Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Earth-shattering, life-altering discovery du jour

The most excellent Suse has clued me into something so simple, so basic and yet so revelatory that it has changed the way I do things.

Basically it's a new method of roasting/toasting marshmallows. Normally, you'd impale the marshmallow in question, put it over a convenient bonfire (open flame or source of heat will suffice) allow the outside to reach the level of gooey doneness one desires in a cooked marshmallow interior and enjoy it the way you'd enjoy slightly carbonized, sweetened magma.

Suse's method--and here comes the MacArthur Grant* part--is that you peel off the part that is toasted to your liking and then you put it back to toast the newly revealed as-yet-uncooked, former interior, and repeat. Basically, treating the marshmallow as you would raclette.

This, Internet, is unbridled genius, right up there with inventing the bath "sheet" and air conditioning. I don't impress easily, but this has left me wowed. I dunno if this is standard marshmallow procedure among our Australian cousins. If it is, I'm sorry, but Suse shall get all the credit. Although I dimly remember reading she's originally from England, and perhaps that's how they do it there. Still, Suse's place in the pantheon of cool cooking invention people is fixed, and, quite frankly, to Hell with whoever invented this if it wasn't Suse. As far as I care, it's Suse's doing entirely. I will not hear a word against her, nor will I entertain any outbursts of modesty on her part.

Now, while I'm dead-certain this process is utterly brilliant with any ol' marshmallow, it only makes sense to shift your paradigm to a new beat if you mean to do it properly. That is, use a kick-@$$ marshmallow. My personal favorite is Tiny Trapeze Vanilla Marshmallows and I am sitting here going bonkers with anticipation.

If it works out well, I may even go so far as to make my own marshmallows.

Can you tell I'm happy?


* That's the money you unexpectedly get for being a genius. You can't apply for it, you can't ask for it, you never know who it's really from and most people never find out who gets the money. But it's HUGE money and it goes to brilliant people. Usually.

Posted by Joke at 7:53 AM


  • Blogger MsCellania posted at 1:20 PM, May 09, 2006  
    Well, I nearly burned down the house 5 minutes ago trying this. The mushy innards catch fire infinitely more quickly than the crusty outards. Now I have to go clean up a mess. Molten glass, this burnt sugar is.

    Just an FYI from your trusty test kitchen here in Colorado.
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 1:53 PM, May 09, 2006  
    All I know is that Suse can't patent the idea--at least, in the U.S.A.-- due to its obviousness.

    (Meaning normal non-foodie types have been doing this for years. And some of us aren't even all that crazy about marshmallows. We just like to play with our food.)

    p.s. Love, love, LOVE your choice of illustration, though.
  • Blogger jujube posted at 2:17 PM, May 09, 2006  
    yeah, I did this as a kid many decades ago.

    where is my royalty check?
  • Blogger Badger posted at 2:21 PM, May 09, 2006  
    Um, yeah. I don't want to take anything away from the lovely and talented Suse, but that is the only way I've EVER toasted my marshmallows. We had contests when I was a kid to see who could toast and re-toast the most times before there was nothing left but stick/fork.

    Of course, there IS a lot of Brit blood in my gene pool, so maybe your theory of origin is correct.
  • Blogger Carolyn posted at 3:40 PM, May 09, 2006  
    Marshmallows make my son go bonkers.

    I guess I'll try this when he's not at home. :)

    Happy anniversary a day late!
  • Blogger julia posted at 4:25 PM, May 09, 2006  
    But how do you make a s'more using this method? The marshmallow never goes gooey enough in the middle, even though the outer layer is a lovely, crispy brown without a hint of burn. It's a s'more lover's dilemma.
  • Blogger Sarah Louise posted at 5:20 PM, May 09, 2006  
    Ditto--this is the way one does marshmallows if one is not using them for s'mores. I have been doing it this way for years.

    Mayhap your mother was not a camp counselor type? (My mother can build a kick-ass campfire from all her girl scout years and camp counselor years.)

    We love you, though, Joke dear, and are very glad you have joined the marshmallow toasting club.
  • Blogger tablesetter posted at 5:38 PM, May 09, 2006  
    yup, me too. its like the twice baked potato.
    Campfire brand marshmellows are the best. Years ago the actually came in a box of 8 and were perfect for roasting. btw, s'mores lovers--this may seem sacralige but make them in the oven, it gives the best melt to both the chocolate and marshmellow.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 8:49 PM, May 09, 2006  

    You use MINI marshmallows.

  • Blogger Suse posted at 7:29 AM, May 10, 2006  
    Well I was feeling really rather special and strangely proud until I read the other comments and realised I'm not quite as unique as you (and I) thought.

    But you won't hear a word against me, will you?

    Now, how much is that MacArthur thingie worth again?
  • Blogger Joke posted at 8:04 AM, May 10, 2006  

    As far as I care, you invented this. Everyone else can chime in now--well after the facts have been reported--and say "Oh, that...I've been doing that for years." To me this is nothing more than embittered, petty jealousy.


    P.S. Oh, and the MacArthur grant thing is US$100,000 for 5 years.
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 11:49 AM, May 10, 2006  
    I'll just add here that the outside skin slips off easier if you like your marshmallows burned black. Just in case everyone doesn't already know it.

    Hey Joke, have you read Blackbird's new beverage idea? Apparently you can take hot tea, pour it over ice, and then drink it cold. I tried it--it's good!

    As you were.
  • Blogger julia posted at 1:40 PM, May 10, 2006  
    Mini marshmallows? In s'mores? That, sir, is heresy, akin to using langostino in lobster salad. Hmph.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 1:55 PM, May 10, 2006  

    It's another size, not a diffrent species.


  • Blogger Mrs. Badger posted at 12:03 AM, May 11, 2006  
    Okay but I have witnesses on the marshmallow thing.

    I'm just sayin'.
  • Blogger Badger posted at 12:04 AM, May 11, 2006  
    Oops. Um, that was me. Suffering from Multiple Blogging Personality Disorder again.

  • Blogger BabelBabe posted at 6:38 PM, May 11, 2006  
    what poppy said. my favorite way EVER to eat marshmallows, and I've been doing it since my first summer at sleepaway camp when I was eight.

    I have even been known to do it over a gas stove burner. sad, isn't it?
  • Blogger Margie posted at 2:32 AM, May 12, 2006  
    I have heard of smores but I don't know what it is.
    We always used to cook our marshmallows like that on Girl Guide camps. the main joy though was selecting a really good toasting stick.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 7:20 AM, May 12, 2006  

    S'mores are toasted marshmallows and softened chocolate "sandwiched" between two graham crackers (I think graham crackers may be called something else in Australia).

    Very yum.

    I like using this "kit":

  • Blogger Joke posted at 7:56 AM, May 12, 2006  
    P.S. I still will not hear a word against Suse. It's sort of like why we don't have Leif Erickson Day Parades or St. Brendan The Navigator Day Parades.
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