Chain saws whir as dead trees fall to the ground and the woodpile grows. The scent of wood smoke and diesel exhaust from the tractor wafts in the air and leaves flutter to the ground, encouraged by the crisp, northerly breezes.
Turkeys and deer wander through our yard almost every day now. It won’t be long before hunting season starts and they all disappear, much to the chagrin of the local hunters. Where do they hide anyway?
Pumpkins, picked right out of Mom’s garden, welcome us to the front porch, together with colorful mums and a wreath on the door.
Hot apple cider simmers on the stove, the cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise pods swirling in the sweet and spicy nectar.
I pull out my hoodie – and my fuzzy socks – with a happy sigh. Fall is finally here!
I’ve been waiting for this moment since Spring. Really, I have. Autumn is my favorite season.
We had a surprise party last night for my sister, Tera, who completed her associates in interior design with upper merit.
Fall decorations, white lights, straw bales, a bonfire, and s’more and coffee bars made for a cozy evening on a rather chilly night.
I’ve never been a s’more fan. Marshmallows, I decided long ago, were too closely related molecularly to Styrofoam for eating enjoyment. However, I always thought it would be fun to make them and, when I came across a site that sold cardamom marshmallows, I knew this wouldn’t be the traditional s’more bar.
After watching a video on how to make Marshmallows (start at 5:40 for recipe), I gathered the ingredients and, with the help of a dear friend, whipped up the first batch. It really is as easy as that – setting the mixer on med-high and letting it do the job.
Most Marshmallow recipes call for corn syrup, but after reading all the GMO headlines lately, I wasn’t about to use that. This recipe calls for Organic Cane Sugar and Organic Agave Nectar. I know agave isn’t the greatest sweetener, but we’re talking marshmallows here, not healthy foods. These will be the healthiest marshmallows you’ll ever eat though and I promise you, they are not even close to the consistency of Styrofoam cups. :)
3 pkg. unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. water
2 c. organic cane sugar
2/3 c. organic agave nectar
1/4 c. water
2 t. ground cardamom
1/4 t. salt
Preparation – oil plastic wrap and use it to cover a 9×9 square cake pan. (Double the recipe for a 9×13 pan.) I found the easiest way to do this is to lay the wrap on a flat surface, rub the oil in your hands, then onto the wrap, making sure to coat every bit that might hold marshmallow. Lastly, place the wrap over the pan. Don’t worry about getting the plastic wrap in the corners. The marshmallow will help with that. Oil one more sheet to place over the top and set aside.
Combine gelatin and 1/2 c. water in mixer bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
Mix sugar, agave, 1/4 c. water and cardamom in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Boil one minute.
Start the mixer and beat on low as you slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl of gelatin. Add salt, drape a towel over the mixer to catch any drips and turn to high speed. Beat for 12 minutes.
Using a heavy spatula, scoop the mixture into the waiting pan, pressing into the corners and spreading evenly. Cover with the oiled sheet of plastic wrap and press smoothly over the top.
Let sit for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you make them a day ahead.
Prepare a bowl of powdered sugar. Lift the marshmallow out of the pan onto a flat cutting surface. Dust surface with powdered sugar. Using a large knife, cut into squares, coating in powdered sugar as you go.
Stack in an air tight container and store for up to 3 days.
Stir into hot Coconut Thai Chai from Celestial Seasonings for a delicious treat or add to coffee to give it a Swedish twist.
Marshmallow variations –
Add to mixture right before you start the timer for 12 minutes.
- 1 t. vanilla, plus vanilla bean scraped from one pod.
- 1 t. peppermint extract
- 1/2 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. cloves, 1/4 t. ginger
- cocoa powder
Another option? Roast over a fire and use in an Apple Caramel S’more.
ginger cookies ~ thinly sliced green apples ~ cardamom marshmallow ~ caramel sauce
May I suggest serving a Pumpkin Spice Latte with that?
Last four photos were taken by my sister, Sage. See more of her party pictures here.