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A couple years ago, my friend, Bianca, gave me a wonderful Reader’s Digest book entitled Homemade.  (Actually, my book isn’t in print anymore, but the link goes to the newest edition of what I have.)  What makes homemaking fun for me is the fact that it usually saves money to do-it-yourself, homemade things are fresher and healthier, I attain a sense of accomplishment when I’m involved in more than just buying a product, and what I especially love is that I can involve my kids to some extent of the project.

Just in time for hot cocoa season, here’s a marshmallow recipe from the Homemade book my kids and I just enjoyed:

Marshmallows

3 T confectioners’ sugar

3 T cornstarch (I always substitute arrowroot powder for cornstarch and it works great)

1 1/2 T unflavored gelatin

1/3 C water

1/2 C granulated sugar

2/3 C light corn syrup (if you don’t have or want to use corn syrup and the recipe calls for 1 cup corn syrup, combine one cup granulated sugar and 1/4 additional cup of the liquid used in the recipe in a 2-cup measure.  Stir until mixture is blended.  Next time I’m going to try and use agave nectar)

1.  Line a 9x13x2-inch pan with wax or parchment paper.  In a small sieve, combine 1 T of the confectioners’ sugar and 1 T of the corn starch/arrowroot powder, and sift the mixture over the prepared pan.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the gelatin and water; let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 5 min.

3.  Place the bowl in a large saucepan or deep skillet of simmering water.  Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.  Add the granulated sugar and continue to stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove the bowl from the water and add the corn syrup.  Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until it is creamy and thick, 10-15 minutes.  Let the mixture stand until it is cool.

4.  Using a wet spatula, spread the mixture in the prepared pan smoothing the top evenly.  Let the mixture sit until it is cool and set, about 20 minutes.

 

I didn't think to take pictures until this step.  We didn't smooth very much...

I didn't think to take pictures until this step. 😦 We didn't smooth ours too much...

 

 

5.  Carefully lift the marshmallow mixture onto a cutting board.  Following step one, lightly dust the marshmallow with one T of the remaining powdered sugar and cornstarch.  Using a sharp knife, cut the marshmallow into small squares.  In a cup, combine the remaining 1 T powdered sugar and corn starch.  Dip each marshmallow into the mixture until it is completely coated.  Store the marshmallows in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 1-2 weeks.  

Makes about 36 marshmallows.


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Drought weights the trees, and from the farmhouse eaves
The locust, pulse-beat of the summer day,
Throbs; and the lane, that shambles under leaves
Limp with the heat–a league of rutty way –
Is lost in dust; and sultry scents of hay
Breathe from the panting meadows heaped with sheaves.

– from "The Rain-Crow" by Madison Cawein (1865 – 1914)

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