My brother would not eat my cooking for years. Why? Because I accidentally tried to kill him once.
I was 12-years-old, and I was in charge. My mom and my aunt had gone out for a little while, and I was left to watch my brother and cousin. We were hungry, so we brainstormed ideas about foods we could eat. We raided the pantry. We were out of chips. The fruit was a bit squishy. No one wanted canned vegetables.
Then we saw it. We had a box of magnificent puffed rice cereal. We had glorious marshmallows. Wonder of wonders, we had butter! Yes, we had the makings of Rice Krispie Treats!
The boys were too young to use the stove, so they pulled chairs up so they could see the preparation. I placed the butter in the pot and began to stir with a rubber spatula. The heat may have been a little too high because the butter browned rather quickly. No worries. The boys threw in the marshmallows. I continued to stir, and as everything melted, we soon had a sticky goo. It was a little brown, but I figured I may have burned the marshmallows, too. The final step was to add the cereal. I dumped it in and stirred. The boys grabbed some of the mix out of pot. I grabbed some out. It was delightful. I continued to stir.
My mom and aunt came back, and I proudly announced that I was making Rice Krispie Treats for me and the boys. I got the pan that would receive the wonderful concoction and began to use the spatula to scrape the mix in. There was only one problem. There was no spatula. I had only a handle.
I began to panic. “Where is the spatula? What happened to the spatula?”
“Did you melt the spatula?” my mom asked.
I paused to think. I melted the spatula! In the mix. Oh dear God, we’ve been eating that mix. That mix is full of poison. We’re going to die!
I began to cry and did what any rational 12-year-old kid would do when she realized that she may have ingested poison. I called the Poison Control hotline. An operator picked up within a few rings and between sobs I explained that my brother and cousin were going to die because I melted a rubber spatula into Rice Krispies. The operator paused. She asked how much we ate. I told her we had been snacking out of the pot. More sobs. Then she quietly laughed. “You’re going to be okay,” she said. “You didn’t eat enough to get sick.”
I hung up the phone and turned to my family. “We’re not going to die,” I proclaimed. My mom could no longer stifle her laughter. My brother laughed. My cousin laughed. I didn’t laugh. I was an attempted murderer, and it would be wrong to laugh at the fact that two little boys could have died because of my cooking.
The story quickly spread to other family members throughout the country. It was met with sympathetic chuckles of “Poor Kimmie. Well, at least she tried.”
I waited 15 years before I ever made Rice Krispie Treats again. It took 20 years before my brother would eat anything else I cooked, and when he did, he was pleasantly surprised that it tasted good and no melted cooking utensils were included in the dish.
I’m actually a decent cook now and have avoided a repeat of that sobering day. Although, there was the time a few months ago when I set my gas grill on fire and scared my neighbors…