Army 101 / Care package / Deployment / Food and recipes

Halloween in a belated box

When Jonathan got back from his first deployment, I decided we’d have a celebrate-all-the-holidays-he-missed weekend. Since he was gone for a year, that’s…all the holidays. Which turned out to be a little over zealous, and we ended up celebrating none of them instead.

So for this deployment, I’m just sending the holidays to him as they happen. Luckily I still have a month to figure out how to fit an entire Christmas ham and a fully-lit menorah into a standard USPS box without catching it on fire. It might involve bending the laws of physics a bit, so we’ll find out if love is more powerful than science. And if it’s flame-retardant.

As I’ve mentioned, Halloween is my favorite non-Jewish holiday. And although Jonathan could probably take it or leave it, I’m still trying to find a way to trick him into liking candy corn, because I think his distaste for it is extremely un-American. To help, I assembled a very special Halloween-in-a-box care package to send to Afghanistan.

The star of the show: candy corn-shaped Rice Krispie treats, made with pumpkin spice marshmallows. So American it hurts.

As I discovered while assembling the last care package I made for Jonathan, taking pictures of the baking process is both annoying and messy. And since this recipe called for literally keeping a stick of butter out to coat your hands (in order to prevent the mixture from sticking to you long enough to mold it), I decided to keep my $2000 DSLR out of it. Also, using a stick of butter as hand lotion is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever done, including the time I tried to drink an entire pumpkin-spinach-kale smoothie. There’s no amount of pumpkin pie spice that can make blended spinach taste like pie.

The basic premise: You make three separate batches of Rice Krispie treats, using different food colorings in each. I used slightly orange “pumpkin spice” marshmallows for the yellow and orange rings, so I had to adjust the food coloring from the recipe. You’re supposed to use your hands to mold the different circles around cake pans (which I don’t have, so clearly I used pie pans), but even with an entire stick of butter coating my hands, I couldn’t get the mixture to stop sticking to me. So I ended up buttering two rubber spatulas, and used them as appendages to form the rings. I looked like something out of a Tim-Burton-meets-Betty-Crocker collaboration, but it worked.

Once you’ve let the mixture sit in the pans for a half hour, you tap them out onto a cutting surface. You then take a minute to appreciate that the two pre-cut Krispie circles look a lot like boobs. You cut the circles like they’re pizzas, and step back to enjoy how great you are at using rubber spatulas as hands.

Recommended, but not required: tasting what the pumpkin spice marshmallows did to the Krispies. I like Rice Krispies as much as the next kid, but the pumpkin marshmallows took them to a really fabulous level. The next day, I went back to the store and bought the last two bags on the shelf and got really MY PRECIOUS about them.

Since most recipes for Rice Krispies recommend serving them the same day (because they turn to about the consistency of bricks overnight), I really packaged the shit out of them.

Individually wrapped in foil. Four in a Ziploc. Foil the Ziploc. Ziploc the foiled-Ziploced-foils. Say that five times fast. Spin around. Stop! Double take three times. Stop on your right foot. Don’t forget it!

I packed the final products in air-tight containers, and included them underneath some traditional trick-or-treating candy, an emergency Halloween costume, and some cordial cherries. The cherries have nothing to do with Halloween, but Jonathan really likes them and they were somewhat of a bribe to get him to send me a picture of himself wearing the Groucho Marx glasses.

Unfortunately, Halloween came and went in Afghanistan, and Jonathan remained candy-less and costume-less. “Patience is a virtue,” he reminded me, which is true, but patience won’t stop you from chipping your tooth on a month-old Rice Krispie Treat. (I sent his Thanksgiving-in-a-box care package this past weekend because I’m determined to get at least one of them there in time for the holiday.)

After not hearing from Jonathan for five days or so (DURING WHICH I TOTALLY DIDN’T FREAK OUT AT ALL, in case you were wondering), I finally heard from him yesterday. And he’d finally gotten the box! Despite having received the package belatedly, he says the Krispies were still moist enough to prevent dental work, so my job here is done.

0 thoughts on “Halloween in a belated box

  1. That is an awesome project! Totally looks like candy corn. (I’m struggling to admit here, though, that I like neither candy corn nor rice krispie treats. Yikes.)

  2. You are the most adorable. THE most.


    Not only will I create multiple batches of rice krispie treats with them (or, oh no, cocoa pebble treats?! PUMPKIN AND CHOCOLATE OH GODDDDDD!??!) but I will also simply consume them like candy. And maybe put some in hot chocolate.


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