Fresh brownies and French bakers

Fresh brownies and French bakers

When the Darn Brownies project began at the start of summer, some people said brownies shouldn't be handed out for free to strangers. Others said no one would take a snack from someone on a sidewalk with a card table and a pan of brownies. And others questioned the financial plan. “The numbers just don’t add up,” was one comment. 

Well, summer is over, the leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and the free brownie movement is still rolling.

Cheddar and chocolate

Cheddar and chocolate

The Midwest turn for Darn Brownies has come to an end. Many people feared that a giveaway at the Cheese Shop in Des Moines was a recipe for disaster, that cheddar and cake don’t mix. But it ended up being the best one so far. The 50 brownies were gone in a bit more than an hour. No one in Des Moines has given away that much free cake so fast, according to passers-by.

Spreading rumors about Mom's oven

Spreading rumors about Mom's oven

There are a lot of rumors sweeping Des Moines related to free brownies. The top one says that the brownies are not of commercial grade and their taste and texture could be uneven. The brownies are now being baked in my mom’s oven. They come out thick and moist and never burn. To see for yourself, come to one of two stands in Des Moines -- one at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the sculpture park downtown and the second one at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Cheese Shop on 42nd Street. To sign up for the blog, write darngoodbrownies@gmail.com. Or become a friend on facebook.

Dachshunds and an old wooden spoon

Dachshunds and an old wooden spoon

Darn Brownies continues to be a leader in no-cost, free-range cake. We guarantee our brownies will never live in a cage, never go behind glass, never have a price on them, never be cooked in a commercial oven, never be prepared by anything but an old wooden spoon. The movement has moved to Iowa and is searching for a new site. This is not an easy market for free stuff. Just since arriving in Des Moines a couple weeks ago, I have spotted free water and free books. To be informed of the next giveaway or sign up for the blog, write darngoodbrownies@gmail.com. Or become a friend on facebook.

Good wine and no-cost brownies

Good wine and no-cost brownies

At Border Grill in Santa Monica last Thursday, people were waiting for a free brownie before I arrived and even as I was packing up later. Dozens stopped by to offer encouraging words, eat a snack and pledge to do something small but nice for no good reason. The brownie stands are now moving from the coastal U.S. to the Midwest. To help make our towns nicer places, join the movement at darnbrownies.com, sign up for the blog by writing darngoodbbrownies@gmail.com and become a friend on facebook.

Crossing the border for brownies

 At darnbrownies.com, the cake is always free, as long as people promise to try to play it forward and do something else nice but a bit ridiculous for their community. The forward-thinking Border Grill in Santa Monica at 1445 4th St. thinks that doing such actions for no good reason is "a wonderful idea" and is letting us set up a free brownie stand this Thursday from 5 p.m. until the brownies run out. To help make our towns nicer places, join the movement at darnbrownies.com, sign up for the blog by writing darngoodbbrownies@gmail.com and become a friend on facebook.

Free brownies and free press

Free brownies and free press

The only worldwide movement fighting for the freedom of brownies received a bit of good press recently in the LA Weekly and The San Jose Mercury News. In other news, darnbrownies.com is still searching for a site to set up in Los Angeles, in case someone knows someone. Also, the official T-shirts are in. I will give one to the first brownies-by-mail winner, so please sign up today. To receive the free brownies blog by email, write darngoodbrownies@gmail.com or follow the project on facebook.

Have brownies, will travel

Have brownies, will travel

It was a strange but pleasing day for giving away brownies for no good reason at all in east San Francisco. To the many people who walked right past the free brownie stand, well, I don't blame you, because the whole event looked suspicious. I made about 40 brownies and handed out about 35. I ate five brownies myself for lunch. Best of all, I signed up nearly 30 members who promised to do something small but nice to help their community. Please visit the home page to learn more about how brownies and a simple wooden spatula are changing everything, and sign up today.

Keep up the good work, man.

 

Free brownies and soul food

It's official. Darnbrownies.com will be launched at Brenda's French Soul Food (frenchsoulfood.com) in San Francisco from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. If you have friends in the area, send them over. I just bought a disposable tablecloth for the stand I'm building on the sidewalk with two borrowed sawhorses, so the event should be extra exciting. The restaurant's fried chicken was voted one of the best in the city in 2012 and its Po'Boy was voted one of the best in 2011. Brownies should fit right in. As Libby, the co-owner and Iowa native, stated in an email on Saturday, "Just to let you know, the neighborhood our restaurant is located in isn't the best in San Francisco, which I think is perfect for your project."

This just in from Mom

Mom got in touch again with more ideas for improving darnbrownies.com, this time correcting some of the historical content related to her brownie recipe listed on the site. Don't miss these updates on the recipe page. There is also talk of a kickstarter fund to pay for flour and sales of T-shirts featuring the wooden spatula that is changing the planet. But the biggest news is that the Brenda's French Soul Food restaurant in east San Francisco has pretty much agreed to be the first host for the brownie town improvement project, allowing us to set up a stand this weekend and explain to people how brownies just might be the answer to everything. The picture is the initial name of the brownie movement. Please give credit or blame to Tamar Shiloh Vidon for suggesting that darn brownies sounded better.

When brownies talk, people listen

I don't think it's a huge stretch to state that darnbrownies.com is having a broad influence on the way people live in just a few days. Yesterday, I spotted this garage sale south of San Francisco where everything was free. Darn Brownies is a leader in the movement to free brownies of their economic shackles, while also making the planet a nicer place. The site has been visited by people on five continents. Even some nice person from the UAE checked in. Membership is up 400%, from one person a few days ago to four today. So please keep checking out the site and sharing it, take a look at the recipe from my mom, become a member and get a chance to win a free brownie.