Brownies For Breakfast

May 17th, 2023

Essay 6
Brownies for Breakfast

People often tell me I should write a book and I never get used to this huge compliment. When I hear it or read it my body caves in a little. I shrink back. I want to write a book but the picky reader in me doesn’t know if she will read it. Instead I come up with titles of books. I have a running list on my phone with good book titles. One title I often come back to is “Brownies for Breakfast”

I have the edges of this book in my mind. The gist of the book is this… If I could have brownies for breakfast every day without consequence I would. I know… it needs to be developed a bit more.

During this stint on one foot, I am being very careful about having too many tempting foods around me. Unlike when we were in covid lockdown, I am alone. Unlike when we were in covid lockdown, I would be gaining weight all by myself rather than part of the world wide weight gain of approximately 19.5 billion pounds. (This is rough math based on internet rumors.)

So when Maya announced she was making her gooey brownies last night after what she hinted was not her favorite dinner, I was thrilled… No.. I mean concerned…no… I mean salivating, no.. I mean worried.

Maya makes her brownies with a little extra oil. Because of this when you lick your fingers you have to use your teeth to get some of the goo off properly. The brownies came out of the oven a little burnt on top. A quick test assures us that they are in fact delectably gooey. She offers me one perfect bite in a little glass bowl. Scott declines and I just kind of hate him for it. I smell my little brownie first and then place it on my tongue like communion, letting it release slowly the warm, rich layers.

I consider chocolate medicinal. I know from participating in cacao ceremonies that this sacred bean is a gift that warms the heart and opens the petals of Anahata, the heart chakra. Cocoa and Cacao are not the same things. Cacao is the natural bean from the Theobroma cacao tree. Cocoa refers to the powder left behind after the beans have been processed. Cacao releases theobromine, like caffeine but is easier on the nervous system. I put Cacao in my decaf coffee in the morning for a gentle jump start. It is tart and deep, so I add a little monk fruit to make it sweet. It goes perfectly with brownies.

And this is why I am nervous about tomorrow morning already and the hours that follow. I cannot spend tomorrow with a pan of brownies. It is my kryptonite. That along with homemade chocolate chip cookies. I walk past the brownies to bed and beg them not call to me like a siren in the middle of the night.

The next morning, I wake undisturbed and clear with a plan. I roll into the kitchen and announce to Maya that she has to take them all to school with her. Maya always on the side of my health says she would do so gladly and probably make a lot of people happy. She reports later that they were all gone by 2nd period. I like to think that because of my sacrifice there were a handful of kids walking the halls with sticky fingers, a little more bliss, a little more love and little more yum.

I cut the brownies up, put them gently in tubber wear. They could use some powdered sugar but the extra effort to go to the pantry is not worth it and really I know this is just an excuse to lick more sugar off my fingers. I bargain for a small bite for my coffee and win. This is the best I can do. I have learned to have what I want but if it is a big ask, make a ritual of it.

I make my coffee and sit down. Everyone has left. The house is quite except for Walter’s little dog tag as he picks a spot to lay down. I take a bite and savor. A sip and savor. I do a deep breath. I am all in. Food is alchemistic for me as it is for all of us. Over the years food really has helped me to balance emotions, get in motion, keep present and to create sacred space for all kinds of gatherings. I am grateful for every bite, every meal, every quiet grace filled amen.

I don’t why I am made this way. Why the smell of onion and garlic hitting butter at the right temperature is for me like hitting a huge dinner bell for all to come to my table. Why I love to chop vegetables and layer the colors, so my table is a Moroccan mosaic. Why the first thing I want to do when I hear of someone is in pain is to make them soup. Why I have Pinterest boards of food ideas for each holiday which I go to often when I am feeling dull. Why I go into my garden and sit down and talk to my plants and crystals and thank them to the point of wanting to cry with the mystery of it. Why when I go into a restaurant I can tell if the chef is still rolling their eyes with happiness when their sauce is perfecto, or it they are out in the ally smoking pot. Why I seem to be writing mostly about food each day.

A very good friend of mine is helping me redecorate my whole relationship to food. She has taught me how to make a breakfast type muffin with banana, oats, cassava flour, coconut oil and maple syrup. Over time I added baked sweet potato and cacao in mine with a few high-quality chocolate chips to make it more of a brownie. This is not a compromise from Maya’s gooey boxed brownies…it is an upgrade. I also now start my day with a big hit of protein and eat my biggest meal at noon. I am reevaluating all my cravings and decoding what they are whispering to me. I am learning how to surround myself with the best version of the food I desire, just like how in the past I had to learn how create boundaries and upgrade people. One day I will write my book, “Brownies for Breakfast” but for now I offer you just this little taste.

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