I’ve had a contractor in my home since pretty much since last May.
We haven’t done anything structurally major – just a lot of design updates. New screens/wood in the porch, pulled up awful foyer tile, put on a stair runner, added tons of trim, lighting, new doors, paint work – etc. A lot of ‘little’ projects until January 2nd which is when we began the master closest/bath.
I told M the other day if we ever decided to build out the great room/kitchen, I will 100% need to be medicated. First of all, it’s my kitchen! Can you imagine? I would feel… lost. Second of all, it’s just… a lot. A lot of dust, a lot of chasing B away from power tools, a lot of dust, a lot of noise, a lot of dust, a lot of decisions, a lot of money, and hey… a lot of dust. I’m not quite sure I understand where the dust comes from because I will wipe down a table for the 100 billionth time and 2 seconds later there is an inch. And the contractor isn’t even there.
Ah yes – and then there’s the contractor.
I mean, it’s just awkward right? Especially if you are mom that stays at home. I never know when he’s coming and like any mom of a toddler, it can be a process to get dressed. I pray each morning as I’m running through the home half dressed because B decided to pull down the fire screen on himself that this isn’t the moment the contractor chooses to arrive. So far so good.
There’s also the whole ‘you aren’t the only one in the home’ thing. You know, there are moments as a mom where you don’t exactly want to be on display. After a day of your (teething) toddler testing you and L fighting you about doing homework you kind of just want to yell ‘CAN YOU PLEASE BOTH JUST GO TO THE BASEMENT SO I CAN HAVE A MINUTE??????????’, yet it has to come out all sweet like ‘ok B, let’s not scream at the top of your lungs anymore and L why don’t we wait 5 minutes and then begin?’ because you don’t want the contractor thinking you are crazy. Even if you are.
And finally, if someone is in my home I have this utter and deep need to feed them. Obviously he isn’t here to eat, he’s here to work, but I feel rude eating something and not offering it to him. Even if he’s in the middle of grouting a shower wall. The conversation will go something like this:
‘do you need anything?’
::: stares at me blankly like ‘you crazy woman I told you for the 1,000th time no’ :::::
Then I will awkwardly walk away and place a cookie, or these (KILLER!) brownies on a plate in the midst of dust, tarps, and power tools and retreat back to my kitchen while B throws a fit because I wouldn’t let him pick up a saw.
2 more weeks…
… but we as we all know, it will be longer. And cost more, obviously.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
- Crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
- In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Continue to heat briefly, just until the mixture is hot, but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
- Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
- Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.
- Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.
In the meantime, have some awkward brownies…