Ah, the 'S' word. What's the first 'S' word you think of, sailor?
Trust me, if you are over the age of seven, you do not know what 'S' word I'm talking about.
I'm going to type it now so, feel free to close your browser if you think your morality will be compromised.
STUPID.Like most households with young children, stupid is a dirty word in our house. It's right up there with 'SHUT UP,' 'HATE,' and 'LIKE' (we are literary device bigots: METAPHORS only!).
If you've ever been a primary teacher, you are no stranger to this either. Undoubtedly, a child rushes up to you at recess and yells,
"He said the 'S" word!"
At which point you crouch down, look into their sweet little face and say,
"Oh, no! The 'S' word? I need you to tell me exactly what he said."
The child's eyes widen, his little head begins to shake. Although you will randomly get a kid to whisper it into your ear, most of the time, he's not going to say it. You have asked this poor child to do what he fears the most. And you will probably call his mother.
At this point the kid is a little sweaty, so you take it down a notch by saying,
"Okay, honey, I need you to spell it for me."
A sigh of relief escapes his lips and he starts out slowly...
"S...(VERY pregnant pause).
This is truly your only moment of uncertainty. Once the 'T' is out, you know what you're dealing with. Occasionally, the dreaded 'H' comes out. There is potential for disaster in this scenario, although 90% of the time, your third letter is 'U.'
Then you smile at your little recess-language nazi and remind them,
"Kind kids use kind words!"
Kind moms, however, don't always use kind words.
(Wow. How's that for an introduction. Geez. I should be a preacher. Took me long enough!)
Poor Little B has been subjected to the 'S' word flying out of my mouth multiple times a day for the last few weeks. Mostly followed by the word 'DOG.'
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY HER CUTENESS.
IT IS A DEVIOUS GUISE FOR TERROR AND DESTRUCTION.
The conversation goes something like this:
ME: Where's Bella?
LITTLE B: I don't know. Outside? (peering out the window) I think she's eating something.
ME: (rushing to window) That stupid dog is eating poop!
(now banging on window) STOP EATING POOP, YOU STUPID DOG!
(charging out back door) You stupid dog, what are you eating? Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Get in here, you stupid dog!
(me back inside) Now don't even think for one second, I'm giving you a treat, you stupid dog.
LITTLE B: You know, Mommy, you really shouldn't call her stupid. That is a bad word and it probably hurts her feelings.
ME: (using all self-control I have to speak without sarcasm and condescension) If you eat poop, you're stupid. OUR. DOG. IS. STUPID.
LITTLE B: Maybe if you called her 'Smart,' she'd stop eating poop and you wouldn't call her that bad word anymore.
ME: You're right, honey. That's a great idea. I shouldn't use that word anyway.
(walking into the living room) AHHHH! THAT STUPID DOG THREW UP POOP ON MY COUCH!
LITTLE B: Mommy, that SMART dog threw up poop on your couch.
And so on and so forth almost every single day of summer vacation so far. Let me clarify that she is eating rabbit poop and not her own poop. It's practically Watership Down in our backyard, so there's no shortage of bunny poop to go around.
Now, I didn't waste the last 90 seconds of your time to get to a story about a barfing dog with a weak allusion to literature.
I did it for brownies.
See, back in the day, when I was a carnivorous hound, I was a decent cook, but could never master the steak. No matter what I did, no matter what type of meat I purchased, I butchered it. No pun intended.
So, when I set off into vegan bliss, I laughed haughtily as I skipped away from days of meat consumptions and the dastardly gauntlet of t-bones and fillets.
Alas, there is a new challenge before me: the STUPID BROWNIE.
See, I came back to it. Everything's coming together.
Except for my STUPID BROWNIES!
I just can't get it right! I've tried and tried. I've googled vegan brownie more times than 5th grader googles 'Justin Beiber' and I can't get it right! Every cookbook lets me down and the egg replacer refuses to adequately replace!
Well, after countless cups of cocoa have been wasted, I think I am getting closer.
Now this would be a great place for me to present you with an amazing brownie that will blow your mind, but it's just not ready yet.
This Saturday, I am headed out of town to the ISTE conference in San Diego. I plan on taking brownies with me for the ride to the airport. I will bake stupid brownies every day until I get it right.
Friends, watch for the post that will change my brownie luck. I ought to start with the recipe title...
SMART Brownies, maybe?