Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Things We Do for Love

As you commence the reading of this post, I would like for you to keep in mind that I am not insane. I present this to you first and foremost because I realize that this fact may come into question once, if not multiple times, as you read.

My second child reached the landmark age of eleven this week, and his birthday party is tomorrow. He has decided that he doesn't like cake, and so he requested chocolate Rice Krispy treats instead, made with chocolate marshmallows and Cocoa Krispies. I love my son. I am a good mother. I said okay.

Last week, it was my father's birthday. I've been promising him one of my famous low-sodium carrot cakes for a long time, and so I mixed one up. Now, like most people, I have dishes I take to public gatherings and dishes I only pull out for family. You know how it is - the one nice bowl, the one nice cake pan ... I took my one nice cake pan to my father's. I haven't gone to pick it up yet.

So, I can't sleep. I decided that rather than lying in bed for another hour, waiting for that oh, so elusive Mr. Sandman, I'd make the Krispy treats and get them ready for the morning. First step - pull out the ingredients. No problemo, until we get to the cake pan. That's right - my nice cake pan is at my dad's house. Now, I do realize that the guests for tomorrow, being boys, won't care whether I serve them out of a silver charger or a pig trough, but it matters to me. I want to bolster my false belief that a perfect party is the proper indication of the depth of love I have for my son, so I think to myself, I can't use an old, beat-up pan. I'll be creative. I'll press the mixture into cupcake shapes. Won't that be ingenious? But because I know how hard it is to get stuff out of those little cupcake pans, I'll use liners. See? I'm so smart.

I prepare my cupcake pans with liners, and then I proceed to follow the oh, so easy instructions. I haven't made Krispy Treats since I was a teenager, but how hard can they be? I remember a lot of stirring, and then ... yumminess. I'm definitely up for the challenge.

I put the marshmallows into the pot. Interesting ... chocolate marshmallows aren't really brown. They're actually sort of a taupe, leaning toward gray. The more they melt, the more gray they appear. Blended together with the butter, they take on rather a ghastly hue more suited to a Halloween party than a birthday. But this is what my son wanted, and I am a good mother. So I proceed.

I pour in the Krispies and I stir. I blend them all quite well (and my hand is still protesting, but it's all worth it. He's a lovely boy) and I prepare to press them into the cupcake pan. You know, the funny thing about a Krispy Treat mixture before it sets up ... it would rather stick to the spoon than to paper. I spend a few minutes wrestling this interesting phenomenon, only to decide that the cake pan is going to be the way to go, after all. I pull out my two battered cake pans, spray them, and begin to scoop the mixture into them. It was a double batch, you see. Only one child has RSVP'd for this party so far, but I would so much rather be over-prepared than under.

The interesting thing about melted marshmallows, which have now somewhat started to set up because I wasn't moving quickly enough (something about wrestling with cupcake liners ... whatever)is that when stretched, they begin to take on the appearance of spider webs. So I'm scooping this mixture into the pans, and it looks for all the world like a huge, sticky spider had a hey-day in my kitchen.

I then run into another problem. The mixture, now cooler than is really ideal, has formed quite an attachment to the spoon. If this were a Jane Austen novel, we would say that they had an understanding. I decide that I must take matters into my own hands ... literally. I pull the mixture from the spoon. I have now succeeded in making myself a victim of the big sticky spider. I have strings hanging from all fingers, and clumps of Krispies dangling in midair.

All right, I can do this. In fact, by this point, I'm composing a blog in my mind. My thoughts can all either be transcribed as Facebook status updates or blogs - what can I say. I reach out and grab my digital camera - every good blogger's most necessary tool. I take a picture of my hand. It's quite funny.

What is not so funny is the fact that I have a mound of mixture in my pan and it doesn't look very Treat-like. So I do the most enterprising thing I can think of - I grab a stick of butter off the counter and slather my hands, then use my hands to press the mixture into the pans.


Did you know that chocolate marshmallows melted over chocolate Rice Krispies look just like ground beef?

Both pans are now done. The pot wherein the travesty occurred is soaking in the sink. I decide to assuage my angst by sitting down to write a blog about my whole experience, only to discover that someone has unplugged the USB cable from the back of the computer, the cable they aren't ever supposed to unplug because I might, oh, I don't know - want to use it someday. The pictures will have to come after someone who is smarter than me can find the correct place to plug it back in for me, which would not be necessary if certain people would just obey certain rules of the house.

Did I mention it's now 3:30 a.m.?


Heather B. Moore said...

Never cook after midnight!

I am the rice krispy treat expert! Use the microwave to melt the marshmellow and butter/margarine together. Before you put in the marshmellows, grease or spray the microwavable bowl.

Grease a large bowl, pour in the krispies, then pour in the melted marshmellow mix.

Stir quickly with a greased spoon. (I use Pam spray for all the greasing).

If you have to use your hand to pat down or come in contact with the mix, you can grease your hands. But I don't like that so I get my hands wet with water. It works perfectly. The spoon is usually too sticky to pat the treat into the pan. Get both hands wet with water (shake off excess) and then you can press it into the pan without all the mess.

I'm sure you'll get lots more advice :-)

Britt said...

This is exactly why my husband is in charge of such projects. I don't go anywhere near rice krispie treats. It's all him if that's what one of the kids wants.

Now if they want a cream pie, that I can do. :D

Sarah M Eden said...

Wow Tristi. Been there. Except with popcorn balls. It wasn't pretty. Just as I declared defeat, the phone rang. "Pardon me, ma'am," the realtor on the other end said. "I have clients with me right now who would be interested in looking at your house that is for sale. Would five minutes be too soon?"
I will never think kindly of popcorn balls ever, ever, ever again.

One Cluttered Brain said...

Oh no! Silly *certain people*. I bet it was one of your children. Could it have been your *Gasp* husband? I'm pretty clueless on the ports you plug into the computer too. I'll be patiently waiting for those pictures. Although you described it really well. Hamburger? Hmmm...I daresay you are probably right. Hopefully you are sleeping right now cause 3:30 AM is EARLY.....:)

Talk to you later!

Dan and Wendy said...

Epic story. I'm sure that your son will love them.

Cheri Chesley said...

What a great mom!!

Diva Donna said...

Tristi, you crack me up. Thanks for the heads up on the dangers of chocolate Krispy Treat making.
I hope you got some sleep after the oh-so fun late night treat adventure.

Marta O. Smith said...

You have a real talent for word pictures, Tristi. I started to chuckle almost immediately and progressed quickly to helpless giggling. I can't wait to see the pictures.

Stephanie Black said...

Tristi, you're awesome! :) Mmm, ground beef Rice Krispie treats!

I especially loved the line about an "understanding." Ha ha!

One trick for smoothing Rice Krispie treats into a pan is to put plastic baggies over your hands and butter the plastic baggies.

Josi said...

LOL--I love it. I made the mistake of using the tootie frootie flavored marshmallows once--they turn gray too. Cover it all in melted chocolate chips and no one will know.

Daron D. Fraley said...

You did a fantastic job describing the treats. So much so, that I would personally refrain from eating them. Ground beef eh?

Too bad you don't have pics.

And yes, 3:30 AM postings do mean you're insane. :)

L.T. Elliot said...

Ground beef...ha ha ha! I'm sorry for the craziness but I'm super grateful for the laughs. =]

Shari said...

Just so you know, this kind of thing happens to me almost daily in the kitchen, which is not my friend. Glad I'm not alone. Hurry and post the hamburger krispie treat pictures. Can't wait to see them.

Anonymous said...

Okay, it's really unfair of you to make someone who can't breathe properly laugh so stupidly hard!!!

Ha ha *cough cough cough* ha ha ha ha *cough* *cough*!

Lee Ann Setzer said...

You're not crazy, sweetheart--just hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh.

Terresa said...

Erm, thanks for the mental picture. I will never look @ Rice Krispies the same way again. :)

Btw, I can't make Rice Krispie bars for my life. I have to go begging to my mom to make them and then get sick gorging myself on this rare treat. True story.

PS: And I thought *I* was a late night gal. 3:30am is late. Or is it early?

Keith Fisher said...

LOL I want you to bring some for our next critique group pot luck. I never ate a spider web. So, how did your son like them?

Kimberly Job said...

You are hilarious!! I want to know when you sleep.

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