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March 27, 2005: Festive squish

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A week or so ago, while I was at the grocery store, I noticed something new in the holiday-of-the-moment displays near the front door. Nestled amid great piles of pastel colored Easter baskets, oversized stuffed animals, and shelf after shelf of candy were boxes of do-it-yourself marshmallow treats. Paas, apparently, has been branching out beyond just providing yet another way to turn boring hard-boiled eggs into works of art.

Naturally, we had to buy a kit to try it out. So in honor of Easter, I present to you a pictorial demonstration of how to make your very own marshmallow Easter treats that go very, very wrong.

We start with the box, which is brightly colored and covered in pictures that assure the unsuspecting marshmallow treat 'chef' how easy this will be. Ha ha ha.

Here's what's inside the box. We are pretty sure that the mold made a butterfly, a turtle, an egg, a rabbit head, and possibly an entire rabbit. We never quite figured out what the sixth shape was supposed to be, but in the end none of them looked much like the box, so I guess it isn't all that important.

Here is Richard stirring up the goo. You poured in the first packet with a teeny bit of water and stirred it until it became a sticky mess that refused to let go of the fork, and then you were supposed to stir in the second package for only about 30 seconds, at which point the whole thing was supposed to be soft and fluffy.

I ask you do these look soft and fluffy to you? They didn't taste soft and fluffy either. Luckily the package came with two sets of marshmallow ingredients, so once the first batch was scraped out of the mold and dumped into the garbage disposal, where I am sure it is merrily congealing into a hardened mess, we tried again.

Here is the second batch. For some strange reason there was one batch of white and one batch of yellow. Yum. Don't these look ever so appetizing?

Once the marshmallow treats set for five minutes in the fridge we got to sprinkle them with colored sugar. Considering just how yummy they looked, all lumpy in the mold, it was kind of hard to make them look any less unnatural once they were set. We did start out making them each individual colors, but then it sort of turned into a free-for-all. Mm. Nuclear colored festive squishy lumps.

The last step of the instructions on the box said, quite clearly, that these were to be eaten immediately. I dutifully ate one, but it had an odd eggy taste - a flavor one does not normally associate with marshmallows. So Richard got to eat all the rest. I may or may not have been making 'help me!' noises while he was eating the thing that we suspect was a turtle.

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