Day 191 – National Molasses Bar Day

Today had some ups and downs.

I’ll start with my first ‘down’, which came as part of my quest.  Today was National Kite Flying Day and as the weather gods would have it, it was actually a nice day here in Rhode Island.  Temperatures were in the fifties.  There was a mild breeze in the air; not one that would chill you, but one that would assumably help your flying devices take off.  Naturally, because we are in New England, tomorrow’s forecast is calling for a foot of snow, maybe more.  The weather gods are fickle bastards, it would seem.  This is relevant here because I went on a hunt for a kite today.  Usually, at least in the spring, kites are pretty easy to find.  Not so much in February.  I started by going to Rite Aid and then to CVS, but came up empty.  Then I checked out Benny’s and Stop and Shop.  They both had their spring merchandise on display which got my hopes up, but no kites. I then finally peeked in Clement’s Market.  Nothing.  Someone suggested Walmart might have them and they probably did, but I wasn’t much up for going there, especially after going to five different stores.  A trip to Walmart is never an easy task.  The odd part about my search is that I was on this mad hunt for a kite.  Meanwhile everyone else was sat the store stocking up with milk and bread for the storm.  People were fighting in the aisles for the last of the rock salt, yet there I was whistling Mary Poppins songs and asking about kites. At the end of the day, I came to the conclusion that I would have to abandon my kite dreams for today.

I was kind of looking forward to flying a kite.  It’s never been my greatest skill and it would have been fun to give it a try without anyone around.  When you fly kites with your niece and nephews, there’s pressure for you to get it up in the air, to keep it there and to give them a try too.  If I was alone, I would have no such pressure.  Just a man boy and his kite, like Amir and Hassan.  I remember one time when I went to fly a kite and it took right off.  No running start.  No push offs.  I just held it up, it caught the wind, and off it went.  It was my perfect kite moment.  Maybe it’s better I didn’t soil that memory.

With no kite action today, I had to find something else to celebrate and that’s when I found out about National Molasses Bar Day.  This would turn into an ‘up’ for the day.  I had no idea what a molasses bar was, so I looked online and it looked to be some kind of brownie, obviously made with molasses.  I’m not a huge fan of molasses.  I have a bottle of it for some recipe I had to make, and when you smell it in its raw form, it smells really bad.  I think that smell permeated my memory, because I turn up my nose at the thought of it.  The recipes I found online all looked pretty good however.  I was drawn to one that just seemed like a star.  It was from a website called Jen’s Favorite Cookies.  The recipe called for chocolate chips and cinnamon chips, which intrigued me.  Lola was working in the kitchen all day, but when she took a break to take a walk, I took over the counters and cranked out the bars.  Pretty standard stuff, except for the addition of the molasses and some of the spices that pair well with the molasses taste like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  I’m not a huge fan of cloves and I thought about keeping it out, but I smelled it and I thought it could possibly bring some depth to the bar, especially with the molasses, so I kept it in.  I poured the batter into a pan and cooked it for twenty five minutes.  I had everything cooked and cleaned before Lola came home.

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We had the bars later in the night.  They were still a bit warm and the chips were on the melty side – that was a good thing.  Lola tried it first and she was pleased.  She used the word orgasmic at first, but then backed off that a little.  It was a complex taste.  A little bit of everything.  The molasses always has a strong influence, and it was there along with the hints of the spices, almost like a gingerbread cookie.  But the chips really added a sweet dimension to it all, especially the cinnamon chips.  It really was a complex taste, but a good one.  I had mine with some vanilla ice cream and that was good, but Lola thought it was unnecessary.  The bars could stand by themselves.  This was a very interesting bar.  Good and crave-worthy, just not your typical sweet.  Your mouth sees this wonderfully brown bar with melting chips and it prepares for the taste of a regular brownie, but then it is set into this bliss of warm, spicy, sweet delight.  I’m going to say this was a success, but I’m still confused as to if it was really as good as I thought was.  I suppose that’s a tribute to the recipe.

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In the ‘down’ column of today, I realized that today marked the six-month anniversary of being unemployed.  That’s a tough nugget to swallow.  The search still continues with leads here and there, but it hasn’t been easy.  Sometimes I get in this rut of just scanning the job search sites and finding nothing.  I’ll send my resume off and then hear back in a few days how they’ve filled the position.  They are always positive in those rejections, however.  Wishing me luck.  That’s nice of them.  Other days are better where I am positive about what the future holds, even excited for it.  It’s just been going on for a while now, so every day is a bit more weight on my mind.  I still get angry about where I used to be and how I was let go.  I have some friends that give me some consolation there.  I’m actually glad not to be there, but I do wish I was somewhere.  This blog has helped.  It’s given me some purpose.  It’s actually helped me stretch out my writing muscle more than I ever have, so that’s good.  Plus it’s given me some fun too.  I’d say I’m still pretty positive about my place in the world right now, but it is still a drudge and it can wear you down.  Somedays more than others.  It’s an ominous anniversary to hit, so that weighs particularly heavy on my shoulders today.

But then today ended with an ‘up’ – a really big one.  When I woke up today knowing that it was the six moth mark, I thought to myself that I just needed a win today.  It didn’t have to be big or life changing, just something that would give me a little boost.  I needed the universe to tell me I see you, you’re doing okay and here’s a little some-some to tide you over.  It didn’t come until late in the day but it came, sitting right in my email.  I was motionless for a few minutes as I read it.  When it soaked in, I ran into the kitchen and told Lola.  She came back to my office to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  I actually will hold off telling you exactly what it is until I know for sure, but this is going to be a big one.  A Bucket List moment, for sure.  I’m psyched out of mind.  Thank you universe.

A day of ups and downs for sure.  Every day is going to have downs, you just have to wait for the ups.  Those will come too.  I didn’t get to fly a kite today, but I did get to make and eat a delicious new treat that I had never even heard of before this morning.  The universe didn’t want me to fly a kite today.  Maybe I would have been attacked by squirrels or kite eating trees like Charlie Brown.  Maybe it just wanted to show me something different.  I’m just going to go with the flow, because so far, despite a few bumps and bruises, I’m still living a pretty good life.  And I am feasting on molasses bars.  Not too shabby.  Not too shabby at all.

Next Up: National Bagel Day 

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