Last weekend I didn’t attend either of the two different food blogger conferences in Atlanta and Washington, DC. Clearly, that was a BIG mistake on my part, since I’ve been working for days on this one little post. Sure, I skimmed the live tweets during the sessions, glanced over the live blogs for any key tidbits of never-fail blogging how-to secrets that would catapult me into the big leagues in one easy step. And, while I did read some terrific post-mortem summaries from bloggers I adore, I’m sitting here typing and deleting, typing and deleting. Typing. Deleting.
I’m trying for the life of me to figure out how to share one of my favorite brownie recipes with you. A double decker espresso-infused fudgey brownie sandwiching a silky smooth ganache making it even more outrageous. It’s not writing the recipe that has me stymied. It’s the the fact that this crave-worthy treat may never see the internet light of day because of three little dirty words.
Search. Engine. Optimization. It might as well be called the shackles of cyberspace thanks to the new Google recipe search algorithm that’s systematically ranking recipes based on a ranking system fueled by some kind of undemocratic system that gives preferential treatment to recipes you might not ever want from sources you might not know and trust.
Feeling like Charlie Brown, doomed before I even push publish, I’m sure this little recipe won’t reach more than 12 people. Let’s not kid ourselves…google the words ‘brownie recipe’ and see how many gazillions you get. This one will be on the last page of ‘search’. That is, IF there’s a last page of ‘search’.
And, then there’s the photography. I’ll just leave that one alone.* I can feel my numbers plummeting and I haven’t even posted the recipe!!!! For this reason alone, I’m not going to compose a casual lineup of the usual brownie ingredients that you’ve seen countless times before, We all know there’s nothing I can do to a photo of butter, chocolate, white and brown sugar, eggs, instant espresso and flour except make you avert your eyes.
In a giant leap of faith, I’m going to post this recipe for the 12 people who might have the tenacity of Diogenes to search and search and search. I promise if you try it, you’ll see why it’s ranked number 1 in my own overflowing brownie file.
And, I’ll go to a blogger conference and work hard to up my game.
Here’s how I flip the brownies out of the pan.
*Say a prayer for Penny De Los Santos, who’ll be a guest speaker at Big Summer PotLuck 2.
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Long ago, before streaming Netflix, before YouTube and UStream, before thousands of cable channels and even Betamax, we had plain old TV. Three major networks, plus, what my brother and I called the ‘foreign channels’ (local Baltimore affiliates) and a couple of PBS or, ‘educational channels’.
No muss, no fuss, just black and white TV shows on a small screen. When I was very small, we only had one set, too, for a while. We survived. There wasn’t much choice, either, considering there wasn’t enough programming to fill, in many cases, 12 hours of the day, much less 24. But it was marvelous. News anchors read from written scripts, not teleprompters. Meteorologists scribbled smiling suns and angry rain clouds on erasable maps! I would take a roll of Life Saver candies, push the foil wrapped candies up from their multi-colored paper cover and pretend it was my microphone, while imitating what I thought I heard coming through the airwaves: ”President Eisenhower had a heart attack on the golf course today”. Funny what a four year old picks up, isn’t it?
The point is, I’m pretty sure the television is the 20th century invention that has had the most profound effect on my life.
While glued to my beloved Miss Frances on Ding Dong School, I learned how to make noodles. In gradeschool, we anxiously watched astronauts like Alan Sheppard and John Glenn catapulted into space for short trips around the earth. History was made before our eyes in 1963 when an already shocked nation watched JFK’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, get shot to death during what was supposed to be a routine prison transfer. In the 1970′s, The Louds gave us permission to watch “An American Family” as we saw a marriage and a family fall apart in real time on the first and best reality show. David Susskind was an innovative benchmark of talk show hosts, interviewing anyone and everyone from Nikita Khrushchev to Andy Warhol and his Factory’s Superstars. The list goes on.
A lot of years have passed since then, and countless hours of great, good and awful TV. Some of manufactured, much of it real. The only thing that’s changed is the film quality and the speed at which we demand and receive this stimuli.
In the past seven days, we gathered before this invaluable, magical machine and watched two polar opposite, but history changing events occur within roughly 72 hours of each other: the Royal Wedding and the announcement that US Special Ops killed Public Enemy #1, Osama Bin Laden. These events knocked me in the head and reminded me how spoiled I am by this technology. How I take for granted that at any time, day or night, I can flick the switch and am entertained, educated or exasperated, depending on what channel I’m passing by.
There’s something oddly poetic about the fact that this was the week I had an order of TV sets to do for a young anchorman in Texas celebrating his 25th birthday. Timing is everything, isn’t it?
Television, I personally want to take this time to say thank you. Your influence has helped me become the person I am today…whatever that means.
TV, I made you your own cookie. It’s my way of saying thanks.
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