Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment - Spring!

For this month's assignment, The Curious Professor Z asked those participating to write about something related to Spring. Rather than a lengthy explanation of how we know Spring has finally arrived in Calgary by the fact we're now sweeping snow off the front steps rather than shoveling it off, the insomniac  decided instead to share an Easter tradition initiated by her Sainted Mother when she was exactly five years old. Don't believe for a second she actually remembered the exact age when the tradition began; the date at the bottom of the newspaper clipping was a dead giveaway ...

As is evident from this photo of the original recipe, which is shown exactly as it's stored in her Mother's recipe box, the insomniac  grew up long, long ago; well before staples or paper clips were invented.

It's true.  The insomniac's  real name is Mike ...

One has fond memories of her Mother making this recipe every Easter for many years, and when the insomniac  eventually had offspring of her own, she carried on in her Mother's footsteps. When the offspring were very young, we would often make extras and deliver them to the neighbours in a large wicker Easter basket.

Back then, the recipe for Rice Krispie squares printed on the inside of the cereal box was used, as it makes twice the number of nests. However, if you've just recently started Bat Fit, or perhaps even rejoined Weight Watchers again like Mike has, you'll probably want to stick with the original recipe, which makes a mere twelve nests. And thanks to that newfangled invention called the Micro-Wave Oven, you can now simply nuke the marshmallows and butter on high for two minutes instead of dirtying a saucepan or double boiler. The original recipe also benefits from the addition of a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the melted marshmallow and butter mixture.

The Sainted Mother never made Bunnies.  Only Nests.

It is imperative you use Rice Krispies.

And Easter Jelly Beans ... not Everyday Jelly Beans.

Although the original instructions recommend shaping the nests around the outside of a custard cup, and one has even seen them made inside muffin tins, again - it's just one more thing to wash afterwards. Simply make free-form nests with your hands, which are far easier to wash than a cup or a tin. And besides, they look more like real nests when they're not perfect. If you find the mixture sticks to your fingers during the process, dip them in cold water and shake them off before proceeding with the nest building.

Leaving big globs of white marshmallow mixture 
throughout also helps the nests look more realistic ...

The final result, with each nest containing exactly the same number of jelly beans in exactly the same colours, to avoid such scenarios as “She's got more eggs in her nest than I do!” or “He got more pink eggs in his nest than I did!” The astute reader will notice that by the time this picture was taken, two nests had already gone missing. One blames the youngest. And also the spouse. Further clarifying why all the “refrigerate until” steps have been eliminated from the original recipe; they're just not around long enough to spoil. 

The insomniac  isn't crazy about the nests and the spouse doesn't like the jelly beans.

It works out perfectly.

This month's homework assignment is due March 20-22, so please be sure to check out the other participants on those dates!

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. And in case you're interested, one nest plus ten jelly beans equates to roughly 6000 Weight Watchers Plus Points. Totally worth it. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA

35 comments:

  1. How cute and yummy!
    Can I have 10 please? ;)

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    1. LOL! Well, obviously YOU don't need to worry about Weight Watchers Plus Points, Lesthi! :D

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  2. Oh, that's sweet! A great idea ... and with jelly beans! I love jelly beans!

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    1. Ooooh, the insomniac  loves jelly beans too, Madame Kismet! And ju jubes! Especially the black ones. She generally eats those ones first! ;o)

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  3. I think it's really interesting that you've posted a recipe handed down to you from your mother as a child. Just this morning, I was talking to my own mom about how, with people so busy and on the run most of the time, relatively few family recipes seem to be getting handed down to, and/or sustained by the younger generations. I'm glad to see that you're keeping the tradition alive.

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    1. One's Sainted Mother didn't particularly care for cooking Nightwind, so only a few of her recipes have been handed down! But the insomniac  does have recipes from hers and the spouse's grandmothers. Of course, they're all pretty much cookie recipes - hence the need for Weight Watchers. But still!  ;D

      The offspring were never involved in a lot of scheduled activities, so we always had the opportunity to have our evening meal together. You're right though ... people are very busy these days, and a family meal seems to be the first thing to go. Sort of sad, isn't it?

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  4. He doesn't like jelly beans? Oh, that's heresy...:P

    My mom has a big, festering cookbook, that looks ancient, and its pages are all mixed up...it's coming from her grandmother, my great - grandmother. The language, and the explanations with the kitchen tools of that time...it's amazing. I wish she'd bake more, though...! :)

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    1. It is heresy, isn't it? He doesn't care for candies of any kind, except chocolate. Oh, how one wishes she didn't care quite so much for all those things either!

      A big festering cookbook - that sounds so awesome, Lynoire! The insomniac  would certainly love to see that book! Maybe it's time for you to take up the torch and start making some of those recipes? Hmmmmmm? ;o)

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  5. I swear to you I have been working on my blog all day today and mention my mother too before I read yours. Maybe spring and mothers cannot be avoided. I am glad I wrote my before I read this. You are like cliff notes. Awesome but you need to have a firm idea before you read them or you end up using the cliff note ideas because they are so great!

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    1. That's too funny, Rhonda - the insomniac  being like cliff notes ... LOL!

      One is eager to read your post when it's ready! It's always nice to hear other stories about Spring and Mothers! Was yours about Rice Krispie nests, too? :D

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  6. No my mother is fondly called Mommie dearest. My brother just goes straight for Joan. I mean it in the most loving way. She is a tough one. I just got slammed for the dress I am letting my daughter wear to prom and I have not even let my mother see it yet. Since I have not talked about it or let her see it she just naturally assumes it is not expectable

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    1. Mommie Dearest? Joan? “A tough one” might be a slight understatement, Rhonda!

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  7. This is too funny, I know all too well the dangers of uneven treat distribution. I think I will make these for Easter, what are your thoughts on Easter peanut m&m's instead of jelly beans?

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    1. WHAAAAAT? They make Easter peanut M&M's? How did the insomniac  not know of this? **runs downstairs and adds Easter M&M's to grocery list, along with more Rice Krispies and marshmallows**

      Uneven treat distribtion - that's excellent, Mme. Polaire! One assumes you had the same issues in your household when you were growing up? Being an only child, the insomniac  was completely unprepared for the fallout the first time it happened! LOL!

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    2. I am an only child too, but I have an aunt who is quite childish and comically violent towards me if she is slighted - even now at 60 years old!
      How many points are peanut m&m's? It's never fun to be on a diet when a chocolate related holiday is going on! Good luck!

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    3. You're an only child too, Mme. Polaire? And isn't that strange about your aunt - at 60 you'd think she'd have gotten past all that!

      Not even going to check how many points M&M's are! This week the insomniac  must get back on track! Hahaha ... ;o)

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  8. I've always been curious about rice krispy treats. I have got to try making them soon!

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    1. Can you buy Rice Krispies in Sweden? Although don't get your hopes up too high, Ms. Misantropia - the jelly beans just might be the very best part of this treat! :D

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    2. Yep, we have Rice Krispies - and marshmallows! We are totally civilized ;) Though I'm actually not sure about Jelly Beans...

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    3. The insomniac  didn't mean to be rude, Ms. Misantropia and certainly wasn't implying Sweden wasn't civilized (not that being able to purchase Rice Krispies is a sign of an advanced civilization or anything)! But she knows that the sister-in-law in Israel can't buy the same products we can. For instance, she always loads up her suitcase with Kraft peanut butter, Kellogg's Pop Tarts and Kraft Dinner when she comes over for a visit because she can't find all those nutritious items over there! ;o)

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  9. Rice Krispie treats! Oh my, I've not had one of those in ages. I tried the commercially made ones, but needless to say, they tasted cack by comparison to homemade. My own Dearly Departed Maman also used to make a chocolate refrigerator thingy with corn flakes and shredded coconut. Damn my teflon memory, I can't recall the name of them.

    And don't talk to me about diets. I started eating just before Christmas and have only recently stopped. Do you remember the bad ol' days when diet and exercise were what other people had to do? Seems now I'm Other People.

    Its always a good sign when you can merely sweep the accumulated snow off the porch. I'm from Atlantic Canada, so a snowstorm at Easter is almost de rigueur. Vernal Equinox in what? Two days now I think.

    Ali

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    1. The Sainted Mother actually used to buy the packaged Rice Krispie treats in her later years. The insomniac  never tried one herself, but homemade is always best! One remembers those corn flake, chocolate and coconut thingies - but of course can't remember the name of them either!

      Ugh, diets - it just seems to get harder every year to keep that spare tire off, doesn't it? Skipped the weigh-in this week though - already knew it was going to be bad news! ;o)

      Oh yeah, Atlantic Canada - the spouse is from Goose Bay and he has tales of the epic snowfalls back east! :D

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  10. I have never heard of these before (which i suspect is odd) but now i HAVE to try them! Will fill mine with rumballs though...

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    1. Do they make rumballs in the shape of little eggs, Marie? Because that's important!

      However, even if they don't and you decide that rumballs and Rice Krispies go together quite well, please let the insomniac  know and she'll revise her version of the recipe! LOL!

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  11. Cute little nests!
    It's often like that, the cookies and cupcakes looks sooo pretty and delicious... but they're not THAT good. But you wanna make them anyway because they're so pretty! :D Haha

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    1. Even though the insomniac  doesn't really care for the nests themselves, she still managed to scarf down two of them anyways, Sandra! Because they were there!! :D

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  12. I have never eaten rice crispy treats, can you tell me a flavour they compare to? The nests look cute and match the Easter theme great!

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    1. Well MindLess, Rice Krispies themselves don't have an awful lot of flavour - they're sort of like toasted air! So basically it's the marshmallows that you taste with a bit of crunch from the Rice Krispies; but if you don't care for marshmallows then you will probably agree with the insomniac  that the jelly beans are the best part! ;o)

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  13. What a charming post! I too must try that recipe, since I have only done candy of cacao, Rice Krispies and coco butter. ^^

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    1. Thank you, Jade! One imagines the addition of cocoa would make a definite improvement in the taste of the nests! Plus, it would definitely make them look more realistic, wouldn't it? There's a thought for next year! :D

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  14. nice, now i want horribly sweet and colored sugary stuff.

    <3

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    1. Haha, sorry kukuidori! You and the insomniac  both! :D

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  15. Those look delicious! I don't think I could eat more than like three though.

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    1. Only because I have a very small stomach. There would have to be a 30 minute waiting period between binges.

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