Thursday, January 14, 2016

Something Old, Something New: Rye Brownies

"A place for everything, and everything in its place," my father was fond of saying.  He was a master of organization.  Or at least, he strove to be one.  He was certainly more type A than my mother, who claimed to have places for things in piles on the dining room table.

I hear that voice in my head as I've started to bring things, little things, to our new house.  We're only moving 20 minutes away, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but on the other hand, the world is slowly tilting upside down.  Where will the cups go?  The plates?  How do these old things fit into this new (larger, but differently configured) space?

There is a closet that I know is right for a roasting pan, a footed cake server, our assortment of lesser-used small appliances.  There is only one really right space for dishes, so the silverware (it seems to me) goes in the drawer beneath them.  The mugs and glasses go on either side of the stove, and close to the sink.

And of course, the smaller questions mirror the bigger ones.  How will we fit, this old configuration into a new place?

Something old, something new.  A place for everything, and everything in its place.

It's a strange process, this imposition of order.  Every day the old house becomes imperceptibly less full.  Every day I live, for a few minutes, anyway, in the new house.

Someday, maybe it won't seem so new anymore; it will just be our house.

Rye Brownies
I've been making homemade brownies since grad school, when I realized how easy it was to melt chocolate and butter together.  When I started seeing recipes for rye brownies in my feed, I rolled my eyes.  Could they be better?  And yet, there's something appealing about them.  Earthy, chewy moist.  Something old, and yet also something new.

11 T. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes, more for greasing pan
10 ½ oz. bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70% cocoa), chopped
1 ½ c. rye flour
½ c. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
4 large eggs
1 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
1 T. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13" baking pan.

In the microwave, on half power, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring ever minute or so with a heatproof rubber spatula. Let cool.

In a separate bowl, whisk together rye flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

Beat eggs, granulated and brown sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Beat in flour mixture.

Transfer batter to prepared pan (it will be quite thick, not even really pourable) and smooth the top. Sprinkle with sea salt, if you like that sort of thing, and bake until brownies are mostly firm, but the tester still comes out with wet crumbs, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Serve or freeze.
Pin It


  1. This is the part of moving that kept me up. Initially I would find places for things, only to dwell on the fact that they weren't in their proper place. Then would begin the rearranging of the init arrangement. I'm still doing this and we are gong on month 4 in this new apartment.

    That said, there's that moment where you realize you've finally found the configuration that works. Where things finally have their place. And there's so much relief that comes in that settling.

    Congratulations on the new home and may moving result in everything finding its place very quickly.

  2. I love how your posts start out with childhood memories of your father. I really do.
    Congrats on the new (larger) home! As someone who recently doesn't matter if you *only* moved 20 minutes is still packing up your entire house, your entire Life, really, and then having to unpack it. It is daunting. So make sure to take a few minutes to breathe.
    I hope that one day soon it just becomes home.
    And that Brownie recipe sounds delicious! I make them homemade as well, but I have never heard of using Rye flour. A must try, thank you!

  3. As Facebook keeps reminding us that it's been a year now since we moved, my husband and I talked about whether or not the new house feels like 'home' yet. Sometimes it does. And sometimes I'm lost because our old house isn't home anymore at all.

  4. I think in some ways the short-distance moves are the hardest, because for a while you don't feel like you live in either place.

  5. Contemplating a move ourselves. I am not very good with change of any sort, let alone leaving our home of 26 years (!), but your post gives me comfort that wherever we go, it will eventually feel like home. Thank you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...