"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.
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.