Last year September I had promised the 7 year old daughter of a good friend of mine to bake some brownies for her before the end of the year. Whenever she visits me, I always have some sort of treat for her. On her last visit, she requested an entire tray of brownies just for herself. I told her it was a deal! As things go, time simply went by and I forgot. I am terribly embarrassed as I hate making promises and not fulfilling them, but it happened……until…
the morning of the 23rd of December when her father gave me a call to wish me a pleasant season, saying that he looked forward to seeing me in the New Year. He further went on to inform me that they were preparing to leave their flat in 25 minutes to take the train from Berlin to Frankfurt for the next few weeks. It was then that my promise to his daughter months earlier dawned on me. I must have shocked myself into silence, because my friend kept on repeating my name over the telephone to ensure that I was still on the other end. He too had clearly forgotten my promise. Without further ado, I quickly told him that I had to go and hung up without allowing him to say a word more.
I threw a quick glance over at the clock and my heart started beating heavily. I had to do this, I simply had no choice but to do this!
I cannot explain how I managed to complete this feat, but within the next 20 minutes I managed to whip up my friend’s daughter’s favourite raw brownies, throw on my winter coat over my PJs, find a taxi and drive 12 minutes to my friends house.
I was spinning and whirling in that kitchen not even thinking twice about what I was doing. It was all so automatic, so determined, so quick and precise. Within a few minutes, I was so out the door and on my way to deliver the brownies!
The most difficult part of this entire feat was finding a taxi. I waved madly though the streets, my boots unzipped and half off, my winter coat completely open with my PJs hanging out, my body was anxious, I was breathless, compltely frazzled and sprinkled with cocoa powder all over my hair.
I finally managed to flag a taxi down and I told the driver of the critical importance of this delivery. He nodded his head in acceptance, and we whizzed down the street leaving a trail of cacao and walnut fragrance along the way. I watched the time as each second went by. Time was cutting exceedingly close. I figured that if I had missed them at their flat, I would be able to intersect them at the train station, which was only a few minutes further along the way.
The taxi driver was fully immersed into this mission. 3 minutes to go. 2 minutes to go. We swerved through the side streets, and whizzed through the direct ones. The anxiety within my body was near overwhelming, and I was sweating like crazy, nibbling at my fingernails, and tapping my feet nervously desperately hoping that we would make it.
As we approached their home, I saw a cab waiting in front of the house and my friend ‘s family were just about to get in when he turned around and saw a waving hand stretched out from the oncoming taxi and heard the screams from both myself and my taxi driver!
I flew out of the cab, took out the brownie pan and handed it to my little friend. The entire family stood there in front of the cab staring at me incredulously, not knowing what to do, nor how to comprehend what was going on. They watched me with wide eyes, open mouths, and looks of incredulous amazement, as if I was CRAZY, but said not a word.
When my little friend realised what she held in her hand, she looked up me still somewhat confused, but clearly understanding that these were for her and remembering my promise. In an instant, her face lit up with such a grand, magnanimous smile followed by a fabulously tender, heartfelt and loving hug, which made my heart melted instantaneously! She gave me a best gift that I could ever have wished for. 30 minutes later, when they were on the train, I received a text message: “Hello Paula, these are the best brownies in the world and this is the best gift ever. You made me very very very very happy!”
The most important thing for me was not to break my promise, which I managed to keep in the 11th hour. Better yet, however, and something I shall always hold in my heart was her grand smile AND the gift that I received from the taxi driver. Yup!
The taxi driver seemed to have been so moved by the entire gesture after seeing the reaction on my face when I received the hug, that he could not stop talking about it during our ride back home. We spoke about how wonderful hugs and smiles can be.
As I jumped out of the cab, paid my bill and said my goodbyes and thank-you to the driver, he turned around, looked at me as if I were his child or someone dear to him, and hugged me. Yes, the man simply extended his arms, pulled me toward him and embraced me, saying that he wanted to give me a gift for making his morning so special! 🙂
Then he returned the money I had paid him, closed the door, an drove off.
I was teary eyed as I made my way upstairs to my flat, grinning from ear and ear and deeply deeply touched. Those hugs I received both landed right there where it is safe and sound-in my heart!
Here is my recipe for those delicious raw brownies, which are made from hardly anything more than dates, notes and cocoa powder. And as you can tell, they will take you no more than a few minutes to prepare! Make them for someone special and see what reactions you will get! 🙂