Out of the Mouths of Babes Overheard at the Supermarket
Two days after Thanksgiving, I saw an adorable five-year-old kid trailing after his mom in the grocery store. Every few feet he’d stop in front of an item, cross his arms, and say things like “we wheely wheely need marshmallow ceweal,” and “we wheely wheely need, um, some juice,” and “OOOOH WE WHEELY NEED POP TAWTS!”
This is exactly how Scott’s mental grocery list starts, so Scott was like, “Amen, brother. PREACH.”
In the baking aisle, the kid pointed at a pack of birthday candles and said, “WE WHEELY NEED CANDLES BECAUSE IT’S MY BIRFDAY AGAIN WHEELY SOON!!!!”
His mom pointed out that his birthday was last week.
But he was all “mmhm, I know. Yay!”
When the implications were explained to him, he stood there with his mouth open, crestfallen. You could tell he had just realized that Time is going to be a serious pain in his ass every day, for the rest of his life.
This really bummed him out for about ten seconds.
As they rounded the next aisle, he peered down into a twenty-foot-long freezer of turkeys. He concentrated really hard, and then he smiled and announced, “WE WHEELY NEED A TURKEY!!”
His sweet mother opened her mouth as if to explain again, closed it, and rolled into the beer aisle, where she probably cracked one open right there.
I think the kid had it right. Life is too short to wait. If you like Pop Tarts, eat them. If you want it to be your birthday, do it. The lesson, I think, is to celebrate whatever, whenever you can.
This lesson is the only reason Scott and I are celebrating the arrival of our Christmas tree. Were it not for the grocery store kid, we would have given up because Thunder has been trying to eat it since it came in the door.
Let me remind you that Thunder’s favorite things are STICKS and TENNIS BALLS.
So when we put the Christmas tree in the living room and covered it with round ornaments, it was the most exciting thing that had happened to Thunder since she was high on barbiturates for a week. She took one sniff at it and yelped something along the lines of:
GUYS, GUYS, GUYS YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT I JUST FOUND IN THE LIVING ROOM IT IS THE BIGGEST BUNCH OF STICKS I’VE EVER SEEN AND IT HAS TENNIS BALLS ON IT TOO CAN WE KEEP IT PLEASE PLEASE WE WHEELY WHEELY NEED IT.
Amen, sister. Amen.
Here’s another thing you might wheely need: awesome white chocolate frosting. This one (originally here)calls for granulated sugar, not powdered sugar. The granulated sugar produces a lovely, professional-looking sheen instead of a matte finish.
One great thing about this frosting is that it refrigerates well. It hardens; it does not fall like a whipped cream-based topping or look dull and left-over, like powdered sugar frosting can. I slathered it over some peppermint brownies (adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe) and sprinkled crushed candy canes on top. Delicious.
Ingredients for Brownies:
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (2 cubes)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (or 3 tbsp. creme de menthe, for subtler flavor)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 c. milk chocolate chips or chunks (preferably Ghiradelli brand)
Ingredients for Icing:
8 oz. white chocolate (8 squares)
3 tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1 c. granulated white sugar
1 c. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3-6 candy canes (or, if you’re feeding these to children, get a bag of the peppermint pieces, which are sold next to the chocolate chips this time of year– they’re softer but they look a little chalky.)
Directions for Brownies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter an 8 x 8 inch pan.
Stir the butter and the unsweetened chocolate (not the milk chocolate chips) in a small sauce pan over low heat until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
With an electric mixer, beat eggs and and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the chocolate mixture, flour, salt, peppermint extract and vanilla until just blended.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Transfer the batter to the pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let the brownies cool.
Directions for Icing:
Melt chocolate over moderate heat.
Whisk flour into chocolate. Slowly whisk milk into chocolate.
Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until the chocolate is the consistency of thick pudding.
Remove from heat and cool.
In a mixer, combine sugar, butter and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the cooled white chocolate mixture and beat until the icing has the consistency of whipped cream. Do not stop beating the icing before it has developed a glossy sheen and you no longer detect individual granules of sugar on a taste test: if under-mixed, the icing will be gritty.
Crush the 3 candy canes. (Use a mortar and pestle or simply place a candy cane on a cutting board and use the bottom of an angled coffee mug (or something similar) to crush the candy.)
When the brownies are cooled, spread the icing on top and sprinkle with candy cane pieces. Cut and serve.