Rice Crispy Treatise

(Not my creations.)

I got all hepped up this weekend.  It was my turn to make the treats for church visitors.  Yippee!  I even had a brainwave.  I would make two-tone rice crispy treats in blue and green stripes.  Seahawks colors.  Get it?!

Oh, the hubris.

I eagerly mixed up the requisite amount of marshmallows and butter in half batches.  I tossed them in the microwave.  Two minutes.  Stir.  Another minute.  Stir.  Okay, so the marshmallows started out a little crunchy.  What else do you do with old marshmallows?

Something was horribly wrong.  I frowned. The microwave concoction didn’t come together. Melted butter pooled in the bottom of the blue bowl. Puzzled, I added the food coloring.  I dumped the slimy mass into the pre-measured rice crispies.  I stirred.  The mass elongated, a stringy oobleck-like mess.  Weird.  I stirred and stirred.  It simply didn’t come together.

I prayed a quick, “What now, Lord?”  I know!  I scooped some out of the bowl and pressed them into balls.  Rice crispy balls!  Ta da!

But I could never make enough for all the visitors we might have.  I needed at least 2 dozen to be safe.

I stirred up another batch.  Same thing, only these were greenish-blue.  Well, I tried to make them plain old blue.  The food coloring had other ideas.

I’d pressed most of the last batch into a 9 x 13 Pyrex pan, hoping to create a layered effect, the bottom layer green. I resigned myself to changing up the proportions. The new batch (colorless) looked good.  I’d increased the ratio of butter and marshmallows.  And this time, I melted them on the stovetop.  The melted mixture completely combined.  Yay!

I pressed the virgin treats on top of the greenish ones and let them cool.  All right!  Now to take a break and let those be.

I came back later and cut them up.  The knife scraped through the brittle surface.  I cut carefully, trying to make good-sized portions.  Alas, the two layers separated.  The green layer, crumbly and broken, did not adhere evenly to the top layer of lovely gooey goodness.

(I had pictures – lots of them – but true to form, they wouldn’t upload.  At all.)

I gave up.

If you know anything about making these treats, they’re very simple.  The equation is butter + marshmallows + rice crispies.  Really, any moron could do it.

Except me.

I managed to salvage the treats and put them aside for Ruby and company. These treats, flat on top and random green chunks protruding on the bottom, resembled mineral excavations from a cave. The neighborhood kids had commented on how delicious the balls were and the new ones were the same, though certainly ugly.

“These are really good, ” one girl commented around a bite.

“Is there butterscotch in these?” she asked.

No.  Somehow, I caramelized the butter.  Go, me!

I should mention I have made rice crispy treats before.  It’s been awhile, but I am perfectly capable. At least, I thought I was.

I learned something from this.  I felt like the Lord was trying to show me that I could trust Him.  I had the vision and the heart to do this.  I did not, however, have the complete ability or inspiration.  Jonathon did.  He ran with my idea. He found a better recipe and cooked it all on the stove.  He bought more marshmallows, upping their ratio even more.  He found gel food coloring to get the green and blue just right and very bright.  He even added an extra layer of plain rice crispies to the green and blue.  They looked stellar.  Next time, no microwave.  He whipped up another pan to bring to our church leadership meeting, this time with a pink layer.  Fabulous!

I learned that unless God breathes on what you’re doing, it ain’t gonna work.  The equation is heart + ability + inspiration.  I didn’t have the last part. Jonathon did. On the upside, I created a brand new, labor intensive breakfast cereal:  Buttery Mallow Chunks!  The kids are thrilled.  Coming soon to a supermarket near you.

I am grateful for a spouse who is truly a team player and enjoys cooking.  Sometimes, our best laid plans fall apart.  Literally.  And it’s alright.

For Janathon, to ease my cranky back, I stretched for about 20 minutes.  Tomorrow, back at it.


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