Starting from Scratch

Day 14 – Today I am thankful I’m not afraid to go back to basics and cook something from scratch.

It’s awfully easy to grab a box of brownie mix at the grocery story and whip it up. heck, add some chocolate chips or cinnamon from the pantry and you can feel like you’re really cooking. And you are. I like box mixes of things. They’re easy and they taste good so why not use them? Reproducible results every time.

On the other hand, I decided to try making brownies from scratch a while back. The recipe from The Joy of Cooking for Brownies Cockaigne not only has a fun-to-say name, but is freakin’ amazing. Seriously. It’s also easy to do. The brownies taste best (almost) when they’re fresh out of the oven and still warm. Microwaving a cold brownie for about 20 seconds will produce the same result.

The best taste though comes from about halfway through the baking process. You’ve melted your chocolate and butter and added eggs, sugar and vanilla. You have the flour measured and ready to go in. Taste the batter first. then have a spoonful. Then tell yourself you probably should add the flour and actually make the brownies because sitting on your couch playing Dead Island while eating partially made brownie batter with uncooked eggs may not be the most adult thing you’ve ever done in your life. Promise you’ll make a special batch of pre-flour batter some other time to eat in the privacy of a closet where no one will see.

By the way, cockaigne refers to a mythical land (often written about by 12th and 13th century poets) that is a land of plenty. It’s often used as a parody setting where idleness and gluttony reign supreme with few consequences. Perhaps sitting on the couch with a pot of batter would only serve to honor the word’s origins. Hmm.

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3 thoughts on “Starting from Scratch

  1. […] What if you didn’t have the pieces? Could you make them? Thomas Thwaites took that to the extreme with some inspiration from Douglas Adams and detailed his efforts in The Toaster Project. He doesn’t pop down to the local hobby store to pick up the electronics he needs. Nope, Thwaites smelts iron and makes plastic … from scratch. And here I thought my brownies were impressive. […]

  2. Thanks for the inspiration! Non-box brownies are easy and do taste better. Now off to look up the Joy recipe. I’ve been known to start with a recipe for two dozen chocolate chip cookies and only get 12 cookies in the oven (really cookie dough is the best).

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