Day 260: Fluff and Stuff-How To Make Things Harder Than They Really Are

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Question: How are making marshmallows and dipping candles similar?

“I had a dream last night, I was eating a ten pound marshmallow.  I woke up this morning and the pillow was gone.” Tommy Cooper

It’s interesting the great efforts we will go to when we have the need to create.  Two years ago, I wanted to dip wax candles and make a pair of gloves.  The candles are done, and I never completed the second lace glove, but sometimes wear the first one just for fun.  Whenever I have these inklings, I tend to enjoy the experience and then gladly pay the price when I’m in real need.

When expecting my third child, for some reason I had cravings for marshmallows.  It was an odd thing since I’d never really had cravings when expecting the other two children.

The problem was that we were living in a country where marshmallows were hard to find.  At the time, they were around $10 a bag, when you could find them.

The funny thing was that the expatriates had put together a recipe book of odd things you might want to make yourself from simple ingredients.  There, I learned to make poptarts, tortillas, and of  all things, marshmallows.

Granted, the unflavored gelatin and the Karo, which I had on hand, ended up costing about as much as the imported marshmallows would have cost.  However, I wouldn’t have had the great experience of making marshmallows.

Here’s the recipe if you want to try:

In a mixer, place 3 packages of unflavored gelatin with a half cup of water.

In a pot, combine, 1/2 cup of water, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of Karo Light Corn Syrup, and cook until it reaches 240 degrees F.

Turn on the mixer and then add the sugar and Karo mixture to the gelatin slowly, mixing all the while.  Mix on high about 15 minutes until it is quite thick.

Pour the mixture into a lightly buttered lasagna type pan that has been coated with a mixture of equal parts of cornstarch and confectionary sugar.

Spread the white fluffy marshmallow mixture into the pan and sprinkle more of the cornstarch and confectionary sugar mixture on top.  Leave the marshmallows to set for several hours (3-4 hours).  Then cut and eat the marshmallows.

Voila!  They were very easy to do.  Having made them once, I’m now just as happy to pay the $10 for the bag of marshmallows (truth be told, they’re much cheaper now).

If, however, you’re in the mood to make something harder than it should be just to prove that you can do it, make the marshmallows, a bar of soap, or dip some candles for fun.  Afterwards, you’ll be glad that you did, and you’ll gladly pay to buy it next time.

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