It was a strange but pleasing first day for giving away brownies for no good reason at all in east San Francisco outside of a great soul food restaurant, Brenda's. To the many people who walked right past the stand without saying a word, well, I don't blame you, because the whole event looked suspicious. After an hour of giving away nothing, Darn Brownies' top staff huddled and decided to test out hanging a sign that read "Free Brownies." After that, people started walking up within minutes.
I made about 40 brownies and handed out about 35, including five to one couple with one child. I ate five brownies myself. I signed up 30 new members who promised to do something equally nice and peculiar in their community.
A young German couple on vacation was thrilled to get real American brownies for free and wondered if this was a widespread tradition in the United States. A guy named Vincent told me his good act for the community would be spending more time with his wife. He grabbed a brownie and parted by saying, "Keep up the good work, man." A psychic told me he stopped not to get a brownie but simply because he had a good feeling about this movement. He apparently is one of the best fortunetellers in town and was offered $500 for his services once but turned down the money. All I need to do now, he said, is wake up each morning and say to myself 25 times that this project to bring free brownies to the masses and encourage people to do nice, but foolish, things in their communities is going to be a success.
Click here to sign up for the blog or to receive updates on how one wooden brownie spatula is trying to change everything.
Mom's old-fashioned brownies recipe is available now on this site.