It’s all about the food, isn’t it? We celebrate major (and not so major) life events with food. It’s no different with snow.
As children, my sister and I would place bowls outside the night before an anticipated snowfall to collect snow. For breakfast, we would eat the snow drizzled with maple syrup. We thought it was delicious and it became a ritual with each snowfall.
With my own children, I still prepare for snow with food. Antsy for the snow to begin, they have nothing to do except to turn their pj’s inside out — a tip for making the snow come, given by my daughter’s preschool teacher last year. So, now we prepare. We prepare the marshmallows that will adorn our hot chocolate after an exhausting morning playing in the snow.
This year, I experimented with flavorings. I made one batch of marshmallow and divided it into four equal parts. We left one plain, tinted one pink — the only proper color to a six-year-old girl — and the other two I flavored for the adults. The first of these had coconut milk and was topped with toasted coconut. The other I flavored with Amaretto, Kahlúa, and cocoa.
In retrospect, dividing a single batch of time-sensitive marshmallows to color and flavor while managing two children was not the cleverest of ideas. It was tricky to get the flavorings mixed in as the marshmallows cooled — the children were in no hurry. The marshmallows turned out just fine, but it took some effort to get them smoothed out on top.
The kids delighted in the strings of marshmallow draped from bowl to pan. They also delighted in licking sticky fingers. My daughter pronounced the marshmallows the best she’s ever had — the pink ones, of course. My favorite were the coconut flavored — the crispy-toasted coconut on top provided a nice textural contrast.
If you want to try making homemade marshmallows, you can try this recipe by Alton Brown. To make the coconut, I added 2 tsp of coconut milk to 1/4 batch and topped with toasted coconut. To make the Amaretto-Kahlúa-chocolate ones, I mixed 1 tsp of each liquor into 2 tsp of cocoa before adding it to 1/4 of the batch and then dusted it with cocoa. What flavors have you tried?
Do you have any snow-day food rituals?
–by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog
– Jenny Turknett writes about Southern and Neighborhood Fare for the AJC Dining Team. She also publishes her own blog, Going Low Carb.