Where are you right now? Are you sitting in a loud bar, skimming your fingers over the polished wooden counter, playing with a cocktail straw, debating the merits of a spicy habanero margarita over a sweet rhubarb gin fizz? Perhaps you're waiting for a friend to arrive, and while you wait, you quietly take it all in: the reflection of the neon signs in the glass windowpanes, the closeness of a dozen bodies pressing in for the bartender's attention. Conversation buzzes around you, shouts and laughter and murmured confessions from the couple to your left. The deep thrum of the bass, the thread of the pop song hanging high over the sounds of the room.
You wish for a glass of water, for a slightly more comfortable bar stool. For a bowl of cheesy popcorn to materialize in front of you. You like the noise: how it makes you feel alive and awake, like anything could happen next, like the night is a gift and you're just reaching out to untie the ribbon. You like feeling as if you share something with all these strangers: an undercurrent of same place same time same drinks. You like being a part of something, even if it's just a bar on a street in a city.
That sense of possibility? It buoys you up, then crests quickly, one and a half drinks in. You want your bed now. You can picture it: cool and inviting with crisp white sheets. You're hungry too: There was a bowl of soup around 2 PM. You swiped a tortilla chip hungrily through some guacamole somewhere around the end of your second cocktail.
Here's what you'll do: Go home. Do not, under any circumstance, turn on the stove. Ignore those witty food magazine articles that tell you that a quick cacio e pepe pasta is a brilliant and easy late night, post-bar food. They are wrong. Goldfish straight from the bag would be an easy snack, if we're being honest.
But you want sugar, and the options are a pint of ice cream from the bodega downstairs or a dubiously stale sleeve of Milano cookies you found behind the toaster.
Do this instead. Melt a little butter (a few tablespoons?) in a saucepan. Forget about it for a second until you smell a whiff of a nutty aroma. Shit, you murmur under your breath. But no! It's okay! You were actually supposed to let it brown, so you're all good. You're better than good. You're kind of a culinary genius.
Add a couple handfuls of marshmallows (you'll find those in the freezer, the ones you forgot about since the last time you made rice krispie treats circa 2009). Stir in a generous drift of cocoa powder, and a hefty pinch of sea salt.
Then pour in the last few cups of rice krispies, the ones that were sitting on the top shelf behind the rolled oats. Stir meditatively, coating the cereal, then carefully press it into a parchment-lined dish with damp fingers and let it cool for a few...KIDDING. Guys. It's 10 PM, no one is waiting for dessert right now.
Skip the dish and eat it straight from the saucepan with a spoon. Or a fork. Or your fingers.