It was a bright and sunny afternoon.
I was peacefully browsing Target last Wednesday when I came across an unmarked stash of 90% off summer goods. Among the (worthless-to-me) plastic glasses and child-sized watering cans I made an interesting find: A smooshy bag of fruity-flavored mallows, for $.14. I couldn’t pass them up, even though a part of my brain was screaming something at my subconscious about them “not being real food.”
(Aside: I am currently participating in a “wellness” program at my place of employment, and I think it is beginning to affect my brain.)
But seriously, $.14. I was practically obligated to get them. You know, consumerism and all that.
Once home, however, I faced reality. What was I going to do with my perhaps ill-fated purchase?
Sighing, I idly flipped the marshmallow bag over, and, conveniently, a recipe for Strawberry Crispy Squares stared back at me.
I immediately knew what I had to do.
So, I hauled out my store-brand “crisp rice” (complete with terrifying packaging) and apprehensively rolled up my sleeves (figuratively, of course; it is summertime).
I was hesitant and wary but yet strangely hopeful. Perhaps this red-dye and chemical-laden food could be turned into something…wonderful…after all.
However, the process was not very reassuring. My heart grew heavy as I stared glumly into a steaming mix of margarine and mallow. Ew, I thought profoundly.
Wanting to put this ordeal behind me, I began to work quickly. I deftly poured 6 cups of crisp rice into the dubious-looking mallow mixture and stirred vigorously.
Once each grain of crispy rice was sufficiently coated, I ladled giant spoonfuls into my waiting 9×13. Spritzing a spatula with some canola oil, I pressed the sticky mass down, taming it.
It is over, I thought.
But then I realized–it wasn’t over. I still needed to consume this strange concoction.
Trembling slightly, I hoisted a sticky morsel to my reluctantly-waiting mouth.
And you know what?
It was pretty good.
My enjoyment surprised me.
I took a second bite and a subtle berry flavor blossomed once again upon my taste buds.
Yes, I thought. This will do.
In summary: $.14 for Kraft’s Jet-Puffed Strawberry Marshmallows is an adequate price to pay. More? Perhaps not. There is, of course, no substitute for classic, pure-white mallows in all their rice crispy glory. But in a pinch (or in a situation where one has made a rash, impulsive purchase), strawberry marshmallows are just fine.