The first day of school.
Whether you loved or dreaded school, chances are the first day left an impression on you.
As we sat around the dinner table this week talking, my soon-to-be kindergartner looked up at her father with big bright eyes and said, “Dad, guess what! I get to start school in two days!” Then she scrunched up her eyes and gave him a big smile, bursting with silliness, yet still somehow genuine.
Our children are young, and this is the first year we’ll have kids in public school. I wanted to establish a tradition or two that they could look forward to every year. Something that would put smiles on their faces and make their eyes shine. And something that would ease any angst about the year to come.
I decided on two traditions.
First, I wanted to bathe the year in prayer.
So, we sat down as a family this morning and prayed. My husband and I prayed over our children, their teachers, their friends, and the school year. As the kids get older, I hope they will chime in with prayers of their own.
Prayer is always a good idea.
The second thing I did was make rice crispy treats.
I did not used to enjoy making rice crispy treats. Just the thought of marshmallow goo crusted to a pot with bits of rice cereal has kept me away from these delicious treats for years.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love eating them. I just didn’t want to deal with making them.
But I wanted something special for an after school snack. I reasoned that these would be perfect because I could just commit to making them once a year. And I wanted the kids to experience them. They are delicious, after all. 🙂
My actual experience was much better than I anticipated. You have my permission to be relieved. 🙂
First, I looked at a few different recipes. I picked one that had 1/4 cup butter and only one 10 oz package of mini marshmallows. Of the recipes I looked at, which were not extensive, this had the highest amount of butter, but the lowest amount of marshmallows. I had only planned on one bag of marshmallows, and more butter is always a good idea. 🙂
I put in the butter FIRST and let it melt part of the way to coat the pan. Then I tossed in the marshmallows. This may have helped keep it from sticking too much once I got everything in the pan.
I’ll admit, I loved watching the marshmallows melt into this silky texture.
I was surprised by this crumbly texture after I stirred everything together. It did not stick to the pan as much as I remembered. Again, I think that melting some of the butter first helped “non-stick” the pan.
I was delighted when I dumped it into my 9″x13″ and it fell out with hardly any trouble. I just had to scoop out a couple spoonfuls at the bottom.
One recipe recommended buttered hands to spread the mixture into the pan.
I am not fond of greasy hands.
Truthfully, it disgusts me to coat my hands in butter. I have done it before for the greater good (such as making croissants — this was definitely worth it), but I don’t like to if I can avoid it.
Thankfully, another recipe recommended buttering a spatula for easy spreading. Yes, I probably should have thought of this sooner. 🙂 It worked beautifully.
I packed ’em in good!
Notice the wax paper? This was something I had never tried before. I’m usually an eat-it-directly-from-the-pan-before-it’s-even-cooled type baker, but I will have to try this for bars of many kinds in the future.
I coated the wax paper with non-stick spray ahead of time, so the treats came out without any trouble, and I was able to cut them easily.
They turned out yummy, crunchy, and all-around delicious. My kids were exhausted after a day at school, but enjoyed their treats! I’ll be making these again next year! (And maybe once or twice in between.) 🙂
What about you? What are your favorite traditions for the first day of school? Leave me a comment and let me know!