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Denver Brownies

These are sooooo good. I think these may rank as one of my favorite of Maida's numerous brownie recipes (my favorites are the Palm Beach Brownies and the Santa Fe Brownies ). Maida Heatter says she got the recipe at a television station in Denver and was told that Julia Child had raved about them. I can see why.  3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/3 cup honey 2 tbsp. water or coffee 4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, in pieces at room temperature 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) walnuts or pecans, cut into medium-sized pieces 2 tbsp. bourbon, brandy, or rum Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil. Butter the foil and set aside. (Note: It is helpful to cut the foil large enough so that it drapes over the sides of the pan. This will make it easier to remove from the pan). Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place the honey, water or coffee, butter and choco

Spreading Mulch

First, before I get to the mulch, I wanted to share a photo of the transplanted loquat. I am thrilled with its progress and think it looks great for January! I felt really guilty after moving it but it was one of those situations where I wanted to make room for another plant. I do that a lot. I thought it was a goner after leaves and limbs continued to turn brown. But, new growth in popping out all over. 

My neighbor was over and I was sharing my mulch with him. I said "I can feel spring in the air". He laughed and said "Well, it is 45 degrees." And so it was. But the sun was shining, no wind or rain and the birds were singing. I can feel spring coming.

Today was a good workout and I made it much longer before my sciatica, lumbago or whatever it is called in lower back started acting up. The mulch mountain is dwindling...

This was a huge chip drop and one drop is going to be enough and then some. Because these chips come from arborists, they are not treated with dyes and therefore don't have the attractive color. That turns some people off but I can't over-emphasize the benefits this gives the soil. It breaks down fast and your garden will love you for it. What I usually do is cover high profile areas with a layer of the darker chips from the garden center.

This batch of chips also had a lot of fir needles in it but I really like that.

I noticed that the potted sumac looks interesting -

I don't focus well on one activity and when spreading chips along the fence in back, I noticed this -

This is the bamboo screening that the previous owner placed over the hurricane fence. I'm surprised it has held up this long. I've covered most of the screen and fence with the twig fencing but there is some areas left along the side garden. Every year, I find where it has blown down. This seems to happen despite my best efforts at tying it. So, once again, I stopped what I was doing to get it back in position.
This looks to be a nice, dry week with temperatures in the 40s so I hope to get more done.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Nothing like a fresh dressing of mulch (of any shade) to make it feel like spring is around the corner.
    (Is there a purpose to the upturned terra-cotta pots next to the sumac?)

    1. Chavli, they are just decorative. There were more to the stack but we occasionally will grab one if needed.

  2. It's great that you were able to move the loquat without doing it harm. Kudos to you for getting as much mulch spread as you have. Rest your back and take your time with the rest.

  3. Ah, the chip drop mountain! I’ve got one of those, too. There’s quite an online debate about the most efficient way to fill a wheelbarrow. Starting with the barrow on its side gets a lot of upvotes. What’s your technique? I’m mostly using a pitchfork; the snow shovel did not work for me since mine’s not on a paved surface.

    1. I just a shovel and sometimes a pitchfork. I do use the wheelbarrow but a lot of my spaces are tight so I tend to use buckets a lot. It takes longer to spread but good exercise.

  4. Your garden always looks interesting. It is nice that you have that mountain of mulch to spread. Your garden will be happier for it. I like the look of that bamboo fencing but it doesn't last long here. It must be all the freezes and thaws of winter that destroys it. Happy mulching...


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