Today’s post actually has very little to do with the delicious Rice Krispie bars I baked last weekend. I figured these desserts are pretty fail safe, so instead I could talk to you about other things holiday-related. As I’ve been enjoying the bustle of the holiday season this year, I realized just how easy it is to get caught up in our own lives at this time of year. The most important things become decorating the perfect Christmas tree or baking the most delicious dessert for your holiday party.
Now I am guilty as charged when it comes to obsessing over the holidays. Who doesn’t want the perfect Christmas tree? But I also believe that it’s important to have an awareness of what else is going on around the world. Christmas can be the perfect time to expand your world view and show that you care about the plight of people in other countries—to show you care about their stories, which most likely will not make it as a leading story on your local news channel.
This past weekend I was reading an article on conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it completely shocked me. The Oxfam International article reported that since 1998, an estimated 5.4 million people have lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the deadliest conflict since the Second World War. Each day the civilian population faces killings, forced recruitment of children, extortion, pillaging and sexual violence at the hands of numerous armed groups and even the Congolese security forces.
You’re probably thinking this is an awfully heavy topic for a baking blog post about holiday cookies- which it undoubtedly is. But this post underscores an important issue for me. So often we have no idea what is going on in other countries, or what struggles a specific population may be facing. Sometimes all it takes is a little awareness to show that you care. Oxfam International has a great gift idea for the holidays that they call Oxfam Unwrapped. It’s an opportunity to donate a charitable gift on behalf of someone for the holidays. With a wide selection ranging anywhere from $35 for a brochure on HIV protection, to $20 to irrigate a farmer’s land for two months—this is a great opportunity to give to others in need around the world.
Finally, not to be completely remiss of my baking blog duties… let me say that these Rice Krispie bars are delicious and festive for the holidays. But my guess is that you’ve made them before and don’t need me to sell you on them!
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies cereal and M&Ms. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares.
Heather’s Helpful Hints
Once you remove the marshmallows from the stove and stir in the cereal, things can get a little sticky. To eliminate a mess, use a buttered spatula or wax paper to evenly press the mixture into the pan.