Margaret Button | Kitchen Comfort: Traditional treats for a family gathering

It was the best of times it was the worst of times. Oh, wait, Charles Dickens already used that opening line.

Shortly before I began writing this (way-past deadline) column, I was standing in my driveway, waving goodbye to my nephew (actually my late husband's nephew, but I claim them as mine, too), Paul, and his family — wife Jenny and grand nieces and nephews Joe, Abigail, Sarah and James. They're on a road trip this week from their home near Columbus, Ohio, visiting Hershey and Philadelphia, Pa., and Boston. And since North Adams is (kinda, sorta) between Philadelphia and Boston, they stopped to spend the night.

It was rather close quarters, but we all made it work. As Paul said, "It wouldn't be a Button get together without a lot of food." I kept things simple — 30-inch store-bought subs for lunch Tuesday, and then after a trip up Mount Greylock — which was shrouded in clouds and offered no panoramic views — it was home to burgers, hot dogs, potato salad and coleslaw. For desserts, I had some store bakery-made chocolate chips and some Rice Krispies treats I had slaved over. (OK, slaved is not the right word, how about whipped up?)

The adults stayed at the table after supper, catching up on family news, political views (my right-wing nephew tolerated my left-wing opinions, and his millennial son weighed in with his views, which were great to hear because the country's future rests in the millennials' hands.) and just chit-chat. And yes, for the legal drinking age people there were two pitchers of margaritas. The younger teens watched videos in the living room and eventually drifted off to sleep on blow-up mattresses.

As I said, they left a few minutes ago. The dishwasher is churning with the first load of dishes, another sits soaking in the sink. There's a mountain of bed linens and towels in the cellar, waiting to go into the washing machine.

I miss them already.

Rice Krispies treats

Prep Time: 10 min

Total Time: 30 min

Servings: 12


3 tablespoons butter

1 package miniature marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal


In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

Note: I sprinkled some chocolate chips on the top, pressing them into the marshmallow/rice krispie mix in pan.


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