy stretch. Enough comfort to go ‘round in one simple pan of bars – warmth, sweetness, and a dash of crème de menthe. Or two.


Crème de Menthe Bars

1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 (16 ounce) can chocolate syrup
1 tsp vanilla

1⁄4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 T creme de menthe

6 ounces chocolate chips
1⁄4 cup butter

Cream butter, add sugar; beat until fluffy.vvAdd eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Combine flour and salt, and add to creamed mix alternately with chocolate syrup.
Stir in vanilla.

Pour into greased and floured 13×9 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, cool completely.

Frosting: cream 1/4 cup butter in small bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar and creme de menthe, mix well. Spread over cooled brownies. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Topping: combine chocolate chips and butter in small pan. Slowly melt on low heat, stirring until smooth. Spread over brownies.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut into squares, enjoy!


  1. cakegirl26
    November 21, 2016

    Ah, yes. the random side of the fence. With me, it’s my desk and the jumble of stationery, cards, address stickers. I’m a letter and card writer, but there’s nothing wrong with sending out a summer note with a Christmas return address. I always await your next missive.

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