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Peanut Butter Brownies

My mother was a stay-at-home mom when my brother and I were growing up. Many of my friends had parents that were divorced, so both parents worked.

I liked the security of knowing that she was there if I needed her. There was never any doubt.

I did not expect her to sit at home and wait for my call. Please, that is ridiculous.

But I liked knowing that she would be home when I got there. I liked the days when I could smell the popcorn she had made for an after school snack before I opened the front door.

Inside there would be warm, freshly popped popcorn and Tropical Punch Kool Aid. The stuff that dreams are made of when you are a kid.

She watched all the Afterschool Specials with us. Then she would drive us, in a crazy running-late flurry, to swimming practice. On the way to the tennis bubble they had placed over the pool, we would discuss whatever the topic had been on the Afterschool playhouse.

It seems unbearably corny now (no pun intended), but I had a wonderful childhood.

My mother was the kind of mother that volunteered at school. She baked Peanut Butter Brownies to sell at our swim meets. She went on our field trips with each of our classes.

I always wanted to be that kind of a mother. I want my children to feel that safe, that sure of things, that confident. I hope that I provide that safety net. They are so little and the world is such a dangerous place. It is hard to be there all of the time.

As I tiptoed into Baby C's room to take a picture of her sleeping in a bed for the second night in a row, I thought about how lucky I am. I have everything I ever wanted, in the palm of my hand.

I am truly blessed.

Peanut Butter Brownies

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, whatever floats your boat)
1/2 cup shortening
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped cocktail peanuts (optional)

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream sugar, peanut butter, shortening, eggs, vanilla thoroughly.

Add the blended flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Stir in chocolate chips and peanuts.

Spread in well-greased 9x13-inch pan.

Bake at 350˚for 30-35 minutes.

Cut into bars while still warm. Cool in pan.

Or, you can wait a while and eat them while they are still warm. Scoop some vanilla ice cream on top and you have a fancy dessert that your kids will love.

Yield...3 dozen bars.

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Oatmeal Cookies