Pack up for spring break — brownies are best to take along
Spring break is coming up. Ohio schools all have their spring breaks within a six week period that starts in March and spills over into April.
I live in a community whose citizens scurry for the nearest wheeled or winged vehicle as soon as the final bell sounds on the day before vacation starts.
After having survived January and February, nine or 10 days away from a dress code, homework and regimented schedules looks like paradise to most students and their families.
Florida calls to lots of people from north of the Mason Dixon line. Up and down the southeast coast houses, cottages and hotel rooms on the ocean are booked a year in advance.
The mountains are another popular destination for the season’s last ski trip (or maybe the only one for this mild winter).
Of course, anywhere grandparents live is a destination point for lots of families.
With all that travel ahead we’d better review some of the rules that get us there and back with our sanity intact.
Leave everything clean and in place at home just in case “they” have to come in your house. If you decide to just stay in Jackson Hole or Hawaii and don’t come back, nobody will think ill of your housekeeping if all is in order.
Have your car checked over nose to tail. Have it washed and waxed. Never mind how it will look after you drive something like 360 miles. You’ll travel in style, be the envy of all your fellow road warriors and probably not get stuck in Pusilanimous, Wyoming because your car needed an oil change 10,000 miles ago.
Be sure your bills are caught up — that tip will save you from waking in the night in a strange bedroom in a blind panic as your remember the electric bill lying on the counter — oh, no.
Stop the newspaper or enlist a friend to pick it up daily — the mail, too. All the better to fool any burglar who might be scoping out your house.
Don’t forget to make arrangements for Cujo and Fluffy. See that they’re well cared for while you’re away, or somebody might bite you when you get back.
Last, but not least, remember my mother’s advice (spoken at least once during preparation for each and every trip): “Be sure you always wear clean underwear — you might get into an accident and have to go to the hospital.” I was never quite sure what one had to do with the other, but took the advice seriously anyway — mother knows best.
Get out of town for a day or a week or two during spring break.
To make a road trip across town or half way across the country more fun, pack a small cooler filled with some of the foods you love most. I plan to.
PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP BROWNIES
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour an 8 inch square baking pan.
- In a food processor or stand mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter. Beat in the sugar, then the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the mixture in the food processor or mixer and pulse on and off until dry ingredients are mixed in completely (about 5 seconds).
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven, place pan on a rack and cool completely. Cut into 16 squares.
- Makes 16 brownies.
Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.