The other day I was thinking about how grateful I am for having a wonderful therapist. Because of therapy—and this goes way back to my teenage years— I was able to discover what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life: to cook.
But wait. It’s not so simple. In an imaginary conversation with my therapist, disguised as Dr. Sigmund Freud himself, I saw myself lying on his couch, looking at my broken nail, conflicted between my many existential questions, and then I realized that I am not much different from most women I know. I looked at him, and he asked me: “Why does it have to be so complicated, Leticia? What is it that you—women—really want?”
Where is my nail polisher? I looked in my purse. We don’t want broken nails, that’s for sure. We also want at least one, nice, fancy-looking purse. Every woman must have one.
We want to feel attractive in our own bodies. We want to be credited for our work—and make money from it. We want to be loved. We want to be in love. And we want to have fun.
This could be the sum of it, Dr. Freud, but there is a whole lot more that women want. We want to bear children, or at least, many women do. Then, we want to have more time for ourselves. When we have free time, we want a hectic life. When we have a hectic life, we want free time. We are always looking for the perfect balance. We believe there is such a thing. Got that?
We don’t want to die our hair constantly, although we need to. We like to talk, but we also like silence. We want to listen too; some women are better than others at this. We want to listen to our children, but especially to men, and we don’t give up trying to understand them. When they say“ I love you”, we hear “I want to marry you”. We are truly from different planets Dr. Freud! We want them to be crazy for us, and we want to right to be crazy ourselves.
We want to check our e-mails and have our inbox full. Only juicy e-mails please, but we’ll take a sale coupon at Pottery Barn as well. We want to be speechless and surprised. We want to learn how to be more selfish. At least once in life, we want to think of no one else but us. Are you still with me?
We want to be an inspiration for others. We want to put dinner on the table and we want our kids to eat everything. We want them to sleep the whole night, preferably in their own beds.
We want to turn off the TV. We want to have sex. We want to look good in photographs. We want to be noticed in a restaurant the moment we enter the front door.
We want to go to bed earlier. We want to do something positive for society. We want to help those in need of help. We want to be useful. But we want to be helped ourselves, especially with the groceries. Oh, and with anything regarding cars.
We want to laugh. We don’t want to be taken so seriously. We want to fight for our goals without being obnoxious. We want peace. We want to read more, travel more, know more. We want to kiss, and be kissed. We want to feel alive. We want to grow young. And lastly, we want to eat—AND NOT GET FAT!
That’s all Dr. Freud. As you can see, we’re really not that complicated!
“Ok Leticia, your time is up.” said Dr. Freud. “See you next time.”
Now that I have shared with you my imaginary session with my very own Dr. Freud, I will share with you my fantasy recipe —albeit a real one— that celebrates all those crazy moments I have when I want to indulge completely, entirely, and dream that I am not gaining an ounce of fat from it.
I would love to hear what is YOUR fantasy recipe? The one you dream about eating forever and NOT getting fat?
This recipe for Dulce de Leche Brownies comes from David Lebovitz, a pastry chef, blogger, and cookbook author whose work I really admire, and whose recipes, often brings me to Dr. Freud’s imaginary couch.
Dulce de Leche Brownies Adapted from David Lebovitz
Makes 12 servings
8 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (120g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) flour
1 cup (250ml) dulce de leche
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the chocolate and stir constantly over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, and flour.
5. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Drop one-third of the dulce de leche in prune size dollops, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top, then drop more dulce de leche by the spoonful. Use a knife to swirl the dulce de leche ever so slightly—if you over do it, the whole thing will bake into a bubbly mess. Just drag a knife once or twice through the batter and leave it at that.
6. Bake until the center feels just slightly firm, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. These brownies actually become better the second day, and will keep well for up to 3 days.
Thank you Alessandra Kalko for the illustrations supporting this post.