Saturday, March 4, 2023

Google and recipes and friends

My oldest is in the middle school musical (a big role, and she’s killing it, if I do say so myself). I signed up to bring desserts to tonight’s cast party and I was trying to knock that out this morning before things got busy. One idea I had involved a butter yellow cake mix, so I looked up a recipe for THAT thinking I could finesse that based on what would be added to a box mix. 

Within a minute I had an answer… gleaned from a Google image search. Of course I could have done that myself, and I felt a bit sheepish. 

But then something pretty cool happened. 

My high school theater director chimed in: “are you making gooey bars?”

Yes, I was! Wait, chimes in the person who originally answered me. What are those, they sound delicious! 

So I shared that they are a bar version of the St Louis classic Gooey Butter Cake. My mom always called them chewy bars, because somewhere in the passing on of this recipe its origins were lost and its name misheard as “chewy bars.” Only after marrying into a St Louis family did I realize what I really had. 

And I dropped in a photo of the recipe:

(I was in the process of making crepes for my kids during this exchange)

And my theater teacher shared a photo she had of the recipe, also in my mom’s handwriting, and my other friend is going to make them to try them out. Side note: it’s funny to think that when this recipe was circulating, there must have only been one size box of powdered sugar!

And later a cousin chimed in, was I too young to remember Grandma Mom’s molasses cookies? Yes, but please share the recipe!

But anyway, if there’s a point to my story, it’s just to note that, as much as I could have googled this myself (and, btw, another friend googled and shared the answer to the question I really wanted to know: a substitution for the cake mix), if I had I would have missed out on these wonderful interactions with friends and I wouldn’t have shared the recipe with them or with you. It’s convenient to be able to Google and find your own answers, but it’s easy to forget that there’s an invisible trade-off in that choice. Like every choice, really.