Saturday, July 23, 2011

No-Bake Brownies: Summer Remedy

I looked up the meaning of antidote as a first step. Antidote is a word that's been going through my head lately.

Remedy is a word listed when I checked out antidote. It's not the first explanation but it's the one that suits my meaning best.

Remedy is a good word. When we're in a really tough place a remedy bails us out. A remedy can put us on the right track. It can get us well. It can resolve conflicts and problems. There's tremendous power in the simplicity of the word. It gives promise to any situation.

This striving, contentious world is in sore need of an antidote to its troubles. That's why the word has been hanging out with me. There has to be a remedy for what ails so many areas of our living. Something is needed to counterbalance the confusion of strange situations everywhere.

It's wishful thinking to imagine remedies are as easy to come upon as dandelions in the yard in the spring. In truth it's you and me who are the remedies.

It's our brains, our good will and our determination which we combine to address the different needs. Mutual effort and willingness to work together are essential to solve the messes, heal the hurting and make everything okay.

Remedies are so often tied with our opinions. They're part and parcel of the politics we embrace. How we see things is how we're apt to pitch our remedy upon the world. We regard our remedy as merchandisers do who sell women's pantyhose. One size fits all we can mistakenly believe. It's never that easy and not with pantyhose either.

To be remedy people we have to look around. We do what we can. We start with concern for children or housing or parks. Our accomplishments can seem so paltry stacked against all that requires to be done.

Maybe that's why those of us who still read newspapers find respite in the sports pages. The sports section is escape and reprieve and also inspiration and hope. The pressing issues are on the other side of the paper for the brief time we consume the sports news.

Hobbies, certain activities, friendships and travel are other means of putting distance from the daily grind or the harder things that weigh us down. They act as an antidote to all we take in. They counterbalance the prosaic or sterner edges of life. They soften or realign the reality that each of us deals with.

When a national budget compromise seems an impossibility, when heat index talk wilts you further, when your work project is red-flagged for lack of funding, or anything else that challenges your equanimity, if only in a slight degree, an antidote can be extremely helpful.

The remedy is whatever you make it be. You get to create your own satisfactory balance. You are free to smooth out and create anything away from the circumstances over which you have no control.

Making something in the kitchen is a no-fail remedy for me. Even if the recipe itself fails from time to time there's pleasure in the food preparation process. You make some order out of the ingredients you choose.You do something and present a result.

For me it's never anything fancy. That's why it probably works so well. The only stipulation is that it's relaxing and real. The easy recipe below fits the bill. It takes mere minutes and there's little clean-up. It's a great antidote to the present widespread summer heat.

No-Bake Brownies

In saucepan cook over low heat till mixture is smooth 2/3 cup evaporated milk and 1 -12 oz. package chocolate chips. Remove from heat and add 3 c. graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Spread in greased 8 x 8" square pan. Refrigerate till firm. Cut into squares.

Ro Giencke - July 22, 2011

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