Do you remember THAT FEELING you got when your mom said, “We NEED to talk?”
Well that was today for my 4 kids.
I had hope that it would be a productive day. Most of the kids were up and moving on time. Only Curly Cook slept in but I let her because she has been going through a growth spurt for the last few months. Joy Boy was helpful and took out the recycling bags like Santa Claus! And things seemed to be going okay.
But then things started to get difficult.
I had things I needed to do on the kitchen computer, and for whatever reason, that gave the kids permission to either watch what I was doing or interrupt me a thousand times with comments they had to share. I tried to stay calm and have patience, listening to what they needed to say, but after awhile it all seemed to be distractions from what THEY SHOULD BE DOING. Their homeschool work.
I could FEEL the frustration starting to boil up inside of me. “WHY WERE THEY ACTING LIKE THIS?” was all I could think. Yes, MOST kids are either on school break right now (Utah) OR they are out of school for the summer (in Costa Rica) but we have visitors coming in January, so we need to take a week off of school then. That means we need to do school 3 days this week but it felt more like pulling non-loose teeth. So I called everyone together for a meeting.
Yes, it was one of THOSE meetings.
I reminded everyone what was expected of them, what the responsibilities of their parents were and what THEIR responsibilities were. I shared their frustration that pushing through the holidays can be tough but it was something that NEEDED to be done, in order to spend time with our visitors in January.
After our talk, EVERYONE got to work!
As the kids made their lunch, I got to work on making homemade marshmallows.
I had asked my mom for some fun foods I could make this holiday, helping us to get into the holiday spirit. She suggested homemade marshmallows, as well as: stained glass cookies, pizzelles, peppermint dessert and english toffee.
I have made the marshmallows before and remembered them not being such a big deal, but I think my frustration from the morning was rushing me. After 6 packets of gelatine and the syrup taking FOREVER to boil to 240 degrees, I was starting to get impatient.
Thankfully it seemed to be coming together. I had hope.
When the product was done, it actually looked REALLY nice.
And there was TONS of batter for GingerSnap and Joy Boy to lick off the beaters.
Curly Cook got the spatula. She loved the strings that came off of it.
Maybe a little too much!
I’m grateful that after the morning we had, we could pull it together and get back to work. I’m grateful that I also had some time to unwind and do something that was important to me. The blog. Although the day didn’t start out as well as I had thought it would, it did end pretty smoothly.
Now it’s time to go prepare, AS A FAMILY, for our company tonight. We invited the Sierra Family and 2 young men to come share FHE with us, as well as dinner and a Christmas treat. We will be having bacon-cheese burgers, homemade french fries, watermelon, and steamed carrots. Our activity will be making the stained glass cookies my mother suggested. Maybe we will even eat a few marshmallows, if they are set up in time?
Life truly is about FINDING the joy in the day. If we only focus on the blah or hum-bug of the day, that is what we will get. But when we focus on the joy and hope, that is our reward. It’s much harder to do than one realizes but it does work.
- Vegetable oil for brushing pan
- About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for coating pan and marshmallows
- 3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes powdered unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Special equipment:
- Pastry brush; 1 (9-inch) square baking pan; small, fine-mesh sieve; 4 1/2-quart or larger stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; candy thermometer
- Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil. Using a small, fine-mesh sieve, dust the pan generously with confectioners’ sugar, knocking out any excess.
- Put 1/2 cup water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin into the bowl and stir briefly to make sure all the gelatin is in contact with water. Let soften while you make the sugar syrup.
- In a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Place over moderate heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Put a candy thermometer into the boiling sugar syrup and continue boiling (the mixture may foam up, so turn the heat down slightly if necessary), without stirring, until the thermometer registers 240°F (soft-ball stage). Remove the saucepan from the heat and let stand briefly until the bubbles dissipate slightly.
- With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar syrup into the softened gelatin in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the marshmallow is very thick and forms a thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
- Scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan (it will be very sticky) and use wet fingertips to spread it evenly and smooth the top. Let stand, uncovered at room temperature, until the surface is no longer sticky and you can gently pull the marshmallow away from the sides of the pan with your fingertips, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Dust a cutting board with confectioners’ sugar. Use a rubber spatula to pull the sides of the marshmallow from the edge of the pan (use the spatula to loosen the marshmallow from the bottom of the pan if necessary) and invert onto the cutting board. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Brush a long thin knife or a chef’s knife with vegetable oil and dust with confectioners’ sugar to prevent sticking; continue dusting the knife as necessary. Cut lengthwise into 8 strips, then crosswise into eighths, to form a total of 64 squares. (For larger marshmallows, cut lengthwise into 6 strips, then crosswise into sixths, to form a total of 36 squares.) Coat marshmallows, one at a time, in confectioners’ sugar, using a pastry brush to brush off any excess. DO AHEAD: Marshmallows can be stored, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment in an airtight container in a dry place at cool room temperature, for 1 month.
Thanks for listening,