A pan of brownies and a place to escape. That will keep any college student happy.
I used to think brownies were finicky to make, had expensive ingredients, and contained more sugar than the food police allowed. Then a friend gave me this recipe and it’s been my go to recipe for something quick and easy to take to group gatherings.
I should have made these when Marcie invited us to the Barn Dance. Instead, I tried to use up some apples and made applesauce bars that didn’t turn out so well. My brownies would have been the failsafe thing to bring.
Marcie owns this 100-year-old large, airy barn that’s been renovated and updated several times in its long life. Every year, Marcie invites college students from the nearby University campus ministry group to come out for an evening of goodies, hot apple cider, and line dancing. This group of kids is great. They set up, enjoy themselves for the evening, and tear down. A small group even came out a week beforehand to help Marcie move furniture.
Marcie reminds me of Betty. When my daughter attended Ohio State University, Betty invited students from the campus ministry and her Sunday School class to a bonfire at her country home several times. They would roast hot dogs, make s’mores, and sing around the campfire. Other times, Betty would invite a group of college girls out to her home.They would pick apples at a nearby farm then return to Betty’s home where Betty taught them how to make apple pie.
“How old is this Sunday School class?” I asked my daughter.
“Oh Betty’s age.”
I got suspicious. “How old is Betty?”
“Probably in her seventies.” Uh huh. Wow. This is the lady whom, Christine tells me, goes on short term mission trips to Nicaragua and Zimbabwe.
The students loved going out to Betty’s house. It was a relief to get away from the compact, claustrophobic campus into the fresh open air of the country. Mingling with the older people was a good reminder of the real world, a world made up of more generations than just college aged students. As they sat around the fire, the older generation would share their wisdom and advice with the young adults.
How memorable. How meaningful. All it takes is a willing hostess no matter how old she might be, a meeting place, and a couple pans of brownies, some apple cider and maybe a few hot dogs. Or let the kids bring the food. They’ll just be happy you asked them to come.
MY BEST BROWNIES
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, melted
2 cups flour
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup nuts
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 10×15 jelly roll pan. Beat the sugar and eggs together. Add butter, flour, cocoa, vanilla, and nuts: beat well. Pour into greased pan, spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges start to pull away. Do NOT overbake! Cool in pan ten minutes; cut into squares and remove from pan.