We sure had nice weather for the most part, this week except for that little bit of rain we got. Hopefully, it will be favorable for all of the holiday activities that are planned for this weekend.
I found a really delicious sounding recipe that combines the best of two favorite desserts, brownies and chocolate chip cookies, combined in to a decadent bar cookie called:
Double Decker Brownie Cookie Bars
Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer:
12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon slices
1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar .
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoon slices
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
(or substitute 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1 Tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil or grease with butter or shortening.
Melt 12 tablespoons butter over medium heat or slowly in the microwave. Remove from heat and whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature, but still liquid. This will be for the cookie layer, after the brownie layer.
Melt butter over medium heat or slowly in the microwave. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Scrape into medium-sized bowl with a spatula. Add sugar and salt, whisking to combine until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until blended, adding vanilla extract with the last egg. Using a large spoon or spatula, mix in flour just until blended. Pour into prepared pan, and gently spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Chocolate chip cookie top layer:
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, in a medium bowl. Stir with a fork or dry whisk until evenly mixed. Combine flour mixture with cooled butter/brown sugar mixture until smooth. Whisk in 1 egg and vanilla extract, mixing again until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips.
Space spoonful of cookie mixture over the Brownie layer. Gently smooth with a spatula to create an even top layer.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small gooey bits. Do not over bake. Cool to room temperature.
Melt chopped semi-sweet chocolate with butter in the top of a double-boiler or slowly in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Let cool until lukewarm but still melted. Scrape chocolate into a zip-top bag, squeeze out all the air, and seal. Cut a tiny hole in the bottom corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate in a zig-zag manner over the top of the cooled bar cookies. Chill about 45 minutes to set.
Cut into bars to serve. Cut these cookie bars into small servings as they are very rich. Bars may be frozen up to 1 month. Double Decker Brownie Cookie Bars are good cold or at room temperature. Yield: 36 to 48 cookie bars, depending on cut size
Volunteering their time last weekend, Tom and Joni Jameson planted pretty flowers in the planter barrels in front of the Exline Museum. They look really nice.
With the first official beginning of the summer season, occurring this weekend, the Exline School Reunion and Community Dinner will be held, tomorrow, on Saturday, May 28, at noon during Memorial Day weekend. If you still have procrastinated and still not called to make your reservation, this is your last chance. You may do so, by calling Mary Ann Hurley at 641-658-2691.
The cost will be $10.00 per person. This dinner is open to anyone who would like to attend, even if you did not go to the Exline school. I talked to Mary Ann last weekend and she told me that there has already been over sixty reservations made.
This is also the time of year, to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, defending the freedom of the United States of America. It became known as decoration day because people go out to cemeteries and decorate their deceased loved ones graves, with flowers
It is a also a time of school graduations, when young people enter a new phase of their life, celebrating with graduation parties and family get togethers.
With the school reunion and community dinner coming up, this weekend, a lot of local and former residents of Exline, will be coming back to town to visit with old friends and remembering their school days, of long ago. Because of that, I thought it would be appropriate to recall the early days of going to school here, locally.
The first school house that the children of Exline attended in the area, was known as the Morgan School. It was located on the northwest edge of town, on land owned by the Monroe family. That two story building had a school room on each level. In 1896 that building was moved to Main Street in town and was then used as a meeting place.
In that same year, James and Nancy Gough sold land in town, to the Independent School District of Exline.
Then, in 1897 a new rectangular, two story school house was erected on the northwest corner of West Wall Street and West 2nd Street. It was built by H. W. Horbart. By 1910, fifty three students attended school in that building, daily.
In 1912 a two story, high school addition was built by Edgar R.. Monroe, as well as serving at that time, for four years, as the principal of the school.
Also at that time, four teachers were employed with a two year high school, with classes only going to tenth grade. The first graduation class occurred in 1912, with only five students in that class.
Another wing was added to the school building in 1913, which was built by O.H. Johnson, Fred Kelly and W. R. Coulson. That year, only one student graduated from high school. The first four year graduation class from the 12th grade, happened in 1916.
Eventually, a second building was built on the school grounds, just west of the school building itself. It was first used for Primary and First Graders. Then later, it was used for Manuel Training and for a gym.
The largest graduating classes were in the years of 1928 and 1938, with 19 children being in each of those classes.
The last graduating class was in 1949. It had 7 pupils in that class.
During the 37 year history of the high school in this town, there were 351 students who graduated. After the high school part of the Exline School was closed, the children had to go to high school in the county seat town, of Centerville.
By 1961 grades 7 and 8 were also transferred to the Centerville School District.
Grammar school continued up to the 6th grade in town, until 1965. After that, the entire school was closed and all of the Exline children had to attend school elsewhere, in the county.
In 1966 the school building and its contents were sold at a public auction. Over the years, the building fell into disrepair, and a few decades later, it was torn down and the school lot was cleared off. The site of the old school, still remains vacant, after all of these years.
Their was a lot of pride in the old Exline School. The students wore the school colors of purple and gold very proudly. Sports were always a favorite event, with boys and girls basketball and baseball being played. There were big rivalries with neighboring schools that they competed with, in those endeavors. The school even had its’ own cheers.
A lot of the school class photos and other memorabilia are now preserved in the community center and are on display there. The original school bell is displayed in the city park, in front of the city hall, on a roofed platform
It was a nice afternoon last Sunday, for the Exline Hose Company No. 1 Museum to be open. There was a nice breeze throughout the afternoon while I was there.
As a reminder, the museum will again be open this Sunday from 1 to 4 pm for those of you that are visiting from out of town and may want to see the memorabilia that is preserved there. Also, any local people who have not made it down to tour the museum yet, are also invited to stop by. Local resident, Susan Bragga will be greeting the guests there that day.
Rodney and Lelah Randall who live in the Coal Miners Common houses along Main Street, told me earlier this week they had family members who were caught in that awful tornado in Joplin, Mo.
Their great-granddaughter, Simone and her husband Braxton Chulte live in Joplin. Around 6 o‘clock Sunday evening, Braxton left his job at a local home improvement store and went home to eat supper with Simone.
They said it was hailing and the weather was getting bad. After they ate, Braxton went back to work and when he got in the area of where the store was, he could not even tell where the building had been. It was in the direct path of the huge tornado and was completely gone.
When he realized the storm was so bad, he drove the approximately three miles, back to his house and he and his wife took shelter in the bathtub until the storm had past.
This holiday weekend, Rodney and Lelah Randall, will be attending the wedding of another one of their great-granddaughters, Ashlen Gardner. tomorrow, on Saturday, May 28.
She will be marrying Tyler Busick, in a meadow, on a family farm in Missouri, just south of the Iowa State Line, just off the highway. Family members from throughout the Midwest, will be attending the ceremony.
There will be Vacation bible School again this year, at the Exline Church of Christ. It will be held from Monday, June 6, until Friday, June 10 from 1 to 3 pm in the afternoon, each day. Children 3 years and up, may attend.
The program for the Vacation Bible School, will be held during church, on Sunday, June 12, beginning at 10 o’clock in the morning.