It’s a new year. Time to shove 2020 out the window and welcome a fresh start. The following handful of posts are a series, written a lifetime ago, that track my journey from a painful breakup with a man I adored, to the shock of discovering the truth behind his mask, to glimpsing the depths of his depravity, and finally acknowledging my own error in blindly trusting him. This tale ended long ago, but only now am I ready to disclose it – and perhaps help others who find themselves in a similar situation. Thank you to those who shared evidence and convinced me to tell my story.
Peeling the skin back from my eyes
I felt surprised
That the time on the clock was the time
I usually retired
To the place where I cleared my head of you
But just for today, I think I’ll lie here and dream of you.
– Matt Johnson
This is a food blog. I am a food blogger. As a food blogger, writing a food blog, I’m expected to write about, um, er…food; I’m expected to be light and bubbly and happy, bringing baked goods and witty banter to your world. But, larger than this blogger’s persona, I am decidedly human with human emotions and, this morning, I am the antithesis of happy. I’m trying…I’m truly trying to wiggle out of this melancholy, but today, I’ve lost the battle.
This morning, the kitty sprawled across my desk lacks softness, the candle flickering in front of my nose is scentless, my French-pressed coffee is water in my mouth. Where is the sun? This morning, I am bereft, hollow, yearning for a missing piece of joy that darted from my gentle fingers. I’m trying to move my mind to other things, but a shower to refresh my thoughts brings him to my mind, a walk to clear my head recalls our evening strolls, the music from my speakers is the soundtrack of us. Even my baking doesn’t distract…and I mourn.
Allow me my melancholy today. Tomorrow, I will be better.
Making marshmallows is messy business. Around step 3, and covered with goo, I was wondering if they were worth the trouble. However, after toasting my first sample, no more convincing was needed. Toasted homemade marshmallows are soft and gooey and not too sweet, adding refinement to this ubiquitous campfire treat.
Toasted homemade marshmallows are soft and gooey and not too sweet, adding refinement to this ubiquitous campfire treat. Ghirardelli chocolate squares in various flavors such as caramel or raspberry add sophistication.
- 2 Tablespoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 cups sugar
- ⅔ cup plus 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar
- 32 Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares in various flavors (milk, dark, caramel, raspberry, mint, etc.)
- 1 box graham crackers
- Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan with canola oil. In a medium heatproof bowl, mix the gelatin with ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes and then microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until gelatin is completely melted. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, honey, and ⅓ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water. Bring the syrup to boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until syrup registers 250⁰ on a candy thermometer. Immediately pour the hot syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the gelatin and vanilla and beat at high speed until mixture is fluffy, glossy and sticky, about 4-5 minutes.
- Spread the marshmallow in the prepared pan and smooth the surface. It helps to smooth the surface by using a slightly damp hand to avoid sticking. Press a lightly greased sheet of parchment paper on the surface and set aside for 3 hours.
- Run a sharp knife around the marshmallow. Lightly dust top of marshmallow and work surface with confectioner’s sugar. Add more confectioner’s sugar as needed to avoid sticking. Invert marshmallow onto work surface and cut into 16 2” squares. Cut each square in half horizontally into 32 marshmallows. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- To make S’mores, break graham crackers in half. Cover the lower half with a Ghirardelli square of your choice, cover with a toasted marshmallow (either toasted over a campfire or by blowtorch), and sandwich with remaining graham cracker half.
Recipe adapted from Dominique Ansel.