Gentlemen Prefer Blondies!- Magic Blondies!- 92 eggs, 68 1/4 cups of sugar, 68 1/4 sticks of Butter, and 82 cups of flour used so far- 123 recipes to go!

August 14, 2010

Martha's Magic Blondies

André's Magic Blondies

“Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day”

– Joni Mitchell from ‘Both Sides Now’

Glancing through the pages of Martha’s cookie book, I stumbled upon this unique treat. Yes, it is a blondie and therefore falls under the cookie category as loosely defined in Martha’s book,  but this caky confection is prepared in a muffin tin. The basic batter is really no different than any other blondie batter, the same as any brownie batter sans cocoa powder. The added ingredients are what gives this blondie its “magic.” Coconut, toasted walnuts, chocolate chips, and dried cranberries are added to the batter and sprinkled on top to create a delicious muffin-like cookie that presents the illusion of being almost healthy. How do they taste? They are quite dense and granola-like. They are a perfect treat for an early morning conference or breakfast meeting. They’re not overly sweet and they pop with the taste of coconut, chocolate and brown sugar. This is definitely one recipe worth holding onto as it it quite simple to prepare with minimal clean-up and wonderful presentation. It’s a terrific bit of deliciousness that has great curb appeal.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the series of events that have led me to where I am today. I hopped from place to place on the map throughout my life and finally landed in Kansas City, the fly-over zone of the United States- be sure to wave as you pass through. I met my partner Dan ,while I was in Kansas City under a two-and-a-half month contract with one of the local university’s theatre departments. I was music directing a show for my theatre director friend, BK who had taken on a tenured position with the University requiring him to teach only one semester a year. -We should all be so lucky.

It was during this two-and-a-half months Dan and I fell in love. Then, like so many other times in my life, I had to leave and say my goodbyes. This time was different, though. I cried… a lot. Dan did, too. It was a brisk, October evening the night before I left Kansas City.  Dan and I sat in his car parked outside of the restaurant where we were to have our farewell meal, and held each other. He played Joni Mitchell’s recent recording of Both Sides Now with a lush and full orchestra accompanying her deep and raspy voice. The speakers of his car filled the cab with the gentle orchestration. I couldn’t help but think, not just about what Joni was singing, but how she sang it. Joni had, in her heyday, a bright soprano voice that floated like a nimble hummingbird effortlessly across the musical scale. Now, ravaged by time, cigarettes, and hard living her voice was husky, weary and strained. It was the saddest thing I had ever heard and Dan pulled me close. We quietly sobbed knowing that our time together was about to end.

I returned to my rent-controlled apartment on the second floor of an old brownstone in Jersey City, New Jersey. I returned to the drag queen roommate and New Yorker friends. The city had lost a bit of its dazzle in my eyes. It didn’t have the person I loved. I so wanted Dan to leave Kansas City and join me in the city but I knew he could not. His mother, Rosemary was in her mid-seventies at the time and lived in Lawrence, Kansas. Besides Dan and his brother, she didn’t have any other relatives or friends close by to look in on her from time-to-time. I also knew  Dan would not be able to adjust to my life as I had been living it. I could picture him moving up to Jersey City and I would then have to take another lengthy contract in some obscure and faraway place. He would be left alone in new and unfamiliar surroundings with no friends, family, or support. I couldn’t do that to him. I needed to fix this.

The stress of my situation began to take a toll and in mid-November, feeling sad, stressed and feverish, I suddenly doubled-over in very real and very intense pain onto the floor of my apartment in Jersey City. Gasping for air and holding my abdomen, I feared the worst. Was I having a heart attack? A panic attack? Appendicitis? Kidney stones?… or was my heart literally breaking?

After the first wave of pain subsided, in the middle of the night, my roommate asleep, I quietly grabbed a bag of clothes, went out onto the street corner  and hopped a bus to the nearest charity hospital.

I had no idea I would not be stepping back into my apartment for two weeks.

Hmmmmm… This almost sounds like a cliffhanger.

I think I’ll take advantage of that.

To be continued…


2 Responses to “Gentlemen Prefer Blondies!- Magic Blondies!- 92 eggs, 68 1/4 cups of sugar, 68 1/4 sticks of Butter, and 82 cups of flour used so far- 123 recipes to go!”

  1. Russ Says:

    OMG! Did you die? I hope you didn’t die!

  2. Eri Says:

    my nails are bitten down to the nub waiting to read the next installment!

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