Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some mistakes are good, and this recipe proves there’s nothing wrong with change.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are a lot of versions of Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Mine started with the original Tollhouse recipe that got changed by a mistake, and then later brought in some ideas from other recipes.

Author: mikeh
Ingredients
  • 350 grams flour (2.25+ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbs Corn Starch
  • 225 grams Butter (1 cup) softened
  • 200 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
  • 250 grams packed brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 400 grams Chocolate (whatever type you want) Coarsely Chopped
  • 1 cup chopped nuts Optional
Instructions
Prepare
  1. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt and corn starch in small bowl.

  2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  3. Gradually beat in flour mixture. 

  4.  Stir in morsels and nuts. 

Use a dark cookie sheet if you use butter
  1. I've made this recipe with Crisco shortening and double-layer/insulated cookie sheets and it worked fine. But when I switch to butter they spread out more, and were much thinner. After a tip to try single layer, dark, they went back to normal - the dark pan transferred the heat quicker so that they set properly.

Get Ready to Bake - choose one based on how patient you are
  1. In a hurry?  

    1.  Drop by rounded tablespoon 2-3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

  2. Want a better result?  Are your cookies spreading out too much?

    1.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Now pick up each one and roll it into a nice ball - doesn't have to be perfect.  

    2.  Now place into the refrigerator for about 2 hours so they are all a consistent temperature.

    3.  When 2 or more hours have passed (or you loose your patience, transfer from the refrigerator to new baking sheets and bake at normal temperature and length of time.

    4. You can also freeze the balls in a container or ziploc bag and take them out when you want to use them.

  3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Recipe Notes

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. * May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

Børse-Gunner

Børse Gunner – Blacksmith, Marksman, and slayer of terrifying beasts.

Børse-Gunner A Legendary Blacksmith

No one who has lived near Sperillen is as legendary as “Børse-Gunner” (pronounced “Bursh-eh” Goon-er; translated Gun-Gunner). He had a reputation as a blacksmith without equal and bear hunter with supernatural abilities. As time went by, Børse-Gunner transformed from man to myth. Today he is remembered mostly for something he never did – killing two sea serpents.

It was the summer of 1851 that he emigrated to America. Shortly after that, all traces of Børse-Gunner ended – for now. He earned his living as a blacksmith and his specialty was long guns – rifles and shotguns – hence the nickname. His long guns were remarkable because they were unusually accurate – no one could make an equal. Børse-Gunner forged three types of long guns: shotguns, small bore bird guns, and large-caliber big game rifles. Legend also has it that forged an unusually large rifle when he shot that first monster which was heading towards Sperillen.

Besides firearms he would accept all types of blacksmith work and forged anything required, from hammers to locks. As the village blacksmith, he travelled to farms surrounding the northern part of Sperillen and could stay from months to years at each place. With him, Børse-Gunner brought the necessary tools – the customers provided the metal that was needed for the forge and the supplies he needed for living as well as hunting and shooting.  Hunting brought him both food and shooting prizes.

Børse-Gunner was not like most hunters. Not only did he track and find prey himself, but he also had a gun that shook when it was close to big game. When the shaking happened he would put his work down and run into the forest, only to return shortly after with his prey.

The Official Sources

There is little information from official, written sources about him, but those that exist are important to setting the timeline of his life and setting the scene.

Børse-Gunner was born 31 May 1817 at Langbraatan, which was then a part of the farm “Nes in Aadal.” He was baptized in Viker church on 5 August the same year and named Gunder Ellensen.  His parents were Elen Gundersen Neseie (Langbraatan) and Gunhild Gulbrandsdatter Blakstvedt.

On 16 September 1838 Gunner was confirmed in Viker Church – when he was 21 years old – which was quite unusual since it was almost six years later than what was common.

In 1844 he was using the name Gunder Ellensen Rustand of Viker and was married on 20 July that year to his second cousin, Gunhild Olsdatter Blakstvedt, from Gunvaldsstua, born on 8 November 1820.  On 19 October 1844 Gunhild gave birth to a daughter at Rustand. They knew something was not right and had her baptized immediately. The baby girl was named Gunhild and died seven hours after birth.

The next two children born to Børse-Gunner and Gunhild were Ole, born 14 February 1846, and Elling, born 17 June 1848.  Both sons entered life at Rustan. Their next daughter, Kjersti is reported to have been born at Rustaneie on 14 March 1851.

Contracts and receipts from his workshow that Børse-Gunner lived on these farms:

Braaten (Langbraatan) in 1817,

Nesmoen in 1838 and 1839

Ramberget in 1842

Rustand 1844, 1846 and 1848

Rustaneie in 1851,

The family lived on Neseie, probably Langbraaten, when the family registered the start of their emigration on 12 May 1851.

It’s believed he also lived at Blakstvedt, but there are no officially recorded details of that stay.

Enlarge

gradteigtr_f33-aust_1918
Sperillen Map

The Blacksmith

Both tales and legends that were passed down in writing or through word of mouth give the details that the church records can’t provide – the information of how he lived his life.

What he left behind shows three sides of Børse-Gunner – blacksmith, marksman, and hunter.  Of the blacksmith and the marksman the story is told: “Gunner also stayed here at Nesmoen for a while. My father told a story: “We had a blacksmith’s hammer that wasn’t very good. I was with Gunner in the smithy and we didn’t have a good supply of iron, but there was a box that the nails were thrown in when shoeing horses. Gunner forged a blacksmith’s hammer out of these nails, and it was a really good hammer.””

Gudbrand Nesmoen

Enlarge

BorseGunnerSmithy
The smithy Børse-Gunner used at Rustan
is still there today.
Photo by: Torbjørn Røberg

A blacksmith forging a hammer is normally not memorable, but the way he did out of scrap nails is. In addition to something as basic as a hammer, it’s said that he forged padlocks. The farms’ smithies were available to him where he lived and worked. In the bookkeeping ledgers of Vassenden in the period 1839-1842 and 1843-1868, Gunner is recorded taking on jobs for farms. He forged when he received orders – everything from scythes, rifle barrels and even a pistol. To make the rifling in the barrels, he used a special grinding stone to which he attached specially made equipment.  The farmer then pulled the stone through the barrel while Børse-Gunner made sure everything went correctly.  And finally the gun would be shot to sight it in. The following incident tells of the sighting in and accuracy, as well as his marksmanship skills: “Børse-Gunner lived at Rustan for a long period because he had to forge multiple barrels. Here on the farm it’s told that when he was finished with a rifle he would shoot it to set the sights. He put a matchbox on the roof of the smithy – he always put something there when he should set the sights – then walked 100 meters away and fired – and the matches lit and left only ashes on the smithy roof.”

Ole Rustan

From Bergsund there are also rumors about Børse-Gunner’s shooting skills. Once when Børse-Gunner was at Rustan a sparrow flew down and sat the smithy roof. He sat and chatted with a man who was there and both saw the bird. The doubtful man wanted Børse-Gunner to prove that he was as good a marksman as people wanted to believe and challenged him to shoot the sparrow. Børse-Gunner fired and the bird fell. “Lucky shot,” said man. Shortly after another sparrow landed on the smithy roof.  Børse-Gunner reloaded and fired, hitting that sparrow as well. “That was two damn lucky shots,” said the man.

Trond Bergsund

The Bear Hunter

Besides being a marksman, Børse-Gunner was also a skilled bear hunter. As with stories of several other bear hunters, he also killed seven bears.

This number reflects a more magical number than simply the number of bears he killed. How many animals he really killed is not really known, but there are three different stories about his hunts. He also received the prize from the sheriff in Aadal – possibly for shooting a bear.  It is also said that he shot bears in Vassfaret with Per Goplerud, Elling Goplerud’s father. With these cases, the stories may overlap.

In southern Ramberget where he lived, multiple bear skulls were hung. One or more of them were supposedly shot by him. “Gunner stayed in Ramberget for some time. While he was there he shot a bear on Blakstvedtaasen. He took the bear with him and rowed it over the fjord, and when he came back to Ramberget, we went up and asked one of the young boys to go down to the boat and get the “grouse” that was in it.”

Gudbrandsdølen Nesmoen

This is one story Mikkjel Fønhus writes more fully about. “Father thought Gunner had a type of sixth sense, that he knew where there were bears. One Pentecost day, Gunner became uneasy and went in and out repeatedly, until he finally took his rifle down from the wall. Father said: “Let the animal go in peace, Gunner, it’s Pentecost. ” But Gunner was upset and left, and before dinner he came again and he had shot a bear.”

Gudbrand Nesmoen

Enlarge

BorseGunnerRock
The original author on Børse-Gunner's Rock on
Veslefjell east of Treknatten.
Photo by: Torbjørn Røberg

Life as a bear hunter was not without danger, and once it was almost deadly. Børse-Gunner Rock is a boulder, just over one and a half meters high, which stands on three other smaller stones. The rock is shaped like an egg and sits at the edge of a cliff with the tip pointing towards the valley – it is impossible to go around. Once when Børse-Gunner was hunting, he managed to shoot and injure, but not kill the bear. When the bullet hit, the bear became furious and chased Børse-Gunner who saved himself by climbing up on this stone. The bear tried to reach him, but the rage that consumed the beast caused the bear to not notice the cliff, which caused him to fall off the cliff and die from the fall.  After this event the boulder was given the name “Børse-Gunner Rock.”

The author on the Børse-Gunner stone on Veslefjell, east of Treknatten. (Photo: Torbjørn Røberg)

Erik Brekke

The last story brings us closer to Børse-Gunner than the first in that it more honestly talks about a failed hunt and a dangerous ending.  The incident shows that his renowned perfection as a marksman did not always hold true.

Sea Serpents

The legends about the sea serpents have, unlike the other stories, allowed fantasy to run free about Børse-Gunner’s abilities. These stories are what he is most remembered for in modern times. For each storyteller who can tell about him as a bear hunter there must be ten who can tell a sea serpent tale. There are many variations of these tales and everyone and their brother has additional details about what happened. To tell two of the most complete and illustrate the variations of the same tale, three versions of the same tales follow:

Sea Serpent in Abbortjern I (Perch Pond)

During the 1840s, two sea ​​serpents were shot in Aadalen, one in Sperillen and one in Abbortjern, about one kilometer west of Wasenden. The sea serpent in Abbortjern came from Randsfjord – from Bjoneroa it had followed Bjonelva to the eastern Bjone Lake. From there it continued upstream a bit before it left the water and went on land.  As it travelled over land it made huge ruts in the ground, and trees snapped like matchsticks where it came through. It’s said that clear traces of the ruts could be seen for many years afterwards.  The sea serpent settled in Abbortjern, and there fed on both sheep and goats until it became a serious nuisance to people in and around Wasenden and Aadalen. Because of this, Aadalens strong-man, Gun-Gunder, was sent to kill the beast. Gunder forged a powerful gun of 10-12 pieces of metal. With his gun, a goat as bait, and a rope, he went up to the pond. Here he tied the goat to a tree, climbed up the same tree and sat down to wait. When the serpent came to eat the goat, he shot it in the center of its chest.

It’s said that he aimed at a kind of shining star on its chest and when it was hit by the bullet there was a commotion without equal.  The pond was stained as red as the evening sun from blood and overflowed its banks.”

Anders Hurum

Sea Serpent in Abbortjert II

This legend is similar to the first, but here it is at a different Abbortjern – one a bit further south towards Rustan.  In this version other details were given more focus. The legend says that on one occasion, a sea serpent crept up on land and wriggled himself to Abbortjern, where Børse-Gunner tracked and shot it. After the serpent received it’s killing shot there was so much blood in the pond the water was completely colored red, and this is the reason why char in this pond have such red meat – the reddest that can be found.

Trond Berg Sund

The Sperillen Sea Serpent

“Legend has it two huge sea serpents came into Vangsmjøsen in the upper part of Aadalen. They had probably come over Filefjell from the Sognefjord.  They wanted to continue and came into the Benga river through the fjords.  One of them met it’s death in the waterfalls in South Aurdal, and the water was stained with blood for several days afterwards.   The second serpent saw what happened to his companion and it went on land to bypass the falls.  In its journey it scraped the bark off of trees and bushes along the river.  It then went back to the river and followed the Begna River to Fjøsvika by Sperillen.  By now it was tired and went ashore and went into the summer barn at Fjøsvika.  In this barn there were 10 sections – 9 stalls on each of the sides, but the sea serpent was so long that it had to place one loop of his huge body into every stall, and even then laid its head and tail on doorstep.

Rifle-smith Gunder was the name of a good marksman.  He got a twitch in his arm and his rifle vibrated when it was near big game to hunt.  When this happened he had to kill his prey or else he could not settle down.

The day the sea serpent came, his arm jerked so hard he thought it would be torn out of its socket.    He took his rifle that he had used to shoot the sea serpent at Bjoneskogen and went out because he knew there was a beast in the area.  The strong jerking of his arm pulled him towards the summer barn at Fjøsvika.  As he got close that he saw barn and immediately stopped.  In the open barn door he saw the enormous sea serpent head.  The serpent rolled its large eyes and looked at him.  Gunder aimed and fired. As the bullet hit the serpent in the head, its body jerked so hard that the entire barn was demolished and collapsed into a heap.  After that event, the smith never had twitching in his arm again.”

Kirsten Bergsrud, Aftenposten no. 7, 1960

The Emigrant

A story is told that when Børse-Gunner lived at Baathusmyra (Myra) by Begna he aimed at a duck swimming on the stream, but the sights had not be set properly yet. He missed and the bullet ricocheted on the surface of the water and hit his daughter who died. After this happened he was beside himself for several years.

There is no evidence that he lost a daughter under such circumstances.  His daughter Gunhild died at childbirth, and presumably this incident is the basis of the story.

Either way, life was not easy. To be a rifle-smith in Aadal must have had its limits for earning a wage, even for a highly skilled smith and a good hunter as well. Since he had a family with three children, he had increased responsibilities. Børse-Gunner and his family did like many Norwegians; they sought happiness in a country where the fields lay unploughed as far as the eye could see and anyone that wanted it could get land.  America offered greater opportunities for an enterprising man like him. So in 1851, Børse-Gunner emigrated to the west along with several other people from Aadalen, many of them settling into the same town in Iowa.

The last that is known of the family from public records is that Børse-Gunner reported emigration to America for himself, Gunhild, and the three children on 20 May 1851. The emigrant ship “Sjafna” set sail from Bragernes (Drammen) and arrived in New York 21 July 1851.  In the passenger list on arrival we find Børse-Gunner, Gunhild and two children, but not Elling. It is not known if he died on crossing, or if it is it a mistake in the logging of passengers.

At the immigration office in America all tracks initally disappeared, but new information has come to light. Børse-Gunner and Gunhild Olsdatter were found in Rock County, Wisconsin, where their son Gulbrand was born 24 September 1853, and daughter Gunhild Marie 22 May 1855. But in 1860, they were no longer found in Wisconsin. It has not been possible to find them in other places either.

It’s here the saga of Børse-Gunner could have ended, if it were not for a letter to Ole Haraldsen Wasenden from Anders Nilsen Wasenden, postmarked Johnsrud (Mitchell County, Iowa, USA) on 12 July 1872, found in the attic at Vassenden. The letter reads: “About the biggest building I have heard of was the smithy of Gunder Borse Smith.  It was so big that if you had the best binoculars that were ever made you wouldn’t be able to see the walls or roof – you know the ground it was built on was very flat. ”

Anders Nilsen Wasenden, 1872

This is the last that is known of Børse-Gunner. Where they eventually settled and what happened to him, Gunhild and children remains unknown.

Interpretation

In folklore a blacksmith was given supernatural capabilities. And in addition, the bear hunter had a high standing in the community. To become a bear hunter required both strength and courage, not to mention being cunning enough to outwit it.  The fabled bear hunter Børse-Gunner additionally had a gun that shook and he even became excited when there was big game nearby.  This made him no less mystical.

That Børse-Gunner was commemorated 150 years after he emigrated to America and is linked to the mighty sea serpent tales, gives witness of a great personality. The story of when he killed a bear and asked the boys to retrieve “the grouse” he had shot, also speaks to a flippant personality. This was also reflected in the letter from Anders Nilsen Wasenden where he speaks of Børse-Gunner.

Exaggerations seems to have followed his footsteps. Børse-Gunner was apparently a very likeable guy, and when he left Aadalen, was he missed. People remembered him, talking about him and his accomplishments. His own flippant understatements became their exaggerations.

Børse-Gunner has left a lasting mark around Sperillen and he has also found his way to bookshelves. Shaking guns, ricochets with fatal outcomes, and bear hunts by cliffs are familiar designs by Mikkjel Fønhus. The books are read, the tales are told, and the rifles hang on the walls.  Even places in the mountains carry the memory of his life and work.

Sources

Source titles have been translated for English readers.  Original Norwegian source text follows.

Oral Sources: Trond Bergsund, Anders Hurum, Ole Rustan, Erik Brekke, Gudbrand Brekke, Wilhelm Elsrud og Tom Brenne, Double or Nothing winner on Mikkjel Fønhus in NRK

Written sources: Konrad Pettersen, 2000: Transcribed bookkeeping ledger from 1839 – 1843, belonged to Ole Haraldsen Wasenden, and a letter to him from his brother

Anders Nilsen Wasenden, postmarked Johnsrud (Mitchell County, Iowa, USA)

12 July 1872, private books.

Written tale from Anders Hurum. Gudbrand Nesmoen, hand written book, 25 April 1933, private ownership.

Eigil Elsrud, 2000: Information gathered in genealogy research about Børse-Gunner in church books in Norway and USA, private papers.

Edvard Elsrud, 1975: The Vassfar bear. Grønddal.

Eiliv Odde Hauge, 1960. Aftenposten, nr. 7: About a remarkable rifle and new information about the sea serpent.

The rifle that killed the sea serpent at Bjoneskogen: Undated and unnamed article.

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1917: Norwegian hunting and fishing association magazine, (issue 2: 91-95).

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1978: New novels and stories, Seventh Forest Farm by Espa River, H. Aschehoug & Co. (W. Nygaard).

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1988: Reindeep at Jotun Mountain and other stories. Aschehoug.

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1998: The Troll Moose and other stories. Aschehoug.

About the Author: Torbjørn Røberg (born 1967) is an archeologist and works as an advisor in the Norwegian Nature Protection Association (Norges Naturvernforbund). He has earlier gathered folk tales from Borgund and Laerdal that are published in the book Bergteken – new paths to old legends published by the Norsk Folkeminnelag.

In last year’s publication of the Ringerike booklet he wrote the article “The German March through Aadal.”

Norsk

Muntlige kilder:

Trond Bergsund, Anders Hurum, Ole Rustan, Erik Brekke, Gudbrand Brekke, Wilhelm Elsrud og Tom Brenne, forhenværende Kvitt eller Dobbelt vinner på Mikkjel Fønhus i NRK

 

Skriftlige kilder:

Konrad Pettersen, 2000: Transkribert regnskapsbok fra 1839 – 1843, tilhørte

Ole Haraldsen Wasenden, og et brev til ham fra broren

Anders Nilsen Wasenden, datert Johnsrud (Mitchell County, Iowa, USA) 12. juli 1872, private bøker.

Nedskrevet sagn fra Anders Hurum.

Gudbrand Nesmoen, håndskrevet bok, 25. april 1933, privat eie.

Eigil Elsrud, 2000: Innhentede opplysninger og slektsgranskning om Børse-Gunner i kirkebøker i Norge og USA, private papirer.

Edvard Elsrud, 1975: Vassfarbjørnen. Grøndal.

Eiliv Odde Hauge, 1960. Aftenposten, nr. 7: Om en forunderlig børse og nye opplysninger om sjøormen.

Børsa som felte sjøormen på Bjoneskogen: Udatert og ikke navngitt avisartikkel.

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1917: Norsk jeger og Fiskeforeningstidsskrift, (hefte 2: 91-95).

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1978: Nye romaner og fortellinger, 7. Skogsgarden opp med Espa elv, H. Aschehoug & Co. (W. Nygård).

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1988: Reinbukken på Jotunfjell og andre fortellinger. Aschehoug.

Mikkjel Fønhus, 1998: Trollelgen og andre fortellinger. Aschehoug.

 

Om artikkelforfatteren:

Torbjørn Røberg (34) er arkeolog og arbeider som rådgiver i Norges Naturvernforbund. Har tidligere samlet inn sagn fra Borgund og Lærdal som er samlet i boka Bergteken – nye vegar til gamle segner utgitt på Norsk Folkeminnelag. I fjorårets utgave av heftet Ringerike skrev han artikkelen Det tyske felttoget

gjennom Ådal.

Translation:

Translation has been done by Mike Henkenis.  This is an unofficial translation of the original articles as published in the booklet Ringerike – 2001, an annual publication of the Ringerike Museum, Ringerike Youth Association and Ringerike History Association. (www.heftet-ringerike.org)

Super Fudgy Five Chocolate Brownies

These are super-fudgey and really good – so good I don’t make them often. Calories really do suck….

Super Fudgy Five Chocolate Brownies

I have to take a picture next time I make these - I can't even find a picture of them on the internet.  These are super-fudgey and really good - so good I don't make them often.  Calories really do suck....

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 CUP Unsalted Butter Cut into tablespoons
  • 1 CUP Firmly Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 18 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocalate Chips About 3 cups
  • 2 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate Coarsely Chopped
  • 5 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Walnut Halves
Bittersweet chocolate glaze
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 6 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate Coarsely Chopped
Decoration
  • 1 Ounce Milk Chocolate Coarsely Chopped
  • 1 Ounce White Chocolate Coarsely Chopped
Instructions
  1. Make brownies Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 Line a 13 x 9 pan with aluminum foil so that foil extends 2 inches beyond the two long sides of pan. Butter bottom and sides of foil-lined pan.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, combine butter and sugars. Over medium heat, stir mixture with a wooden spoon for 5-7 minutes, or until butter is melted.
  3. Place chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Process chocolates for 15-20 seconds or until finely chopped. With motor running, pour hot butter mixture through feed tube and process for 15-20 seconds or until chocolate is completely melted, scraping down work bowl as necessary. Add eggs and vanilla and process for 10-15 seconds or until combined. Add flour and salt and process for 5-7 seconds, just until combined, scraping down work bowl as necessary. Add walnut halves and pulse about 10 times to incorporate them into mixture and to chop them slightly.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake brownies for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted 2 away from center comes out slightly moist. Do not overbake brownies.
  5. Cool brownies completely in pan set on a wire rack. Using two ends of foil as handles, lift brownies out of pan. Invert onto a flat plate or cutting board and remove aluminum foil. Reinvert brownies so they are top-side-up. Using a sharp knife, trim sides of brownies so that they are straight and smooth. Place brownies on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
Glaze
  1. Make the bittersweet chocolate glaze Do not make the glaze until brownies are cool. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring cream to a gentle boil. Take pan off heat and add chocolate.. Let sit for 1-2 minutes to melt chocolate. Using a wire whisk, stir chocolate and cream until smooth. Strain glaze through a fine sieve into a small bowl to remove any air bubbles. Coo glaze for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened but still pourable. Pour glaze evenly over brownies allowing glaze to drip down sides onto baking sheet. Spread glaze with a small metal offset cake spatula, making sure that top and sides of brownies are completely covered.
Decoration
  1. Decorate brownies In top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering water, melt milk chocolate, stirring often, until smooth. Transfer milk chocolate to a small paper cone or small plastic bag.
  2. Repeat step 7 using white chocolate.
  3. Cut a 1/16 opening at tip of both paper cones of plastic bags. (Trim plastic bags if they are too big and cumbersome.) Pipe thin straight parallel lines of milk chocolate at 1/2 intervals across top of brownies. Pipe tin straight lines of white chocolate in between lines of milk chocolate. At 3/8 intervals, draw the tip of a toothpick or metal skewer completely across brownies perpendicular to the piped chocolate lines, reversing direction in which you pull toothpick across brownie. Wipe toothpick tip clean between each pull. This will create a feathered design. Refrigerate brownies for 15 minutes, or until glaze is set. Cut into bars.
Recipe Notes

Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature or in refrigerator. If stored in refrigerator, they will be even more fudgy.

French Onion Soup

I love onions, and especially French Onion soup. Being married to someone who doesn’t like them means that I don’t get to have a dish with a lot of onions in it very often

French Onion Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

I love onions, and especially French Onion soup.  Being married to someone who doesn't like them means that I don't get to have a dish with a lot of onions in it very often, so when I do, I make it good.  This recipe takes time to make, and amazes people when I don't use sugar to carmelize the onions.  It's well worth the extra time.

Course: Soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 223 kcal
Author: mikeh
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs Onions thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 4 Cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Cup water
  • 2 Tbs Cognac or Brandy
Instructions
  1. For easiest slicing, first cut onions in half lengthwise, then set cut side down so they don't roll.  Cut into thin slices.

  2. In a Dutch oven or thick bottom pan, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir.

  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions are carmelized, about 1 hour 15 minutes in all.

  4. After about 30 minutes of cooking, the onions should be a light golden brown.  If they are not, adjust heat accordingly.  45 minutes later, oinions should be a deep brown.  Dark, carmelized onions are the secret to good onion soup.

  5. Stir flour into onions, bring to a bubble and then cook 2 or 3 minutes.

  6. Slowly sir in stock, water and cognac.

  7. Simmer, partially covered, about 15 minutes to blend flavors.

  8. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Recipe Notes

Serve with bread and topped with cheese if desired.

Henkenis – a Rare Family Name

Hen-“something.” Over 100 years of mispelling a name.

Henkenis, a pure “American” name, but oddly enough not used by anyone permanently living in the United States today.

The year is 1913.  Joe Henkenius is frustrated that no one can pronounce or spell his name.  He’s got a child soon to be born and makes the decision to make it easier for his children.  On 3 May 1913, what we believe to be the first Henkenis was born in St. Louis, Missouri when Joe and Milbrey put a shortened version of their last name, Henkenis, on their first born child’s birth certificate.

Bernard (Ben) Joseph Henkenis was that first Henkenis born.  One other male child, Robert (Bob), was born in 1923 and he was also given the last name Henkenis.

The name was almost shortened an additional time.  Bob Henkenis was just as frustrated as his father – still no one could pronounce or spell the family name.  He suggested to his wife Millie that they shorten the name to “Henken” to make it even easier.  Millie was “not overjoyed” at at the suggestion and later said her response was “There’s no way my children are going to have a different last name than me.”  The birth certificates of their children are legal evidence of who won that discussion.

Bob had one son – me.  No other male “Henkenis” children were born in that generation.  While I have children and grandchildren, none have only “Henkenis” as their last name – they use a last name that is combined with my wife’s name.

Joe Henkenius died in 1934.  The exact date and cause of death was believed to be that he was hit by a car.  But for years his death certificate could not be found.  In 2106 a newspaper article from the St. Louis post was found that specified his date of death.  With that information I was able to find his death certificate.  Ironically the reason it was so difficult?  His last name was misspelled on his death certificate (Henkinuis) – inarguably proving what he believed to be true!

The original “Henkenius” is not an uncommon German surname.  Joe’s attempt to shorten and simplify it resulted in his descendents using an 19-character last name in order to preserve the name he and Milbrey created.

…..probably not the result he expected.

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And, indeed, it seemed small matter for wonder, that for all his pervading, mad recklessness, Ahab did at times give careful heed to the condition of that dead bone upon which he partly stood. For it had not been very long prior to the Pequod’s sailing from Nantucket, that he had been found one night lying prone upon the ground, and insensible; by some unknown, and seemingly inexplicable, unimaginable casualty, his ivory limb having been so violently displaced, that it had stake-wise smitten, and all but pierced his groin; nor was it without extreme difficulty that the agonizing wound was entirely cured.

Nor, at the time, had it failed to enter his monomaniac mind, that all the anguish of that then present suffering was but the direct issue of a former woe; and he too plainly seemed to see, that as the most poisonous reptile of the marsh perpetuates his kind as inevitably as the sweetest songster of Continue reading “Post with Image”

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A violent explosion shook the air, and a spout of water, steam, mud, and shattered metal shot far up into the sky. As the camera of the Heat-Ray hit the water, the latter had immediately flashed into steam. In another moment a huge wave, like a muddy tidal bore but almost scaldingly hot, came sweeping round the bend upstream. I saw people struggling shorewards, and heard their screaming and shouting faintly above the seething and roar of the Martian’s collapse.

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You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference. - Steve Jobs, Interview, 1995

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You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference. - Steve Jobs, Interview, 1995

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In most cases this lower jaw—being easily unhinged by a practised artist—is disengaged and hoisted on deck for the purpose of extracting the ivory teeth, and furnishing a supply of that hard white whalebone with which the fishermen fashion all sorts of curious articles, including canes, umbrella-stocks, and handles to riding-whips.

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