How to mess up a good batch of brownies


Since writing this story 11 years ago, I have experienced plenty of culinary catastrophes and victories. I believe my venture into dessert experimentation began with the brownies made with a special ingredient (not THAT ingredient, btw!)

Yes, I actually wore this to the grocery store one day…

Lest you think that my boys dance and prance for all of my delectable meals, I should set the record straight. One memorable moment stands out as a reminder that, perhaps, I should just stick with simple spaghetti if I wish to earn their favor.

After several months of annoying body aches and pains, a friend suggested I start taking vitamins and some organic, unrefined oils to aid in my overall health. I was interested in getting myself back into better shape. I liked the results of these vitamins and the time came when I needed to re-order.

While looking through the mail order catalog for the produce, I was delighted to find another product any good mother would want to give her children. I found the children’s version of these oil pills I had been taking. I carefully read the description and without hesitation placed my order.

Soon the small box arrived at our doorstep, just before my two oldest OS arrived home from school. My freshly baked brownies were cooling on the kitchen counter. I looked at the colorful bottle.  Darling little jungle animals and bold lettering made the label seem so appealing. The scrumptious butterscotch flavor described said it was delicious over desserts. I swept into action and a secret plan started cooking in my head. 

Nate and Aaron bounded up the street and took their usual places around the kitchen table, awaiting their afternoon snack. I told them about the yummy brownies and they were practically salivating with anticipation! 

Can you say yum? Can you say yuck?

Carefully, I cut each of my three sons a square of warm brownie. Then I added the elusive ingredient. I diverted their attention and poured a few thick teaspoons of this oil on top of their brownies. 

The oil sat that on the brownies for a moment, almost as if it were saying, “Are you SURE you want to do this?” but then it seeped into the dark chocolate.

They’d never know I had added some health food to the middle of this treat. Aha! Mission accomplished!

I presented each boy with his own plate. It was Nate, age nine, the most discerning of the three, who asked me, “Mom, what’s that on the brownies?” I escaped answering the question and encouraged him to dig in. 

The bite had barely entered his mouth when he grimaced and contorted. He held the moist brownie bits on the curl of his tongue, hoping not to swallow any and cried, “Ugh, Mom, these are sick! What did you do? They taste terrible!”

flax seed not in oil form!

I tried not to laugh and despite me encouraging him to try another bite (he was almost gagging from the first one), he quickly declined. Seeing their big brother so grossed out, the other boys suddenly lost interest in their snack. They scrambled from the table before I could torture them, as I had their brother.

I wanted to be the best mom in the world with a homemade snack and health food all rolled up into one great afternoon treat. While the taste of that nasty brownie concoction will hopefully fade from my son’s mind and palate one day, I take solace in knowing that he’ll probably growing up remembering one thing, that his mom made a mean plate of spaghetti!

“I shall never forget that day my mom almost poisoned
us with those horrible brownies. Wow.”

We mothers can rest assured that although we may not be remembered for all of the grand meals we made, it’s the everyday, commonplace love that is never forgotten. I bite down on my mother’s tender, tasty sandwich and my sons devour their mother’s slippery noodles and we feel loved once again.

How about you? Any tricks you’ve tried that were less than successful? 

4 thoughts on “How to mess up a good batch of brownies

  1. Cindy, I feel your pain. I could write a whole book about stuff like this. Once we were playing one of those new games, I wish I could remember the name, where everyone has to vote for each player, and then each player has to guess what the other people would vote.I thought for sure they would vote me me the mom most likely to die from my own cooking. But I was astounded (in a pleasant way) to find that I was wrong. Instead, I was voted, unanimously, the person most likely to be abducted by aliens. 😛

  2. Oh, I forgot…When I was a kid my mom used to disguise things we didn't want to eat by changing the name. Two infamous dishes stand out in my memory: "Nectar of Neptune" (fish soup) and "Hippety-hop Chicken" (rabbit).

  3. Ha ha ha… that was great!!!! I know they will never forget those brownies. I'm the kind of mom who makes whatever I choose into a vegetable so we all can feel better about how un-healthy we eat. Ketchup (only Heinz, not Hunts) was declared a vegetable when I heard it was good for preventing a certain type of male cancer.

  4. That is hilarious! Such good intentions, but children are very discerning eaters. At least it sounds like the whole batch wasn't ruined. I think these days they suggest you puree veggies or something and put it right into the batter – not as noticeable as a oily sheen 🙂 Love it.

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