When I set out to write about one of my dad's recipes every month for one year, I didn't know we'd be moving to Seattle halfway through the year. I figured I'd be at my mom and dad's house at least once a month on a weekend, that I could just ask my dad ahead of time to fix something and be sure to remember my camera.
So I found myself scrambling during my last couple of weeks in Denver, trying to fit cooking with my dad into a busy schedule of packing, finishing up the school year, and spending time with friends before the move. Luckily, these treats take approximately 10 minutes to whip up, so we were able to pull them off the night before we left for San Francisco. Unfortunately, I didn't really get a story from my dad while he made them.
I can tell you, though, that I remember thinking that my dad was the cleverest person I'd ever met the first time he made these for us. I believe the whole thing may have started with an incident that involved me ruining a saucepan by burning butter and marshmallows into the bottom of it but, really, who can be sure? What I remember is my dad asking: "Do you like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?", then proceeding to make my head explode with the new understanding that one can, in fact, improvise changes to an existing recipe and make something even more delicious.
My dad's always been good at creative problem-solving, and I remember one of his sisters telling me once - when I was a very small child - that one of her favorite things about my dad was that he seemed to be good at everything he tried. Now that I'm grown, I know enough to know not to be surprised when my dad comes up with something like Reese's Rice Krispie Treats, but back when I was a kid and feeling like a dummy for screwing up melted butter, I was amazed at his ingenuity. Then and now, I've always been glad he was my dad.
Reese's Rice Krispie Treats
3 tablespoons of butter
1 10 oz package of small marshmallows
1/4 cup of crunchy peanut butter
5 cups of Cocoa Krispies
1) Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
2) Melt the butter. The official recipe says to do this in a saucepan on the stovetop. My dad did it in the microwave because he's a daredevil.
3) Add the marshmallows and stir until they're completely melted. (Note: should you choose to use the microwave like my dad did, you will have to stir very quickly since your only source of heat will be the butter itself. My dad pulled it off, but I'm not sure I could have.)
4) Add the peanut butter and Cocoa Krispies and stir until everything is combined.
5) Press the mixture evenly into the pan and let it cool.
6) Cut into square-shaped treats and eat at least one or two before your brothers and sisters find out they're done.
One of my goals for 2014 is to write one “Have At It” post per month, to include a story from my dad’s life with one of his recipes. I figure if nothing else, it will give me some motivation to get serious about getting my dad’s stories down, even if I have to write them myself.
Previous Have At It Posts: