My Grandma Rhees was known for many wonderful things - and one of them was her homemade brownies. They are more cake-like and the frosting is really the best part of them. About a year before she died - she told me that sometimes - she just used a cake mix and didn't go to the trouble of making them from scratch. So for the few times I have made them in the last few years - I just used a cake mix. And they were good. My kids loved them. People we had for dinner loved them.
But today - I had some buttermilk on hand and I made the recipe from scratch. And they were so much better. As I ate a chilled one over the kitchen sink, tears flowed and the memories of Grandma's Brownies filed through my brain. I never actually saw Grandma make the brownies - they were just always there when we arrived - waiting for us on the back porch on top of the dryer. Usually 2 large trays of them. One with pecans in the frosting and one without. I liked the ones without.
During my college years - Grandma's house was a place of refuge. If I needed to study, or get away from drama or cry over a relationship - I would go to Grandma's. I talked to her about everything. She knew what I was excited about - she knew my disappointments - she knew my friends. She knew me. And she loved me no matter what. The brownies today reminded me of that.