Oh it was glorious. As Mister Man pointed out, there were 5 starches on his plate. 5!!! This is a meal made for my people.
Because there were going to be so many of us at dinner, I wanted to make a couple of desserts that would go far, so I opted for a big pan of Fudge Brownies and a pan of Gingered Lemon Bars. I noted that one of the cousins broke into the plate of brownies before we'd even begun the main event. I took this as a good sign!
Uncle Dal made a 14 pound roast on the BBQ. The scent of the beast cooking was enough to send us ALL into the pool to cool down. It was delicious.
Here's Bob. Clearly he was in his happy place.
As were Merilee and Cathy.
Ultimate Fudge Brownies
12 oz (1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into about 9 pieces. More softened for the pan.)
3 3/4 ounces (1 1/4 cups) natural cocoa powder (sifted if it's become lumpy)
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla
7.5 ounces (1 2/3 cup all purpose flour)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch straight-sided metal baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on the short sides. Lightly butter the foil.
Put the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until melted, about 2 minutes. Take it off the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt, and whisk until well blended. Use your fingertip to check the temperature of the batter—it should be warm, not hot. If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a minute or two before continuing.
Whisk in the eggs, two and then three at a time, until just blended. Whisk in the vanilla until the batter is well blended. Sprinkle the flour over the batter and stir with a rubber spatula until just blended.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small bits of brownie sticking to it, 35 to 45 minutes. For fudgy brownies, do not over bake. Cool the brownies completely in the pan on a rack, about 3 hours.
When the brownies are cool, use the foil overhang to lift them from the pan. Invert onto a cutting board and carefully peel away the foil. Flip again and cut into 24 squares. Serve immediately or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 1 month.