Keeping pace with the munchies supply

The weather has been remarkably cooperative recently, so we?ve been trying to catch up on all of those outdoor projects that, just yesterday, it seemed like we had all summer to do.

Of course, in the midst of all of the added activities, some things seem to slip through the cracks. Plan?ning birthdays and holidays around chores, or vice versa, always proves to be a challenge. I?m sure I?m not helping things by being extra forgetful lately. The result is often a last-minute, panicked rush, with an invariably amorphous plan to fit the neglected task in ?sometime this week.? Peace is hard to come by.

Even cooking has taken on an added dimension. Not only do we have more activities on weeknights, apparently we?re all stocking up for a hard winter. The kids are easy to explain?this must be the latest iteration of growth spurts. At this rate, we?ll have to get them new jeans for Christmas because the old ones are getting too short.

Hubby is easy to explain too. He?s always had a good appetite, paired with a lightning-fast metabolism. When he works extra hard?like he has been lately?he can literally eat all day and not gain an ounce.

As a good wife, I?ve become expert at judging his hunger level, and keeping an array of munchies available, lest he try gnawing his own arm off in a fit of desperation. He?s usually pretty predictable: oatmeal and starches in the morning, veggies before lunch, last night?s leftovers at noonish, then something sweet for a sugar rush around 2.

Unfortunately, in my haze of busyness, I had neglected the munchie supply. Knitting right along?since I have five projects to have done for Christmas, and I haven?t learned to knit with my feet yet?I vaguely noticed as he passed with each course, then lunch.

Around 2, I glanced up to find him rummaging around in the pantry with a slightly desperate look on his face. He made a beeline for the freezer, where he discovered our lack of ice cream. The look intensified.

It was afternoon sweet time, and the only things vaguely resembling sweets readily at hand were the loose granola I?d made and the oatmeal apple cookies that started out as cookies, but have instead solidified into something strongly resembling granite. Things looked dire.

Suddenly, around his still-searching self, I spotted my box of emergency cake mix. ?Grab that,? I said, putting down my knitting. ?I?ll make it right now.? He grabbed it and thrust it at me, his eyes still darting around for a glimpse of something to hold him over until the cake was done.

As I slid the cake into the oven, I happened to see a package of marshmallows and a box of Rice Krispies. Aha, I thought. Something quick and sweet. Just what the doctor ordered. Or not.

As it turns out, even though they were still sealed, puffy, and soft, the egg-shaped marshmallows left over from Easter didn?t seem to want to melt. The Krispies soaked up the butter, while the marshmallows turned into hard, stringy globs, refusing to incorporate the cereal or the butter.

I had never thought it was possible to ruin Rice Krispie treats, but I did. Still, my intrepid hubby munched on them until the cake came out of the oven.

When it cooled, I drizzled the fudge topping over it. Within seconds, he was there, looking at it hopefully. ?Of course, take some,? I said. Before I even closed my mouth, he had a fork and plate. As I turned around, he was taking the first bite with a look of bliss.

Then imminent doom struck. I heard a rumbling outside. Was it just a train? No! It was the school bus! Neither one of us wanted to fend off the kids? surely repetitive demands for cake. What could we do? Hide the evidence!

We both scarfed down the last of our respective pieces and scrubbed the plates. I slid the cake into the microwave just as the first munchkin came through the door. Phew. Disaster?or at least tantrum?averted.

And for a minute there, just a minute, things were peaceful and quiet and chocolatey. Maybe the world?s not built crooked after all. Maybe I need to be less hurrier and enjoy the few moments of gooey goodness more.