Brownies McFarland
category: Jims Guatemala

We just got back form our regional security meeting. They have one about once a year, so we can know where to go if there is some sort of emergency and the Peace Corps has to evacuate Guetamala (heaven forbid). We talk about ways to be safer in site, as well as the general security picture. I learned that statistically speaking, it’s actually MORE dangerous in Guatelama right now than it was during the civil war in the 80s, mostly due to gang violence and drug trafficking. The good news is that these activities are localized in certain, easy-to-avoid areas.

This meeting is also a chance for the Country Director to see each of us, and to talk about the current status of Peace Corps globally. Did you know that the Peace Corps has more politically appointed positions than any other branch of the federal government? That means that on Jan 20 every four years, there is a big staff turnover- bad for continuity, but good for bringing in new ideas. With the new Obama administration, it means that Peace Corps is working to expand its interaction with other aid groups, and better capitalize on the volunteer pool it’s spent so many resources to develop. But Obama himself has directed that Peace Corps increase its size twofold by 2012, and that drives many of the changes we’ve been seeing lately in the number of volunteers and the structure of the administration. When the Healthy Homes new recruits (our replacements!) show up next month to start their training, there will be about 30 of them. We were 16.

But the biggest news of the day was Ambassadorial Brownies. The new Peace Corps Guatemala cookbook is out, and this year’s editors were able to get the recipe to Ambassador McFarland’s most famous treat. I’ve mentioned these amazing brownies before, and now I can make them in my very own home. Our Ambassador is the best. 🙂

I hope I am not breaking a treaty or some international law by what I am about to do. Here it is, in all its glory:

Ambassadorial Brownies (courtesy of The American Ambassador to Guatemala, Stephen McFarland)

1c butter
4 eggs
1.5c flour
1/2c cream or milk
2T cinnamon
1c semisweet chocolate chips
1c cocoa powder
2c sugar
1ts vanilla
1c pecans or walnuts
1/4ts cloves
1/4ts ginger

Melt together butter and cocoa. Beat eggs, add sugar, bear until thick. Fold in remaining ingredients, including butter/ cocoa mix. Bake in greased 9×12 pan @350F for 25 mins.

Posted by: jfanjoy