feature image photo by Vrinda Mahesh / 500px via Getty Images
I’m currently home alone, because my fiancé is away on a writing residency, and while she’s probably busy writing the next great dyke novel, I’m here at home doing equally vital work for the community: shitposting on Instagram.
It all started when I had a sudden craving for one of my favorite desserts: the humble brownie sundae. I marched to Publix, got my ingredients, and went through the motions of preparing boxed brownie mix, which is pretty much the limit of my baking skills. I’m a cook — not a baker. Apparently, I’m also a scourge of society, if my Instagram DMs are any indication. After baking my brownies, I posted what was easily my most controversial social media take of all time. No, it wasn’t about politics or the economy or anything like that. It was a photo of the way I had cut my brownies upon extracting them for the oven, a photo that displeased many, affirmed few. With it, I included my humble opinion that brownies should always be cut middle-first. Confused? Take a look:
Responses to this claim ranged from bewildered to aghast, with a handful of folks chiming in to say I was brave to take this bold and correct stance. “Unhinged,” one friend merely replied. “Kayla what,” said another. “Wait…..” said one, who seemingly could not process what she was looking at. “My dad does this, and everyone yells at him” a stranger said, and to this father out there, I say: Solidarity! I feel it’s imperative to note that the wife of one of the people who called my actions unhinged separately messaged me to say I was right. I hope #BrownieGate has not negatively affected their marriage!
The reactions streamed in, a lot of questions were asked, and I was forced to post a few follow ups defending and contextualizing my stance.
While there were many people who defended the edges and corners of brownies, claiming them to be chewy and delicious (imo, they are crumbly, dry, and too much like a cookie, and if I were in the mood for a cookie, I would have a cookie), even those who agreed with me a medium rare brownie is best were apparently still upset by my actions. They took offense not to the piece of brownie I favor but to the way I went about getting to it. It was my refusal to cut the entire brownie pan into rectangles before taking out the middle that was the problem. Why stab and remove the middle? How will one continue to eat the rest?
Well, the much needed context is that when I’m making brownies, it’s almost exclusively for a brownie sundae. I didn’t spend time cutting the entire pan of brownies, because I wanted a very smushy, hot, borderline raw piece of brownie to be the base of my sundae. A brownie sundae where the brownie is not warm enough to at least partially melt some of the ice cream and whipped cream atop it is not a brownie sundae for me!
One friend said my chaotic cutting method is excusable if I’m planning to eat the entire pan of brownies myself. It is not a cut conducive to sharing. To that, I say: Fair. These were brownies for one.
As to the questions asked about how I would continue to eat the rest of the brownie, my answer is simple. In the days since that fateful brownie night, every time I want a piece of brownie, I simply cut off a bite-sized or couple-bite-sized piece with a knife, not caring much for shape or exactitude, and squeeze some whipped cream on top and eat it. I will continue to do so until the brownies are gone, which they very nearly are. Again, I suppose this only works when I’m enjoying brownies solo.
A lot of people called for a retraction to my statement, but I held fast. As I persevered, I was also exposed to some brownie takes that seem even wilder than my own! More than one person claimed that not only must one cut the entire pan but that the middle piece must be “worked up to.” Almost a “saving the best for last” mentality or, as Autostraddle Editor in Chief Carmen put it, “edging by eating edges.”
I had to put it to a poll to determine overall consensus once and for all. In the end, 67% of my followers said I was unhinged, and 33% said I was correct. I can live with a one-third approval rating.
So, I bring this to you! Where do you stand on #BrownieGate?