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There are two kinds of people in this world: those who sneeze with the poise of a Southern girl at a Junior League meeting, and those who sneeze with the unapologetic honk of an injured duck.

There’s been a lot of honking around here.  But hey, greetings from Pollentown!



It’s strange because I’ve never had an allergy before.  I’ve eaten peanuts and antibiotics my entire life.  I thrive on gluten.  I’ve consumed more questionably prepared ballpark hot dogs than I want to tell you about, and I’ve never gotten sick.   I’m not even allergic to salmonella, you guys.

I know this for a fact, actually.  I was repeatedly exposed to salmonella as a kid and nothing happened.

The exposure started when I got a pet turtle.  His name was Pablo.  He had a shell about 2 inches across and he lived in a shallow goldfish bowl on my desk.

Pablo was the ideal companion until the Center for Disease Control decided that little turtles carried salmonella on their backs.  From that point on, Pablo’s value as a pet plummeted rapidly.

One dark day, the CDC released a report that said there were two kinds of people at risk for salmonella:

  1. kids who ran around the grocery store licking cantaloupes and eating raw eggs; and
  2. kids who had pet turtles.

When my mom heard about this, she freaked.  She freaked even more when Virginia made pet turtles illegal.  And she reached record levels of freak when I told her I’d been petting Pablo’s shell for years and didn’t feel sick yet.

So one day when I was at school, she “freed Pablo into the pond.”  That is a direct quote, people.  Freed him into the pond.

I was horrified.  The pond was a death sentence for him.  At the very least, dumping him in there was:

  1. a felony; and
  2. extremely disrespectful to Pablo, given that the pond was full of turtles 30 times his size.

I never saw him again.


There is no upside to this story except that I’m probably immune from salmonella, like I was saying.

So I’m going to get through this week of headaches and sneezes by eating whatever I want, including undercooked eggs.  Salmonella be damned!

The good news is that you can eat undercooked eggs, too.  Have you noticed they sell pasteurized eggs in stores now?  That means you can eat gooey brownies with me.

brownie 2

On top of ice cream!

ice cream

If you’ve never had gooey brownie on top of ice cream, you should get on it.  When I was a kid, I had it at least once a week at a frozen yogurt shop called Arch’s.


I’ve been experimenting with boxed mixes and I figured out how to do it.  Here’s my take on the gooey brownie:

Ice Cream with Gooey Brownies {Download & Print Recipe}
Inspired by Arch’s Frozen Yogurt


1 box Duncan Heinz dark chocolate fudge brownie mix

1/3 c. oil

1/3 c. water

1 pasteurized egg

ice cream, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Follow the instructions on the box for fudgy brownies, not cakey brownies.  That means adding one egg, not two, and mixing in the oil and water until smooth. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8 x 8″ pan and bake it for about 15 minutes.  That’s about half the time the recipe calls for.  It’ll give you really gooey brownies.  If you want them a little chunkier, bake them a little longer.

Let them cool and then scoop some on top of ice cream.


For the authentic experience, I don’t recommend using Ghirardelli mixes or mixes that have chocolate chips or packets of fudge in them.  Definitely don’t skip the egg.  If you do, the oil and water in the batter will separate and you’ll be left with hard, greasy brick.


Gooey brownies will give you lots of energy to run around and do stuff outside.  Like so:

on the move

See you on the flip-side!

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hahaha.. too funny!! I’m def a honker.. I think I even blogged about how annoying it is (from my daughter’s perspective). Good luck with the pollen.. when in doubt, eat brownies! I’m off to look for pasteurized eggs! Tata!

    April 13, 2013
  2. srushton1 #

    Gooey brownies are the best, but I’ve never worried about the egg thing either. I feel for you about the turtle. I had an Irish Setter and

    April 13, 2013
    • Whoops! So not finished. Anyway an Irish Setter and a Saint Bernard that were both given away because they were too unruly/large. I am still a little bitter. Your brownie experiments may well console all deprived children everywhere.

      April 13, 2013
  3. Anna F. #

    Yum! Also, may I say that I really appreciate your meticulous punctuation of your bullet points. Makes my heart sing.

    April 13, 2013
    • HA! I loved your comment about the bullet points. I don’t have an impeccable record on grammar or punctuation by any means, but I do like a good, well-punctuated list. (Case in point: I had to google whether to hyphenate the “well-punctuated.” Turns out I do because it comes before the noun. THE FUN NEVER STOPS!)

      April 17, 2013
  4. Sue Ellen Fitzgerald #

    POLLEN!!!!! Really bad in LA…(lower Alabama) How bad is it???? You know the ‘ring around the tub commercials’~~~~~ well we have a (thick) ring around the pool.Yep , yellow pollen.
    ACHOO…….and repeat like 4 times in a row…..people and pups alike.
    Brownies will fix the problem I’m sure…..=-)

    April 13, 2013
    • Sue Ellen, YOWCH! Sounds like you have some work cut out for you with that pool. Honestly, I will take the pollen without TOO much complaint as long as the mosquitoes take their sweet #&% time getting here. Scott never gets bitten and I get bitten like crazy. Sometimes when the dogs need to go outside at night, I want to cry. I know I’ll come back in with 10 or 11 welts even if I stay out there for 2 minutes!

      April 17, 2013
  5. I’ve been buying pasteurized eggs to make mayonnaise, but since I haven’t gotten around to that, now I have a much better use for them!

    April 13, 2013
    • I have a lot of respect for homemade mayo. Can’t wrap myself around store-bought, but homemade is legit!

      April 17, 2013
  6. Cindy Rogers #

    3 kinds of people: you left out the serial sneezers. I always sneeze 7 times…sometimes as many as ten. And then there’s no.4: my son sneezes whenever he goes out into the sun. Further research obviously needed.

    P.S. I’m sorry about little Pablo.

    April 13, 2013
    • Wow, Cindy–seven sneezes is pretty intense! I’m a 3-sneeze person, myself. But what I lack in number I make up in size (sometimes I think my sneezes could blow the door off its hinges)!

      April 17, 2013
  7. I can safely say that after six months away from Charlottesville, Arch’s is one of the thing I miss most!

    April 13, 2013
    • Me too! We went when we were back last week and it was still good, even thought they switched to a DYI model and you have to pour it yourself. I also miss Bodos, of course. Have you had their jalapeno lime cream cheese? I guess it’s kind of new (that said, it could be a year old at least.) I want to try to replicate it…

      April 17, 2013
  8. Those gooey brownies look divine, especially with the ice cream! And I feel your pain in regards to the pollen. When I sneeze, it tends to explode out of nowhere and people and animals far and wide scatter in response to the atomic explosion. Frankly, most of them are amazed my nose didn’t shoot off my face. I’m anything but dainty, that’s for sure!

    April 13, 2013
  9. Amy #

    Aw man, allergies suck! Hope the pollen eases up soon.

    Ooooh boy… gooey, warm *chocolate cake a la mode is just about the most delicious thing ever. I am SO making this. I eat raw batter all the time, so I guess salmonella doesn’t really concern me….but botchalism freaks me out. Both can kill you, I realize.

    April 13, 2013
  10. Ps. Arch’s is now a self-serve joint and gooey brownies don’t do well self-serve. The biggest disappointment of my life. There was nothing better.

    April 13, 2013
  11. jenny_o #

    That’s way more pollen than any ecosystem needs – it must be hard to live with.

    I’m so glad to know about pasteurized eggs! I’ll have to look for them here. There are few things better than uncooked cookie dough or brownie batter, in my opinion.

    April 13, 2013
  12. And thanks for the intro to Arch’s, which I will re-live with some gooey brownie — on ice cream…

    April 14, 2013
  13. Thunder: Hey! Lick *this*, Sucka!

    April 14, 2013
  14. You always make me laugh. And now you make me happy that there is at least one benefit to the fact that we haven’t seen a bit of spring – no pollen.

    On another note, I grew up eating raw eggs (my mother thought egg nog with raw egg was good for us) and I lived to tell about it. Unfortunately, as a toxicologist, I just can’t go there anymore. But sometimes I wonder, would it really matter???

    April 14, 2013
  15. I actually gasped when I saw that gooey brownie photo. Salmonella better watch its germy back!

    April 14, 2013
  16. Kate #

    Oh man, I forgot about gooey brownie at Arch’s!! That stuff is amazing.

    You know what is not amazing? Ice cream out of a box. Seriously, did you buy the cheapest ice cream in the store? Maybe they have some amazing stuff down there, but usually the boxed ice cream is filled with algae (agar agar) and weird fillers. Don’t do it.

    April 15, 2013
  17. jg #

    That dog is soooo cute!

    April 15, 2013
  18. Re: the sneezing in the sunlight thing. It is called the photic sneeze reflex. It’s in Wikipedia and everything.

    April 15, 2013
  19. Joan #

    There was a summer between my junior and senior year of high school where we had Arch’s for DINNER at least once a week. It goes down in history as one of the best summers of my life. (Thank you, Mom, for being too hot/overworked/amazing to cook)

    April 15, 2013
  20. Hmmmm, Arch’s. I miss it. Might I also suggest replacing the water in the brownie recipe with red wine? Preferably zinfandel. I have not tried it for gooey brownie, but I have done it with regular brownies. Better than a pollen cure.

    April 18, 2013
    • That’s a good idea, Courtney. I *am* on the market for a new favorite booze to put in baked goods. I’ve completely gone through my bottle of Disarono (or amaretto, or whatever it was), that I’ve been putting in every baked good I can for the past year. Time to switch to red wine! Although, I made a red wine walnut cake a few months ago and it didn’t turn out well. Probably because there was no chocolate in the recipe. I’m game to try it with the brownies–thanks for the heads’ up!

      April 22, 2013
  21. for serious, i really thought you were going to say those were turtle brownies after that story.

    April 19, 2013
  22. Luckily they’re calling for snow in Toronto this weekend!! Oh….wait……

    April 19, 2013
    • Yowch. That sucks (unless there’s skiing near Toronto?)

      April 22, 2013
  23. Aunt Laurie #

    OK, so yes, the “Chicken Competion
    Industry” is quite different near me. It
    is actually known as “Chicken Fight Night” and the venue changes from week to week for obvious reasons. The only famous chicken I know is Little Jerry (Seinfeld).
    btw, u can ask one of my sisters what became of MY pet turtle. Pablo was lucky to have been “ponded”!
    Oh, and step 1 of fajita recipe – clean the chicken? I don’t think so! Cleaning the turkey for Thanksgiving is my least favorite activity (next to taking down the Christmas tree).

    April 22, 2013
    • Ha! You crack me up. I’m definitely going to find out what happened to your pet turtle. I’m guessing it met a dramatic end. Like my mom’s bird? Didn’t it fly out the door and never come back again or something?
      Anyway, given that your tree is always the most beautiful one in Brooklyn, I can see how you have a hard time taking it down. 🙂

      April 22, 2013
  24. turtles ❤

    April 23, 2013

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