Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Birthday William Petrara, wherever you are.

Today is my son’s birthday; he is now 21 years old, a legal adult in every way, shape and form. I can’t really tell you much else about him, as I haven’t been in his life since he was 18 ½ years old; his choice, not mine. I have heard through the grapevine that he is finally realizing the mistakes he’s made. That’s sort of amusing, considering he was always saying, “I refuse to learn from my mistakes”, and “I know I make bad choices, and don’t care”. If you happen to know William, or just want to wish him a Happy Birthday, he does have a Facebook page:

I can relate stories of him before the estrangement between us; the sort of embarrassing stories a mom relates to a son’s friends or girlfriend. I can tell you how he loved to have broccoli and cheese for dessert when he was a little boy. That he thought the Power Rangers were great, especially the White Ranger and his Tigerzoid; he had action figures and accessories galore. That I was “Momma Wolf”, and he was my little gray wolf pup. How we celebrated his 18th birthday in Florida, two weeks of hitting the Disney and Universal Parks; his birthday dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Marguaritaville Restaurant. The best was that I was the coolest mom of all the moms, a 9 ¾ rating; he couldn’t give me a 10 because, well heck, I was a mom, but if I wasn’t, then I’d rate a 10 in coolness.

William wasn’t big on desserts until he was older, not so much on cake as he was on brownies, cookies, and, especially, my Rice Krispie treats. Don’t really know why they were so special, except maybe they were made just for him, and with love.

So, Happy Birthday William; I do hope you are very happy, healthy, and getting wiser. Love, Mom.

…and if you were around, I’d make these for you to celebrate this big day in your life.


Black Forest Brownies 


Brownie Layer

4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 Tbsp butter
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cherry preserves

Frosting Layer4 Tbsp butter, softened
½ cup cream cheese, softened
1 tsp cherry liqueur
1 ¼ cups confectioner’s sugar

¼ cup shredded bittersweet chocolate
¼ cup chopped candied cherries

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9” x 9” baking pan with nonstick baking (contains flour) spray.

On low heat, melt together the chocolate and butter in a double boiler till smooth and shiny; set aside and keep warm.

Into a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, brown sugar and cherry preserves; add the flour and salt to the large bowl, mix thoroughly until smooth. Spread batter evenly into baking pan; bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out of center cleanly. Let cool before frosting.

While brownies cool, prepare frosting by creaming together butter, cream cheese, cherry liqueur and confectioner’s sugar. Spread over top of cooled brownies. Sprinkle the shredded chocolate and chopped cherries over top.

Makes 16 brownies.

Mary Cokenour
February 9, 1993 (created this recipe for William's 3rd birthday)

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