Sunday, November 10, 2013

Handle with Care

As the holiday season approaches, brownies - and close cousins, bars, quick breads, toffee and fudge - often form the delicious contents of care packages sent from your home to family and friends, near and far. Shirley Fan, a six year veteran of the Food Network, wrote The Flying Brownie: 100 Recipes for Homemade Treats that Pack Easily, Ship Fresh and Taste Great to provide the home baker with both tasty recipes and comprehensive packing and shipping instructions - including necessary supplies, vendors, and addresses for troops in the armed forces serving abroad.

While writing The Flying Brownie, Fan thought back to her college days when her parents harvested their backyard peach tree and mailed the luscious bounty off to their daughter. It never arrived and now Fan, a registered dietitian, has written her first cookbook and created an unusual niche where care packages occupy center stage. But, not to be upstaged, the recipes alone could carry the book. For example, if you like to balance the sweet with the savory, a chapter entitled "Shippable Savories" includes recipes for Golden Cheddar Coins, Garlic and Dill Seasoned Pretzels and Ridiculously Easy Bagel Chips.

Enough said, with the The Flying Brownie in hand, preheat your oven and get started.


Do you know the origin of the "Care Package"? Fan explains that the name originated with the creation of the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE) at the end of World War II. CARE began with a singular mission: to send life-saving provisions to survivors of the war. These "CARE Packages" were actually unused food parcels for soldiers, repurposed to benefit citizens of war-torn Europe. The first shipment of CARE Packages was delivered to residents of Le Harve, France in 1946.

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