Yesterday I went to an auction in Sun City, a perfect Mother's Day activity if you are in the mood to look for a green depression glass cake plate on the (hopefully) cheap. There's always treasure found amongst the box lots, whether it be Coca-Cola glasses from a past promotion or a red store scale with a candy scoop and ALL of its weights.
But before I even stepped foot on the asphalt of this collectibles wonderland, I spied a file card on a small square of ground outside the establishment's fence. Could it be that a recipe card had survived the fray that happens at the close of each week's auction? People toss stuff out from their bounty, eager to grab their treasure and to forget the rest. In their haste to rush home to list findings on Craig's List or ebay, things fall, blow, and otherwise make their way to the next life via dumpsters and the elements.
In short order I was close enough to see that the little card was NOT blank, and it beckoned me with the word "brownies." I looked the card over from a speculative height. No creases, no stains, and, remarkably, no weather damage. A small smudge at the top looked pretty innocent. It was if it had been dropped there just for me, a mid-century set of instructions for succulent dessert: Apple Orange Brownies.
I bent and picked it up, still wondering about its weeklong and other travels. Then I decided with the speed of an experienced bidder not to let it get away. It was a treasure. To preserve it, I stuffed it among papers in my purse and walked like a satisfied winner to claim my bid card for the day's activities behind the fence.
The dear lady who wrote the recipe out did not sign her name or give a source, just left behind a most tempting set of ingredients and easy directions. She might have been writing it out for her own daughter or a niece. It is written in the mid-century style of my mother, my aunts, and yes, even me who learned to love the craft that once went along with everything we did. Things like handwriting out a recipe in pencil on a single file card, both sides filled to capacity with everything you need to know. It it's not there, you should have been paying more attention in the kitchen when it was cooked in front of you, after all.
So, from me to you, here is a treasured Mother's Day find, delivered in the most modern of ways via my blog, but with the grace and good taste of a 1950s mom.
Apple Orange Brownies
2/3 cup margarine
2 cups brown sugar
1 - 8 oz. can (1 cup) applesauce
1 tbsp grated orange peel
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking soda
Melt butter or margarine, remove from heat.
Add brown sugar, stir till blended, cool.
Beat in applesauce, eggs, orange peel and vanilla.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and soda.
Stir into applesauce mixture.
Stir in nuts.
Spread in greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 48 brownies
Of course, you know she means Farenheit. What you don't know is that along with the recipe, the red scale with all the weights, the green cake plate and a perfect set of White Rotary sewing machine attachments in a black tin came home with me, too. Not so cheap, but I had already won the best thing at the auction before I even walked in: a good story.