The other night we had a party. It was a small party, only four people, and four very large, very fresh crabs that went into the hot pot kicking and screaming. There was lots of wine and laughter and conversation.
When our guests arrived one of them handed me a brown craft take-out box with a wide orange satin ribbon tied around it. "Just brownies," she said.
Just brownies, indeed. I couldn't wait.
When the meal was finished and we had lingered a bit over the last of the wine I opened the box. Inside were six very small, very dark, perfectly square brownies. These brownies were not deliciously lumpy homemade brownies. They were smooth, elegant, and sophisticated brownies. And they were rich, so rich that even I could not eat an entire one.
It turns out that one of our dinner guests works at Nopa, a fashionable San Francisco restaurant. Although she is not a pastry chef, she was able to acquire some of these magnificent brownies that are served alongside house made ice cream at the restaurant. It is hard to imagine that these brownies need any accompaniment at all. But I guess a simple dark brownie alone on a plate is a little austere, especially for the holidays.
Four whole days later, there is still one brownie and a half of another left to be eaten. M. has eaten a bite or two, but mostly it will be up to me to nibble away at a most fantastic gift.
These guests will be invited back someday very soon. And I will keep my fingers crossed that when they come, another simple brown box will make its way into my very thankful hands.