Friday, 9 March 2012

Small Things

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. - Helen Keller

I do love reading quotations.  When I was in high school my grandmother sent me a small book with a quote for every day of the year.  I still have the book.  I still like to read the quotations inside its' pages.  Sometimes just a few words can stay in one's memory more than a whole speech...or lecture.  The above quote was one of my favourites when I was young.  Like most teens I dreamt big...I dreamt of doing great things....but, it is true,  the small things that people do can matter most...and can stay in your memory longest.
Today was the beginning of Canadian Spring Break(well, make that Ontario's spring break).  You can not tell by looking at the weather, no one will be going out in their shorts tomorrow...unless they have travelled south...but you can definitely tell by the look on my children's faces.  My son was excited to be hosting one of his friends for the next couple of days.  To make the day more special....I decided to make a dessert for dinner.  I made a huge pan of brownies and bought a lovely ice cream from a local dairy(one of the perks of living in the countryside, I will treat you to some, too, if you come for a visit).
Every time I make brownies and add a big scoop of ice cream on top, I think of my little sister.  On one visit to the lovely warm south, my sister served this dessert up, jumbo sized, for my children.  It was many years ago, she has probably even forgotten, but I still smile every time I eat brownies, thinking of her cooking that dessert for her little niece and nephews.  My children definitely think she is magical.
So, sometimes I wish that I could tell her how much she is loved...and I try to think of all these fabulous ideas...but then I know it is the simple things....the small things that people remember most...
Here is the simple dessert that still fills my memory...give them a try...They are simple and so delicious!!!

Peanut Butter Brownies topped with Ice Cream
(please note that this recipe was altered from the original recipe my sister baked...hers came from a box...which was very delicious, too. She is an American and was unaware that brownies could be made from scratch...hee, hee)
(This is adapted from Better Food For Kids by Joanne Saab, RD and Daina Kalnins, RD)

Makes 16 small brownies
Preheat oven to 350 F
8-inch square baking pan, greased

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Make a hole in the centre and stir in butter, peanut butter, egg and vanilla.  Stir until fairly smooth.  Press batter into prepared pan ( the batter is quite dense).  Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes ( but if you want more gooey brownies...cook a bit less).  Serve warm with a scoop of your favourite ice cream on top.


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