Soothing Sweets



dessert brownies

A special dessert for soon-to-be graduates

By Liz Gastiger and Kevin

When I last wrote an article for The Voice, it was with the excitement of Derby in mind. While the date of Derby has changed, my excitement for the race has not. With faith and determination, we will see another Kentucky Derby and I’m predicting that the coming Derby events will make for one of the most heartfelt season’s that anyone has ever seen.

Obviously, the world is going through some lifestyle changes and reckoning with a monumental new health issue. Health problems and world problems in life are nothing new to us. The difference here and the good news is that in a world of high-speed, international travel, the rapid spread of a contagious health problem can become predictable in the future to implement prevention. We all know the old adage stating what “makes us stronger.” Well, many of us live by that adage, and many who have lived through something threatening know it well.

I’ve seen the need to help people, especially the young, understand that the world has gotten through big disruptions like this before and it will again. The world will come together in honest, deeply felt conversations as before. Most people embrace a constructive voice to overcome the destructive rant.

Reassurance and reality could be the key words to remember in daily life. Reassure all folks you meet that we’ll get through this while acknowledging the reality of the lifestyle adjustments that we need to protect each other. The reality is that contagious healthy carriers could infect the already sick who are seriously vulnerable. I try to reassure the concerned young who must delay or miss many of life’s normal events that we’ve already had. Young people who had a graduation, wedding, new job, new relocation have their lives on hold for an indefinite time. They don’t have a perspective on this present day disruption. On the other hand, my husband Kevin and I have called our parents to make sure they aren’t doing something crazy with a cavalier attitude.

Recently, I’ve got to know a couple of fine, young yet unnerved college students who continue their courses online, heading toward this summer’s graduation ceremony that isn’t happening for them. Their belongings and memorabilia are captive at school. They’ve thought about the thrill of graduation, moving to an exciting new locale, a new job, and new friends. While the anticipation of these prospects can be stressful in good times, they are compounded in these times. However, we’ll be giving them every reassurance that these times will pass and the reality that they will have a family graduation party after that last online course and final exam is finished. So, here’s a recipe to cheer the young graduate in your life. V

Chocolate Chip Brownies

Ingredients – 

5 cups chocolate chips
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
¼ cup milk
4 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Directions –

Reserve two and a half cups of chocolate chips for later. Combine remaining chips, sugar, butter, vanilla and milk and melt in a bowl over boiling water. Cool before adding eggs. Beat eggs into cooled mixture one at a time. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to chocolate mixture. Add reserved chips.

Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan and bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until core temperature reaches 200 degrees. Let cool and cut into small squares.

Variations – 

Exchange half of regular chips for white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips or butterscotch chips for a fun change.
Add one teaspoon almond extract and sliced almonds to the mixture for a nutty treat.

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