Welcome Brownies – Or – How to bridge story lines.
This is the first entry in my blog series that combines chocolate and the craft of writing. The first topic is how to bridge story lines.
As I celebrate the release of the third book in the Matchmaker Café series, Falling in Love with Emma, about a French baker who wonders if she will ever get out of the friend-zone with the man who owns a fish market, it seemed appropriate to write a food-themed blog that combines chocolate and the craft of writing. Chocolate because it’s mentioned in every book I write, and the craft of writing because I teach writing and am always pushing myself to improve. I also wanted this blog to be about writing tips, so what better place than to talk about the “Welcome Brownies,” and what they mean.
As the story opens, we see both of our characters in their element. Bjorn has just returned from fishing in Alaska, and Emma is up at dawn, baking for a big event in the town where they live. But they are in the friend-zone, with no hope of breaking out of the rut. I also have two story lines. The first involves Emma and Bjorn, and the second is the reocurring story about three sisters from Scotland who own a matchmaking business. The trick was how to get these two stories together.
I needed to create a bridge between story lines. After an event with Emma’s grandmother that left Emma in charge of the bakery, I opened my cookbook and found the perfect recipe I could use to create the bridge. The recipe page was frayed at the edges, torn and scotched taped together. It was a recipe for brownies and was my family’s favorite. It brought back a wave of warm memories. I’d bake these brownies for all occasions, including when new neighbors arrived in our neighborhood, or to bring to a friend. It was the perfect solution. Emma’s grandmother, and one of the story’s mentors, tells Emma to bring over a batch of “Welcome Brownies” to the Retail Village’s newest tenants, the three sisters, who own The Matchmaker Café. Welcome Brownies was the perfect solution. Naturally, the sisters invited Emma inside…and the story takes off…
2 sq. unsweetened chocolate (2 oz)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt (I use 1/4 tsp. salt)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square pan 8x8x2″. Melt chocolate and butter over hot water. (It says this in the recipe, but I never have. I melt in a saucepan and just watch over it). Take the pan off the stove and beat in the sugar and eggs. Blend flour, baking powder and stir in. Spread in pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until slight imprint remains when touched lightly with finger. Cool slightly and cut into squares. Makes 16 2″ squares.