Friday, September 2, 2022

September's Song

I have always loved this month. Back to School.  Cooler days and chilled nights. Bright blue skies. Autumn's arrival. New clothes... what's not to love? 
My grandparents were married on September 1, 1919... I've written about them many times.  One of my grandmothers had a September 18, 1899, birthday.  
So here is my Rx for a lovely job I'm currently undertaking.  Is there anything more personal than our clothing? I have spent a fortune on clothes in my past.  And now?  Most people would be surprised!  Zero.
During my teaching days I bought a lot of bling. I wore "ugly" sweaters before they were cool... every holiday... and in between. I had a little of every color, despite knowing I was a spring... animal prints?  Sure.  Tailored. Casual. Tie dye.  You name it.  If I woke up on a Tuesday and felt like Annie Hall, I could do that.  Or I could pull off Elvis if I so chose
Then... I retired. I suddenly realized my skin didn't feel good with sequins.  My soul didn't like all that glitter... I think I decided to speak for myself and to mute the voice of my wardrobe.  (Sometimes, admittedly, both of "us" should have been silent! )
I discovered a brand of clothes on QVC called Anybody... soft,  rather plain... so very comfy.  For two years I still bought a lot of variety in that brand. Then in the fall of 2019 I tried a soft, narrow-ribbed, long sleeved knit top...
I decided to go for it,  and I ordered it in pumpkin, slate blue, fir green, Grey, blush pink, black, ... Every. Single. Color.  except white.  I'm just not clean enough to wear white more than two or three minutes... lol... I don't know why... it's just instantly spotted or stained for the whole day...
 I wear the tops with a mix and match of long knit skirts. Once in a while I layer one with a sweater or sweatshirt... That's it.  They wash and dry and look the very same as they did on day one. We run the AC so cold,  I wear them 365 days a year.  In fact,  I've worn one of those shirts for the past 1100 days... what a style maven! 
So on Wednesday I nominated myself to bag up my former wardrobe and pitch it.  I didn't donate as I should have. I didn't feel like washing all those clothes,  mending,  deciding if they were worn too much... thinking who might benefit and who might judge...
I selfishly just bagged and pitched four large black trash bags... hangers and all... wedding dress?  Prom dresses... coats... scarves... jackets... bling and working girl... out! I saved only a few pieces I honestly loved.  
I discovered I really passionately hated some of those clothes. I felt so free... Am I this plain,  Type 2, nondescript woman?  Right now I am.... passionately so. 
This top honestly doesn't look so asymmetrical on me... I'm not thin enough for it to "swing" I guess... yep. That sounds about right.  
I went wild with fruit from Aldi delivery.  These are delicious!  And I have the perfect excuse, my son's birthday! 

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Brownies

prep time: 20 MINUTES
cook time: 40 MINUTES
total time: 1 HOUR

Chewy Chocolate Cherry Brownies - a chocolate and cherry explosion of flavour as chewy brownies get pieces of sweet cherries baked right in and even more in the delicious frosting.


For the Brownies

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup good quality cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ounce unsweetened bakers chocolate, melted (1 square)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, chopped and cut in quarters

For the Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tbsp milk; only enough to bring the frosting to a spreadable consistency.
  • 1/3 cup fresh cherries, chopped

To prepare the brownies

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter over low heat
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar, melted chocolate eggs and vanilla.
  4. Stir slowly until the sugar is dissolved. Pinch the mixture between your fingers to make sure that you cannot feel any sugar granules. This is an important step in baking fudgy brownies.
  5. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in the chopped cherries.
  7. Spread the batter into a greased or parchment lined 9x9 baking pan.
  8. Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes at 350 degrees F (325 F for glass bakeware) Cool completely before frosting. When cooled, if your edges are too high you can trim them horizontally with a serrated bread knife to level the brownies.

To prepare the Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Mix all the ingredients together except the cherries and beat very well until smooth and fluffy.
  2. Add the milk last to get the frosting to the right consistency.
  3. Finally fold in the 1/3 cup chopped fresh cherries.
  4. Spread evenly on top of the cooled brownies before cutting into squares or bars.


Note. You can also make these with frozen cherries when not in season.


Miss Merry said...

When I packed my work wardrobe, my biggest surprise was the quantity of khaki pants. Heavy weight, light weight, denim, cotton, linen, polyester, blends, tight fit, loose fit, ankle length, capri, boot cut, flared, . . . I don't even remember wearing khaki pants very often. The thousands of black slacks, I wore out. When I first went back to work AC (after children) we wore dresses and skirts and panty hose was required.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Good for you! If you find an item of clothing that is comfy and it fits well, why not just get it in every color? I have watched QVC a lot over the last 30 years, and have never heard of this brand! I do buy Denim & Co.

Latane Barton said...

Things change with time and different phases of our lives. I love that sweater but on me I would look like a elephant. Especially if I made some of your Chewy Chocolate Cherry Brownies and couldn't stop til I ate the whole batch! Oh woe is me!

Jenny the Pirate said...

Well first let me say, I love clothes too and that top is adorable. I can totally understand your loving it and buying it in twenty different colors, and wearing it every day. Just so cute. And I relate too, to looking at clothes I wore in the past and hating them. It's high time I purge my closets again so you have inspired me. It's pretty great to be comfortable enough in your skin that you wear what makes you look and feel good and don't apologize to anyone for it. Now those brownies are over the top. I read every word of the recipe and was doing a proper drool, haaahaha xoxo