a.k.a. The Peppermint Experiment No. 2
I had meant to make these with Elijah on Christmas Eve, but we used up our baking time hunting all over town for a candy thermometer. We found one in store No. 6, but only after checking two different sections of that store - twice - and then asking two managers if there was any other place they could be.
We were told that they used to have a few hanging on a "clip strip," but were currently sold out. You're thinking, "What manager knows the exact state of his store's candy-thermometer inventory at any given moment?" Precisely, my thought. So, unwilling to give up entirely, we took one last jog to the baking aisle to check the clip strips and there they were, two glorious thermometers. At that point, I would have paid a mint, but we got out of there for only $1.06 - a Christmas miracle.
Of course, it was too late to make marshmallows in time for Christmas, but we did have fun running through the stores holding hands. (Who knows how much longer he'll hold my hand, so I've got to soak it up.)
We initiated our thermometer last night, using Jocelyn's basic vanilla marshmallow recipe, then flavored the mallows with peppermint extract and dressed up their tops with swirls of red food coloring (her idea too). Sticky, sticky fun. I love the mildy-sweet powder they're coated in and their springy texture (reminds me of my sweet children's cheeks.) And, ooo, what a way to justify a cup o' cocoa! A serious upgrade from store-bought marshmallows.
Improvements? Next time I'm going for stronger flavor. Maybe I'll add some crushed red hots or leftover candy canes into the mix. After all, there are two minty holidays, Christmas... and Valentine's Day (arranged with leftover candy canes in mind, I'm sure). And, I'm making a half-batch. That recipe makes a ton of marshmallows, no kidding.
Worth the hassle? Totally. At least once. For us, I'm certain there will be cherry-vanilla marshmallows and chocolate-dipped coconut ones in our future. And shaped ones too. I can easily see homemade marshmallows becoming an enduring holiday tradition at the Baileys'.
On other fronts, I spent the entire day yesterday catching up on emails. I've never written so many emails in my life and I still didn't get to responding to any of your comments. Thank you so much for the love. I'm overwhelmed by your kindness. I appreciate each and every note.
Do you ever wish there were two of you? Or three, or four, or five? One of me would be assigned to never letting any comment or email go unaddressed. One of me could do the exercising and healthy-food-only thing. One could be super-mom. And the other two or three of me would be assigned to keeping up with the idea factory. Aah, sounds nice.
Back to emails, a number of yesterday's emails led me to some boutique children's designers who sell their one-of-a-kind outfits on eBay. It looks like Freshcut has shipped and is starting to pop up all over the place. Check out these cutie patooties: here, here, here, and here. Adorable! And, some of these photos make it much easier to see the fabrics than those little swatches on the fabric sites. A happy diversion, if you're looking for one.
*This post was brought to you by the number: two*