Friday, July 16, 2010

peanut butter ball perfection

When wedding planning, the mom and I concluded: the best option for little wedding gifts were Hershey Kisses wrapped in black fabric, tied with a green bow. Guests could enjoy the sweet before, after or never during the reception and the only work we’d have to do was purchase the buggers and their wrapping. We’d wrap them the day before the wedding and presto change-o, DECORATIONS!
Peanut butter balls are round, delicate, peanut-butter infused rice krispe treats the size of a 3-D quarter dipped in chocolate of milk or dark varieties.  They require multiple steps of working, waiting and freezing as well as about a hundred hours to complete. I’ve only helped make them once or twice, for fear the sheer mass of work and time required would prevent me from enjoying the morsels in the future.  
My mom and aunts insist they’re a Christmastime only treat. They take sooo long, they say. Perhaps the you-can’t-have-it nature adds to the flavor, but every time my mom would call and ask what I wanted her to cook for upcoming holidays or family gatherings, skip the casseroles mom, "peanut butter balls" was always my answer. I’d plead for them at Christmas, after Christmas and the entire duration of North Dakota winters -- six months in some cases. 
Sometimes mom made scotcheroos or peanut butter balls in a pan, but the result was never the same. Peanut butter balls cannot be reproduced. They must be creamy peanut butter, rice krispes and in golf-ball form. Impostors need not apply.
So since I have a knack for raising my mother’s blood pressure, I called her one morning and told her I wanted peanut butter balls at my wedding instead of Hershey Kisses. This is sure to rattle her cage, I thought to myself, laughing. Three hundred peanut butter balls at a June wedding. Preposterous. 
Who told you, she asked when I called.
Wha??? What do you mean who told me?
Aunt Bev and I were going to surprise you, she said. Why would we give Hershey Kisses at your wedding when we could serve your favorite candy instead?
Apparently, my cage would receive the rattling. 
Uhhhh.... because Hershey Kisses are easier, cheaper and WAY less time-consuming.... I said. 
Yeah, but they’re also boring, she said. Peanut butter balls are... just more you.
Like I said before, mothers are ALWAYS right.
And with aunties, cousins and a grandmother already volunteering, I did none of the work save taste-testing. They always give me the tough jobs...
I’m not entirely sure how the day of Ryan-Anderson wedding peanut-butter-ball making progressed suffice it to say a sweet the size of my face emerged upon the bridal table. 

Note the chocolaty wonder and its proportion to my facial features.

Apparently, my Aunt Mary “can dip anything.”
I have no doubt. She also makes a mean devils egg. 
I’m not sure how long those ladies worked and if it was proportionate to the number of hours spent conversing about Longaberger baskets, but the peanut butter balls passed my test. My only fear was consuming one too many and not fitting in my wedding dress. 
If I dropped one and melted chocolate stained the soft white fabric however, that was no matter. Like my mom said, it’s just more me. 

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