BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

You’re Capable of More Than You Think

A plate of brownies topped with powdered sugar

I have no skills in the kitchen.

In my single days, I was competent enough to keep myself fed.

I’d dump some Ragu over the pasta I’d boiled, or sprinkle pepper on my George Foreman-grilled chicken.

But these concoctions were far more edible than they were enticing.

And I wouldn’t dare serve them to anybody else.

But now, there is one thing I’ve mastered that I’m happy, if not eager, to share:

Brownies.

A few years ago, I wanted to make something to surprise my then-girlfriend (and now-wife) for a special occasion.

I was all set to buy whatever Duncan Hines mix looked appealing — mainly because there were directions on the box — when my mom intervened.

She told me the brownies I’d been enjoying my whole life, the ones she and my grandmother have always made, were the result of a simple recipe — a recipe that even I could recreate.

I was skeptical, if not outright dismissive. She’d clearly never had anything off my George Foreman.

But I decided to give it a shot. What did I have to lose? I was just as likely to screw up the box’s instructions as I was my mother’s.

The risk was worth the reward.

And, as it turned out, the reward was indeed worth the risk.

The brownies were phenomenal — rich, moist, fudge-like.

Spectacular.

I couldn’t believe I’d made them.

But I’ve been making them ever since, every chance I get.

The lesson(s)?

You’re capable of more than you think you are.

And your mother’s always right.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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