Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bridal Showers and Thunderstorms

A friend's daughter had her bridal shower. This family was the first I met when I first moved to the house we bought, back in the days when I was a young wife and mother of three. I spent many mornings quaffing instant coffee at their table, and afternoons sucking down gallons of lemonade while the kids played in the kiddie pools. Our kids did scouts, CCD, swim lessons and BioMath together. As my boys got older and involved in more manly activities, we were together less but always stayed in touch. She drove the kids-hers and mine- to school in the mornings because she enjoyed listening to them. I made them take the bus. The girls and I spent a lot of time cooking things, eating them and playing games. We always cooked when we were together.
When their elder daughter had her shower, I wanted to give her something personal I thought she would enjoy. One of my own favourite wedding gifts was a set of bowls- bright, colorful and practical, so I thought of the giver every time I pulled them out. Her registry included cookie sheets, so I went with those. Then I had an idea. I saw a big baking bowl, so I bought that too, and went to the grocery store and bought a small bag of flour, and all the ingredients to make snickerdoodles, one of her favourites. (They loved rolling the balls of dough into cinnamon sugar...) I included the recipe on a card. She opened it, immediately got it and loved it. At her wedding, the favours were a cookie cutter with the snickerdoodle recipe attached.
So I needed to replicate the magic for daughter number two. Registry in hand, I wandered around the store, and all the good kitchen gadgets that were on the list were either fulfilled or not in stock. I went with a water filter that she would use every day, and hopefully think of me once in a while. I was blanking on the personal part when all of a sudden I had the idea.
Her parents went to a wedding and I had the girls for an overnight-she was eight or nine. A sudden thunderstorm moved in and she panicked- she was terrified of thunder. There was only one cure for thunder- Rice Crispy squares. We got her distracted stirring melting marshmallow, and the next thing you know, the storm was gone, the stars were out, and we were all snacking on slightly burnt bars. She had braved it out, she was ok, and we had a rousing game of Pictionary before they trouped upstairs to bunk out in sleeping bags with the resident ghost.
So today, she opened her card and read it and called out "I know who this is from..." There was a bowl from her dish set containing a bag of marshmallows, accompanied by a box of Rice Crispies. She proceeded to tell everyone there the story...
"Didn't we burn them?" asked her sister.
She got a lot of lovely things, and a lot of gifts that were equally as personal. We all had a nice time watching her enjoy her gifts and acknowledging every person there.
People were milling about and chatting as the party wound up. The sky got darker and it began to pour, and then there was a big clap of thunder. She slipped into the chair next to me and put her arm across my shoulder, and we both laughed.

Rice Crispy Squares
One 10 oz bag of marshmallows (or 4 cups mini-marshmallows)
Six cups of Rice Crispies
3 Tbs butter or margarine

In a large saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Add in the marshmallows slowly, stirring until they are completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal until thoroughly coated. Spread into a greased (Pam, butter or margarine- your choice) baking dish 13x9x2.
Cut into squares and then let cool.
Eat and sit back and enjoy the thunderstorm.

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