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.?