Sticky, stretchy, sweet & smoky…

I just had one of the world’s greatest marshmallows. A simple, classic Jet-Puffed cylinder, toasted by a patient and skillful marshmallow master (for the record, not me – I have a history of letting my surfeit of impatience trigger every possible marshmallow mishap – though I can take credit for giving the said marshmallow master’s household the actual marshmallow toasting fork used – an extendable green-handled wonder found in Crate and Barrel’s overstocks this summer), perfectly gooey in the middle, just caramel-brown and crisp on the outside, with a sensuous smokiness that brought me right back to happy childhood moments by a cabin fireplace in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A sweetly spiritual moment, enhancing the peace of the steady snow outside. Why anyone would bother eating a plain, untoasted marshmallow is beyond me, when such evocative wonders as the warmly-scented stretchy softness I just ate are available. True, one doesn’t always have a snowy day, a perfect fire, a marshmallow master, and a fabulously functional toasting fork. But still, in their straight-from-the-bag state, it’s a bit like eating overly sweetened pillow foam. Worse, if someone has opened the bag and forgotten to seal it up again – then the marshmallows are like very old dry chewy pillow foam. What made the marshmallow I just ate magical is what makes almost any creative moment magical – the awareness to allow the best of circumstance to work together in the cause of delight. And what could be sweeter than that?

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