Warning: It's going to take me awhile to get around to the subject, since I first need to vent a bit and reminisce a bit.
I just got out of the tub. I love a nice hot bath. I usually intend to read, but then I decide that I really want to put my hands in the nice hot water, so my book sits on the side of the tub untouched. This time I fell asleep no less than four times. Did I mention that I wake up early? For some unknown reason, I usually wake up like clockwork at around 5:30, but I often wake up earlier than that. I try to go back to sleep, but then I start thinking about the sewing I could do if I just got up. That usually wins. Today, I got up around 4:00.
Did I also mention that I live in an old house? In Maine? Any kind of warmth is pretty elusive from now until the end of May. My house is cold, my commute to work is nice and short, so the car doesn't even have time to warm up, and work is cold. (That's the venting part.) So my favorite way to warm up is in the tub, but our hot water situation is tricky. I have no idea why, but the water starts out hot then gradually goes to lukewarm then eventually warms up again. Obviously, this "feature" doesn't just apply to baths but showers as well. You get hot water long enough to get wet then it gets colder as you wash up, and it finally warms up again when you're almost rinsed off. So the trick to a nice hot bath is to wait for the water to warm up then run it full blast until it starts to cool off again then run it at a trickle (so you don't end up filling up the tub with cold water) until you have enough water to get in (that's usually enough time to get a decent amount of sewing done). At that point, you can run it at full blast until it goes cold again then go back to the trickle, etc.
I have absolutely no reason to tell you this other than wanting to share my pain. Thank you for listening.
Okay, so moving on . . . if you live in Maine or have ever visited Maine, have you ever stopped by the Market Basket in Rockport? Back in the day, when my husband and I were just dating, and I suppose even before that with my family, we used to stop by there for yummy stuff like apple cider, French bread, and peanut butter balls. It was the best French bread ever! You could get sandwiches made there, too on the same bread. I remember those being really good, but I can't remember what kind of sandwich I got. I just remember that it had "fancy" lettuce. We used to get them along with a bag of Cape Cod chips and take them over to Beauchamp Point for a picnic. Those were the days! That was almost 20 years ago (sheesh, I'm getting old). I think the place is still open, but I have no idea if their bread is still as good. I only live about an hour and a half away now. That will make a good research project someday.
Finally arriving at the subject . . . So even though their bread was to die for, the very best thing you could get there was the peanut butter balls. You could get 3 for a dollar or 1 for 35 cents in a little waxed paper bag. It was the perfect sweet peanut butter with some crunch inside coated with semisweet chocolate which somehow never melted in your hands. I don't think we ever got more than 3. I'm not sure why. These were the things I missed most when we moved away to Colorado. They're not necessarily a Christmas thing, but I was determined to figure out how to make them for our first Christmas away from Maine. Here's the recipe I came up with:
Peanut Butter Balls
1 C butter
2 C peanut butter (I use crunchy, but I'm sure creamy would work fine, too)
3 - 3 1/4 C powdered sugar
4 C Rice Krispies (or any generic version will work fine, too)
2 C Chocolate Chips (I usually use semisweet, but milk chocolate can be nice, too. My husband likes how the semisweet seems to cut the sweetness of the sugary peanut butter mixture, but if you're not concerned about that, I think milk chocolate is yummy. And you know what? 2 C is what my recipe says, but I just keep on melting chips until I've coated all the peanut butter balls. I'm pretty sure I use more than 2C. I would go ahead and pick up two bags.)
6 T vegetable oil
Melt butter and peanut butter and remove from heat. Mix in powdered sugar then Rice Krispies. Roll into balls. Melt chocolate chips with vegetable oil and use to coat balls.
I've been making them ever since. My kids are all crazy about them. I even tried them with Nutella instead of peanut butter one year. Not bad. This makes a nice big batch of 70 or so, so you can box 'em up and give them away as gifts. (Check out this cute little make-it-yourself box. I haven't make it yet, so I don't know how many it would hold.) They freeze nicely, so you can make them ahead if you want to get some Christmas tasks out of the way early.
I did finish my Study Hall Skirt today, but it was dark by the time I finished, so I'm going to try to get my daughter to do a photo shoot in the morning. She's not exactly a morning person, so we'll see how that goes.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your evening. I'm sorry if you have to go back to work tomorrow after a nice long weekend. I do, and I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself, too.