I always thought, "Who me? Make marshmallows from scratch? Are you kidding? That makes no sense, I hate marshmallows. Mouthfeel is sticky sawdust, taste is stale air. Plus they're so labor intensive and messy to make."
Time passed in a curious way, echoes before the initial scream, August happened three times in a row; it was expansively disorienting in a dreary, banal kind of way that felt like a foggy blanket. And one day I thought I'd do something about it.
"I'll just make the stupid marshmallows!"
And I did, in my own kitchen, all by myself.
Just me and a sack of gelatin and a mountain of powdered sugar. Making marshmallows from scratch was empowering only in that I was able to slog through what I set out to do. But it was alarmingly time consuming and oppressively stinky - horse hooves - and so disproportionately messy! I mean, how can so few ingredients cause so much mess? Why do simple, beautiful combinations always end in chaos?
There are some chefs out there, these golden calf gifted people, who make anything look like a breeze. And you catch yourself daydreaming: hang on, if I could just learn that technique, wait, let me watch that again, I'm getting the hang of it, I'm basking in the knowledge, I'm soaking in the talent...
But here's what i'm driving at, here's the thing. This is the truth that I needed to bash into my foggy blanket consciousness, alone in my horse hoovey kitchen. The skill involved, the mastered process, the making, even if pleasant, or joyful, does not outweigh the bottom line: I do not like marshmallows.
Sarah Elovich is a writer and performer based in Oakland, CA.