Last night’s dinner

Stephen rated this roast “a make again soon”. It was so tasty and the spice went all the way through it.

Tonight’s dinner

Today is the day that I go to bookclub. A group of girls and I have met for quite a few years now once every six weeks to “talk” about a book. We each take turns picking the book and hosting the club. Sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t get to see each other for longer but it is always good when we do. I especially like that the books that are chosen are ones that I wouldn’t necessarily pick-up on my own. This month’s choice was exactly that.

It is a mystery that is solved by a flock of sheep. Who would have thought? What lovely writing and what a lovely book.

I usually like to match the snack that I bring to bookclub to the book and this one made me really think. I just can’t think of bringing anything made with lamb but there is a sheep named Zora in the book who talks about becoming a cloud sheep. This makes me think of light and fluffy and one of my favourite things to make that is light and fluffy? Homemade marshmallows.

I know that they sound like they would be WAY too tough but they are actually quite easy and once you have them you will never go back. I’m going to flavour them with orange essance and put a bit of yellow food colouring in to make them really springy. I’ve made these with red food dye and peppermint before and they are amazing in some rich hot chocolate.

I got this recipe from Alton Brown’s website and it always works. I don’t have a stand mixer so I just use my hand mixer and put a dampened tea towel on the countertop under the bowl.

Marshmallows

Ingredients
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray
Directions
Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.

Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners’ sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

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