Monday, July 28, 2008

Andrea Norris a.k.a. Sarah Vallely or Who's Ribbon Is It, Anyway?

Here's how it began: A couple of weeks ago,Sarah and I were chatting on the phone when I told her that I was entering my Banana Trail Mix Muffins (which is an official blue ribbon winner this year, by the way)and my Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (which did not get the recognition they deserve)in the Barnstable County Fair. She said,
"Oh you should enter my peanut butter balls. They are so good, they are like 'crack', you can't stop eating them."
Considering I didn't feel right about entering someone else's recipe, I offered to make them and enter them under her name. She emailed me the recipe and was specific about the type of cornflakes and chocolate to be used.
I bought the exact ingredients and set out to make the peanut butter balls with ample time for hardening in the refrigerator. After dipping half the balls in the approved chocolate, I ran out and had to use another brand I had on hand. The night before, I taste tested to choose the best flavor, it was indeed the ones with chocolate Sarah had recommended. Thursday morning, the day to deliver the entries, I chose 6 of the most delicious looking and uniform balls, displayed them on a plate an wrote out the recipe embellishing the name to:"Chocolate Covered Crispy Peanut Butter Balls". My mother, Val and I delivered all of our entries to the fairgrounds for judging.
Val reported the winners on Sunday evening as she stood in the adult exhibit hall. Sarah's balls had won a blue ribbon! I was happy and annoyed. What the heck, my efforts delivered a blue ribbon to my friend. It's a good thing my muffins also won, or I would have definitely been a sore loser.
I refused to tell Sarah the news on a voicemail and made her play phone tag with me for a few days to get the info. The suspense was killing her. I had to make her suffer somehow.
"You won a blue ribbon, you bitch!"
"I'm sending out emails to everyone I know!!!!"
And she did. She copied me on all of them.
Those of you who know Sarah, probably do not know one of her deepest, darkest secrets. You all know her as a superstar runner and athlete. What you probably don't know is that she won the school home economics award her senior year in high school.
I've never seen her cook and I've never seen her drive (another Sarah mystery). I'm not sure she can do either one. However, I can attest to something for sure, those balls taste like 'crack'.

Chocolate Covered Crispy Peanut Butter Balls or
Sarah's Crack Balls

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups organic cornflakes
2 cups creamy peanut butter (not organic,Skippy or Jiff works best)
2 cups dry milk powder
2 cups powdered sugar
15 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (Nestle only)

Line two baking sheets with foil. Melt butter. Cool slightly. Combine cereal, peanut butter, dry milk, and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Mix in butter. Moisten hands and roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into a ball. Place on baking sheet. Continue with rest of mixture. Chill overnight.
The next day, melt semi-sweet chips in a double boiler over low heat. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and roll peanut butter balls to coat using a fork or a spoon. Place chocolate covered balls back on foil lined sheets and refrigerate until hardened. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy your 'crack'!

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