Before moving to Ecuador my husband and I spent 9 months in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, along the Mexican border, studying Spanish. We arrived on a steamy August evening, just after a minor hurricane. I have never experienced such humidity. Never. Even in our jungle years.
Our apartment had no air conditioning. We knew we'd be moving to the jungle and thought that we had just better get used it. Uh huh. We lasted one night, trying to sleep in a steam bath and failing miserably. As soon as the stores opened we were there and plunked down the cash for an air conditioner. It made life bearable for these northern folk.
Cooking was avoided because of the heat. But those were the days when our figures could still withstand daily sweets and I liked to have baking on hand. No internet in those days. I wrote and asked my mother for a few of her no-bake square recipes. She sent them, typed onto a pale blue sheet of stationery that still resides in my recipe box. I remember her making these squares when I was a child, as a treat for Sunday evening lunch, faspa, we called it. She still makes them. They are fast to prepare, without heating up the kitchen, and are a sweet treat after a meal, or as a little pick-me-up with a cup of tea.
Chocolate Marshmallow Squares
1/2 cup butter
2 squares (2 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup sifted icing sugar
1 beaten egg
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
whole graham wafers to line an 8 x 8 square pan.
Line an 8 x 8 pan with whole graham wafers, trimming them to fit, or letting them overlap slightly.
Melt the butter and chocolate together (over simmering water on the stove top or in a glass bowl in the microwave). Add the icing sugar and egg, beating well. Stir in the marshmallows and optional ingredients. Pour over the graham wafers, spread to the corners and place in the fridge until set. Cut into squares.