Honestly - this has been one of the wackiest summers yet. With my esposo out of town all of July (and yes - he's STILL NOT HOME!), I've been bordering on insanity most days and have to take lots of deep breaths. But I can't complain! With such a strong familial support system, sanity is restored weekly, if not daily. And we've been crafting, library-ing, snack-making, Oaks Park-ing, swimming, farm-ing and Curious George-ing. (I love OPB/PBS Kids!)
With Dan out of town, we've resorted to some pretty intense versions of normal activities - just to pass the time. One example:
Rice Crispie Treats!
They used to be simple before THIS happened. and I'm grateful, mind you, because they are shellfish-delish. One part of me misses the "butter in a bowl, microwave, add marshmallows, microwave, clean exploded goo from microwave, stir with crispies, press in pan and eat" system. Another part of me - the ultra ansty, try anything that takes more time just to use more time and magically fill an empty evening part of me - wanted to take this to a whole new level. Plus I was afraid baby girl would fall asleep before we got to a "normal" grocery store, so we pulled over immediately in to the Whole Foods parking lot. Does WF's even stock marshmallows? YES. Yes they do. I had to ask, tho, because they were above my viewing levels. We even bought puffed brown rice cereal, because if we were going to use $5 marshmallows, we were going to make these things as healthy as possible.
I was hesitant to spend the $5 per bag for marshmallows. Yeah, you heard me. Almost $5 for each bag! But the cashier that helped me find them sensed my hesitation (probably because I said, "WOW! $4.95? Do they even melt?") and she sampled out both packs so I could give it a try risk-free. YAY free marshmallows! So - we came home with our wares, and then I found a giant bag of plain old $2 marshmallows in the pantry. oops! Oh well - perfect for a taste test.
Lily was napping, so Jack and I set up our chem lab. First we sampled each marshmallow.
The Elyon were petite and light as air. They were tasty enough, but sort of melted on our tongues. Jack said they were "soft and powdery." Plus I love the little happy dancing mini-marshmallows on the bag!
The Dandies were a little bigger and had a nice vanilla flavor. More of a regular marshmallow texture, but they stuck in my fillings. Jack said they were "a little sticky but tasty."
Then we had the giant looking Fred Meyer (nee Kroger) Marshmallow. Classic. No surprises. No subtleties. The giant puffball of classic mallowy goodness. Or as Jack put it, "These are my favorite because it poofs out my cheeks."
I made a batch of the Smitten Kitchen Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats as noted above, and added star-sprinkles, per Lily's pre-nap request.
Then we tried out the new stuff.
Let's just say, they were ... uhh... healthy? maybe! I had to add a half a bag of ghiradelli semi-sweet chips just to make it all kind of stick together. Those little marshmallows were just not gooey enough to hold it all together. That, and with the bigger puffed rice bits, they just got dry. They were tasty, but not fun to eat. and honestly nothing like a Rice Crispie Treat. But it was fun to try!
Sometimes, you just have to stick to the classics. Revel in that corn syrup, dextrose, modified corn starch, gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavor with just a dab of blue 1. YUM!