Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lafcadio and his Marshmallows

One of my favorite books as a child was Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back by Shel Silverstein. It's the story of a lion who a hunter tries to shoot so he eats the hunter and learns how to shoot his gun. The lion becomes the greatest sharpshooter in the land and joins the circus. I'm not going to tell you the ending because I love this book so much that I want you to read it too. I'll give you a hint though that the ending involves a hunting trip.

Anyhow, Lafcadio, the sharpshooter lion, really really likes marshmallows:

"A Marshmallow?" said the waiter. "We don't serve Marshmallows here; this is a very fancy restaur-"
said the lion.

"Yes sir," said the waiter, and he hurried off to the kitchen.

And in a few moments he came back with a beautiful marshmallow on a flaming sword.

"Ah!" said the lion. "A marshmallow at last, at last a marshmallow, at mast a larshmellow." You can see how nervous and excited he was.

And he picked up the marshmallow. "It's as light as a feather," he said.
And he put the marshmallow on his tongue. "Ooh, it's crispy on the outside," he said.
And he bit into it with his big teeth. "Ooh, it's creamy on the inside," he said.
And he chewed it up.
"Oh," he said, and he closed his eyes and smiled.
And he swallowed it.
"It's delicious," he said. "It's better than rabbits any time."
"More marshmallows," cried the lion. "More, more, more, more marshmallows."
"Yes, sir," said the waiter, and he hurried off and he brought the lion a whole platter of marshmallows.

So I made some homemade marshmallows. This is a very late entry for the Retro Recipe challenge hosted by Straight into Bed Cakefree and Dried where we had to find inspiration from a childhood book/story and then find a recipe printed prior to 1980 and make and post about the dish and the story. My recipe comes courtesy of my mother in law's mother's (or the Brain's grandma's) cookbook The American Woman's Cookbook published for the Culinary Arts Institute in Chicago in 1942. I'd call that vintage.

This was a really fun project for me to do. It would be a really fun thing to do with a kid who had just read the book too. They weren't hard at all and it was pretty neat to watch the crumbly gelatin turn into such beautiful fluffy white marshmallows. They're darn tasty too!

The American Woman’s Cookbook

2 Tbsp gelatin
¼ cup cold water
¾ cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Confectioner’s sugar

Soak the gelatin in the cold water until it has taken up all the water. Boil the sugar and water to the soft-ball stage (238 degrees F.) Add vanilla and salt to gelatin. Pour the sirup slowly over the gelatin, beating constantly with a whisk until cool and thick. Butter a shallow pan slightly and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Turn the marshmallow mixture into the pan and smooth the top evenly. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Let it stand over night. In the morning cut it into small squares and roll in confectioners’ sugar.


Zylo said...

Oh! Marshmallows are on my list of things I want to make next year. Yours turned out so beautifully.

Mary said...

Thanks Zylo! They're really easy and take no time at all to do!

Mrs. White said...

What a cute idea! I just became an aunt today, so I'll have to file this under "things to do with the niece to cement my position as the 'cool aunt'".

Mary said...

Congratulations Mrs. White!

Deborah said...

I have always wanted to make my own marshmallows. Yours look wonderful!

Pixie said...

I LOVE Lafcadio, wonderful book choice and wow, you made marshmallows! How fab!

glamah16 said...

Making Marshmallows looks so fun.Have to try it( and they are fat free!)