He’s 10 years old. I’ve been a mom for an entire decade. I have to type that and repeat it over and over in my head in order to believe it.
When he was born I knew the sort of mom I wanted to be. I prepped my shoulder for him to cry on, I bought heaps of felt for all the craft projects we were going to do. The glitter and glue guns were at the ready. He was going to be able to prepare a complete meal by the time we was five because he would join me in the kitchen every evening as I prepped dinner. I would read to him every night, be in his classroom every week, play on the floor with him every day. And then reality hit and I did some of those things sometimes but I constantly failed to live up to the expectation I put on the mom I wanted to be.
Then I stopped being her and started being me.
I set aside those expectations of what I thought motherhood was going to be and leaned into what it actually is and how I fit into that. What once I saw as my “failures” became simply a sign of my humanity. And, as you saw in the conversation from last week’s post – I started to take note of the things I was doing right rather than constantly sitting in the muck of how I thought I was messing it all up. You know what happened when I freed myself up enough to say, “hey, this was actually a pretty great mom thing you just did there!” The floodgates of my parenting thumbs up opened wide and suddenly I was able to go through my days and say to myself, “that was good!” “Nice work on that conversation!” “You played catch with him for 30 minutes? I mean, you’re pretty much a saint.” And then sometimes there was, “yikes, did you really need to say that?” And in that moment I remind myself that I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, I own up to them, apologize and we can move on.
Ten years in and I still have a lot to learn but I’m so happy to be here, parenting in a way that fits me, and loving on my boy who is becoming more himself each and every day.
This “cake” of sorts was made at his request. It’s been a go-to for birthdays over the last couple of years and every time it’s requested I get just as eager to eat it as they do. He may not quite know how to prepare an entire meal yet (although his scrambled eggs are perfectly fluffy) he does know the value of brown butter and that’s how we start this cake. The other secret to this towering cereal treat is a good bit of salt to offset the inevitable sweetness that comes when marshmallows are the glue and a frosting that leans more towards bitter than sweet.
Happy birthday, buddy. Thanks for making me a mom and helping me figure out what that even means.
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treat Cake
Serves 10 – 12
1 cup / 2 sticks butter
2 10 ounce bags marshmallows
8 ounces / 1 cup peanut butter
13 – 14 cups / 1 pound Rice Krispies
Sea salt or flake salt
1 pound chopped, bittersweet chocolate
2 cups / 1 pound sour cream
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the peanut butter rice krispie cake: Butter and line three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper as well then set those aside.
In a large sauce pan melt the butter. Continue to melt until bubbly and it starts to foam. As the bubbles subside you will notice little brown bits on the bottom of the pan and the butter smells nutty. Turn off the heat then add the marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows are completely melted.
Stir in the peanut butter.
Add the Rice Krispie cereal to a very large bowl. Seriously, big. If you don’t have a big enough bowl I suggest mixing this in two batches.
Pour the butter/mallow mixture over the Rice Krispies then stir well to combine. It takes a good bit of stirring but eventually all will be well coated. Sprinkle in a teaspoon or so of flake salt or 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
Divide the mixture evenly between the three pans. Press them down firmly then set aside for a couple of hours to firm up.
I like to add a bit more flake salt to the top of the layers.
For the frosting: Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Carefully stir in the powdered sugar until well combined. Add the salt.
You can use the frosting right away or set aside for later. If it gets too firm simply melt over a double boiler and stir until it reaches the desired consistency.
Spread the frosting between the layers and on the top of the cake.
Finish with sprinkles – or a bit more flake salt.