Thursday, June 12, 2014

Anniversary Picnic

We here at Narc Ex HQ had a wedding anniversary this week, our first living abroad. We were faced with the same gift-giving challenge we tackled earlier this Spring during our birthday season. We don't have the space for large gifts, and even small gifts given out here will have to be dragged back across the Atlantic when we move again in a few years. 

We went again to our go-to space saving gift to each other- food. This time, we were going to have a cheap but delicious picnic dinner, if the weather cooperated with us.

Sara and I wanted a very American dessert, tastier and more portable than any cake: brownies. These dense, chewy, chocolatey treats would be the first we've had since moving to Dublin. No, there aren't instant brownie mixes available at the supermarket here, but we had the flour, sugar, and cocoa to make it happen.

Brownie Ingredients
Brownie Ingredients

Add the Dry to the Wet, Right? Making brownies
Add the Dry to the Wet, Right?
Cooling Brownie-Cake on a wire rack
Cooling Brownie-Cake

Mixing Frosting for brownies
Mixing Frosting

Don't Call it a Chocolate Cake, it's a large, round, frosted brownie
Don't Call it a Chocolate Cake

We didn't have a square pan, so I used our round cake pan, but these were definitely brownies- much too dense and chewy for a cake. Brownies are traditionally frosted in the (square) pan, but I had extra frosting and wanted these guys to be portable, so I frosted it like a cake for cutting and transport.

And transport we did. We went to a nice park on the River Dodder to enjoy our dinner. We had a salad, some cheese, a selection of cured meats (very continental), brownies, and of course a bottle of homemade apple cider.

The rain stayed away from our picnic, even if unleashed dogs did not. It was hard to believe the temperature was so cool in June. The last few anniversaries in Iowa had been spent in blazing sunshine and early summer humidity. After a great picnic, we enjoyed a pleasant walk home in the late night high latitude sunshine.

The best part? We made it through the anniversary without spending much money and without some lame gift made of copper and/or wool, the traditional gifts of this anniversary. I'll chalk that up as a victory!

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