I just want you all to know that I write this blog for the sheer, unadulterated fucking joy it brings me.
Sorry for the language. But actually, those of you who know me in real life know that I have a mouth on me like a scuba-instructor/sailor’s wife/aggressive cyclist that hasn’t exactly made the graceful transition to mother/lactation educator/public health professional.
But seriously. Unadulterated fucking joy. I love re-creating classic recipes and imagining new ones; I love taking what I hope are gorgeous pictures of what I’ve made, and I love love love writing writing writing.
Besides those (selfish) reasons, I also hope that you find some inspiration here. Or some way to look at the food and the people and the happenstances in your life with maybe a bit more levity, or reverence, or gratitude. Or some way to nod your head and think, “me too. I burn pancakes/have a crazy toddler/make lists of lists too.” Or, maybe even, reading these words allows you a moment to take a breath and a sip of tea before the rest of your day pours on.
On the inspiration part: I specifically hope that you might find some inspiration here to make foods from scratch. To decide that, even when it might be easier to go to the grocery store, it might be wonderful to make it yourself. And that might be pretty easy too. Or satisfying. Or, I think, at the very least, healthier.
So here’s another thing you can make from scratch: marshmallows. Trust me on how much more lovely and pillowy these are than the soulless variety that’s been sitting on a shelf for what is probably a frighteningly long time, and just give them a try. They’re fucking delightful.
And, if you want to make some other stuff from scratch, check out my NEW (!!) recipe index, in the “from scratch” section, and learn how to make bread, cereal, frosting, crackers, granola bars…all kinds of good stuff.
- 1 cup cold water
- 3 packages gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Place half of the cold water in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one). Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water.
- Combine the rest of the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 240F (use a candy thermometer to measure temperature).
- As soon as you reach the correct temperature, slowly drizzle the syrup into the bowl with the gelatin, mixing on low speed as you incorporate (if you're not using a stand mixer, use electric
- beaters to mix).
- Once combined, continue to beat the mixture on high speed until it cools to lukewarm and thickens substantially, and starts to look like marshmallow! This usually takes 12-15 minutes. Towards the end of mixing, blend in the vanilla extract. This is also when you can add other flavours. For my chai marshmallows, I added 1/2 tsp. cardamom, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.
- Whisk together the icing sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish and coat the bottom and sides with the sugar/cornstarch combo, saving the rest of it for the tops and sides of the marshmallows. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and use a lightly buttered spatula to smooth out the top. Sprinkle some of the sugar/cornstarch over top of the marshmallow, and let it stand at room temperature, uncovered, for at least four hours.
- Remove the marshmallow from the baking dish and cut into desired shapes/sizes. Coat the edges of the marshmallows with the remaining sugar/cornstarch. Store in an airtight container.