Tuesday

A Sticky Failure

I took my first HomeEc class when I was a Freshman in high school. At the tender age of 14 I enrolled in the class that was going to carefully begin honing me into the homemaker I am today. I waited patiently through the first nine weeks while we did the budgeting chapter, the "how to balance a checkbook" chapter, the interior decorating chapter and kitchen safety chapter. Finally it was time for ....

.... sewing. *insert disappointing trombone "wah wah wah wahhhhhh" here*

There were two classes of HomeEc I and while we were sewing they were cooking and vice versa. I was disappointed because I wanted to cook! My mom was and still is a fabulous cook and there is nothing that woman can't cook with perfection. (She can also sew like crazy. I, however, cannot. That's another post altogether.)

So I endured the sewing for an entire nine weeks. I made a pillow and a pair of "jams" (which were the height of fashion at the time back in 1987) because I knew that it was merely the means to and end and after Christmas break I would COOK.

Our very first task in the kitchen was "white sauce". My classmates and I all had a hard time with the white sauce because it seemed so silly to make white sauce to make macaroni and cheese (probably because we were all raised on Kraft Mac n' Cheese) or sweet and sour chicken. If she had explained that we were actually pretty much making gravy we'd have probably grasped it better because HELLO, we live in Oklahoma and everything is covered in gravy here. Had she informed us it was gravy I know I'd have paid more attention. As it was, though, I lollygagged through making the lumpy white sauce for my baked macaroni and cheese then moved on to "Madame Wu's Sweet and Sour Chicken", some weird hamburger dish and homemade biscuits. We finished the cooking labs with cake decorating and I embellished my cake with "I <3 BRAD" because I was like, sooooo in looooooove with Braaaaad. That's another post altogether, as well.

Anyway, I was in Homemaker Heaven.

Mom let me do more in the kitchen at home after that first year in HomeEc. I made cakes, biscuits, pies, cookies, hamburgers, scrambled eggs and anything else she felt I could handle. She instilled in me a love for cooking and baking that exists today. Anyone who has seen the size of my hind-end will know this to be a fact.

I make seriously awesome cake poppers, my Texas sheetcake gets rave reviews, I always have an Amish Friendship Bread starter (or seven) going. And my Snickerdoodles? They're to die for. Seriously, that's the name of the recipe: Snickerdoodles to Die For.

But folks, all culinary bragging aside, there is one thing I simply cannot make. I have tried repeatedly over my nearly 18 years of wife-dom. I tried repeatedly before I even got married. So do the math and that means that for 23 years I have been trying - and failing miserably - to make Rice Krispy Treats.

Yes, the simplistic snappy, crackly, popping cereal mixed with nothing more than margarine and marshmallows are a complete and total mystery to me. I have made some so sticky they could double as Venus Flytraps. I have made some so hard they literally required a hammer to get them out of the pan. I have made some so inedible the dog just sniffed and scampered away to roll in that dead possum over by the fence. I have harbored animosity toward marshmallows and Rice Krispies in general for years now. I tried buying the actual Rice Krispy brand treats, but to me they taste like the cereal is stale or something.

Essentially, I have done without their marshmallowy goodness for years now.

I don't get it. I can make gravy that makes Momma proud. I can make a chicken casserole you will dream about. My chili  keeps 'em comin' back for more. I already told you about my Texas sheetcake. I also make a mean chicken enchilada. But ask me to melt a marshmallow and add puffed rice and I will probably do one of three things: 1) run screaming, 2) curl up in the fetal position or 3) punch you in the neck.

But last week my mother-in-law brought the kids something that has changed my life. It has brought the sunshine back into my world.



I should've known that Little Debbie would never let me down.



~~Mrs. Nesbitt

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