Warm Brownies. The words jump off the page, memories of chocolate in the air, cravings satisfied, love and home, butter.

Always butter.

My mother didn’t cook much. Somehow I never really thought about this as a child, not until I was married with a family of my own. She didn’t waste her time in the kitchen; she mastered her own, personal version of comfort food: small white powdered doughnuts warmed in the toaster oven until the coating bubbled; Dr. Pepper boiled and then flavored with lemon juice.

Warm brownies drizzled with melted butter.

I rescan the page in front of me, but those words aren’t there: no warm brownies. Maybe my brain reconstructed them, like the tests that show you can read scrambled words when only the first and last letters are in the right place.

But I hold onto the memory of a warm kitchen, a full tummy, and a mother I loved until tears sting my eyes. And then I vow to make a batch of brownies this week for my kids.

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