I spend about 2 1/2 hours outside this morning, weeding and watering, and came in so tired my knees were shaking. It's in the mid-eighties with the humidity pegging the meter (ah, summer in the southeast - and it isn't even summer yet) and it's hard to describe how a temperature in the mid-eighties can be so oppressive.
By the time I finished I looked like someone dipped me in a bucket of water. No wind and high humidity so nothing ever evaporates and you get hotter and hotter. By next month it will be really ugly, and will stay that way until September.
Oh, and let's not forget the gnats. My lawn guy calls them the East Brainerd gnats, because he swears where he lives north of the city he doesn't have them. Don't stand around with your mouth open in my yard, or something will fly in. So you're walking around in sodden clothes, scratched up by the roses from trying to weed around them, lugging a heavy garden hose, surrounded by a flying cloud of devil-bugs. Oh, yeah, gardening's fun.
My husband asks why I do it. Well, I like to see flowers growing and I don't want the yard to look like an abandoned lot. Since the lawn guy mows, I get out of the worst of it, so I try to keep everything else in shape. And my latest landscaping additions look pretty heartening so far. The new bushes are putting out lots of growth, the new azaleas are blooming, and my tomato plants are setting fruit. I may be a little miserable out there while I'm working but once I come in and shower, everything looks a lot better.
Now to the brownies. My husband tore a recipe out of the newspaper yesterday: "Best-ever Brownies". With a name like that, they must know they're setting themselves up for a fall. Wait - it gets better - with: Nancy Reagan's Frosting. First off, nothing against the lady but Nancy Reagan is about a size minus 2 and probably never weighed more than 80 pounds in her life. You KNOW she doesn't eat frosting, much less cook it.
So, how were they? The brownies were appropriately fudge-y and rich, but a little thin. The recipe specified a 9 inch pan, but I think using an 8 inch pan would be better. The frosting is a cooked type and was very rich but a little grainy, and really more like a glaze. The recipe made twice as much as needed, so I put the rest in a Tupperware bowl in the refrigerator. I just checked, and I now have a chocolate brick. I have no idea how to make it smooth enough to use. I just checked the newspaper's website and the recipes aren't available. If they are added to the archives, I will post a link so you can try them too.