My friend Nancy is a skilled story teller.She brings people from days gone by to life through her extensive research, and has a gift for sharing their stories with passion and empathy. She is teaching a course on the biographies of remarkable people this semester. In last week's class, she gave a session on Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. She shared the story of the notorious Hashish Brownies.
Alice was asked to submit recipes for a cookbook, but as the deadline for submission approached, the publishers were demanding more. She reached out to her friends and asked for help and many complied. Some believe that when she reviewed the recipes, she might not have been aware of the impact of the feature ingredient in the brownies. Hmm.
When her collection of recipes was reviewed in the United States, the brownie recipe didn't make the cut, but in England it was published along with the others. There are reports that it has been used a time or two over the years.
In last week's class, Nancy continued with more information on Gertrude, Alice and their eclectic group of now world renowned artists and writers, including Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce,. As she wove her tales of this fascinating era, she passed around napkins from one of her trips to Paris. Without pause or comment, she opened a container filled with brownies. We smiled graciously and simply said thank you. No one asked.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
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