My uncle and his family arrived from England tonight to stay with other uncle, on their way to my sister's wedding. I had been working at the downtown library when I remembered that they were doing this and began the trip over to Prospect Park to meet them all for dinner. I arrived late, wearing my backpack and swim trunks, to find that they'd already almost finished. It was midnight their time and they were a bit bleary-eyed from travel, but, nonetheless, there was a story that I needed to tell them. A story which I need to tell you.

It is a story of brownies.

And it begins the last time I was together with these relatives, in Keswick, England. We had just finished a meal when my aunt Helen produced a pan of brownies. These were the sorts of brownies that were warm, moist, chocolatey, and delicious. We slathered them with cold double cream. They were wonderful! A week or so later, I was in Bristol and began to feel a craving for more.

But brownie mix isn't really a British thing. I hunted through store after store. Tesco, Sainsbury's, and other places with names I don't remember. None of them had it. I considered giving up, but, one day, there it was… next to the cereal… waiting. I plucked it from the shelf and walked speedily home across the Downs, only to discover that my kitchen didn't have a brownie pan!

So began another epic multi-week hunt for a pan of the right dimensions. It's hard when you're not sure where the appropriate stores are and when your price point is low. In the end, I found even this. I brought it home and went to the kitchen. Brownie mix? Yes. Pan? Yes. Milk? Yes. Eggs? EGGS? No.

So I got eggs, but procured them just as the milk ran out.

I got milk, but my dorm-mates used up the eggs.

I bought double cream and eggs, but had used up the milk… again.

I thought I'd have to leave the brownie mix and pan behind, but we unexpectedly had to bring another duffel bag along with us to Greenland. Seeing an opportunity to fulfill my dream, I packed the mix. And all was well, until we got to Heathrow and encountered baggage weight limits. Steve began digging through the bags seeing what could be got rid of when, suddenly, he pulled out the brownies and tin! Now, these alone were not sufficient to put us over the limit, but, when he tells this story, the brownies are the only heavy thing he remembers, and the clear culprits.
So, the brownies flew to Greenland with us, where I began amassing ingredients to bake them in KISS (Kangerlussuaq International Science Support). But, before I could finish, we left for the field camp. So I carried them in my backpack over many kilometers of trail and then pulled them in a tethered raft across the torrent of a glacial river. But the field camp didn't have eggs, so two weeks later I hauled them back.
But the food we'd left in KISS had been used. So, I carried the the brownies back into the plane and flew to Denmark.
Naturally, I didn't make brownies there. So, I flew with them to Greece… and then took a ferry with them to the islands.
They travelled several islands with me before joining me in meeting up with my friend Christine and travelling to her home in Larissa. It was there that I finally assembled the ingredients necessary. But I started making them late, and thus stayed up until two to make sure that they were taken care of. The next day they travelled north to Thessaloniki where I shared them with Christine's friend's family as a gift in exchange for an outing to the beach.

Each brownie was probably worth $20–30 at that point. But they sure tasted good!




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