The day after Valentine’s Day was a lovely day. Outside the bitter wind blew in artic air, but inside we were toasty and warm in the glow of the family room fireplace.
We were all chocolate-drunk from the 88 piece Whitman’s Sampler we procured at a V-day sale not 24 hours prior (Can you still call is a ‘sampler’ if there is 8 of each kind of chocolate in the box? That’s like drinking a bottle of wine and calling it a ‘tasting’, no?). We needed something else to munch. Something…less chocolatey.
Marshmallows! Yes, perfect! Surely that will draw us out of our chocolate-induced stupor.
The fire crackled beautifully as I manned the telescoping marshmallow sticks (only the finest here). I placed a slightly stale, store-brand marshmallow firmly on the stick’s double tines. These would not be culinary delights, but they were better than naught, or ::shudder:: healthy food.
The first marshmallow immediately caught fire. Huh. I blew it out, deemed it ‘done’ and handed it to a undiscerning child.
The second marshmallow immediately caught fire. Grr. I blew it out, and barely had time to remove it from the stick before greedy little hands whisked it away.
The third marshmallow, I took pains with. This one would not catch fire!! I held it steady and away from direct flame. I turned it obsessively. I waited patiently for it to expand slightly before turning golden brown. It did not. It burst in to flame.
Frustrated at the cheap quality of my supplies I lifted the stick upright slightly so that I could blow out the flaming mess of disappointing sugar. The stick stopped at exactly the correct angle and distance for sufficient extinguishing. The marshmallow, however, took it upon itself to slip its bonds and continue its flight.
…in to my face.
I got a flaming marshmallow in the face.
There was screaming. There was pawing at my own face. There was pushing small children to the ground to get to the bathroom sink.
There are few things as wonderful in this life as the relief of pain. The cooling water from that awkwardly low faucet were heaven.
When I established I had not lost vision, I returned to my family with a cold compress to search down the errant marshmallow and confirm that it was not, after all, attempting to finish the job by burning down the whole house. The room smelled or burnt hair and regret…and slightly of toasted marshmallow, which is ironic since not a one of them got properly toasted.
Threat contained, I resigned to the more spacious kitchen sink for 15 minutes of cold water therapy. I patched myself up with ointment and bandages and then sat down in the family room where the fire still crackled on.
Buddy looked up and regarded me with equal parts curiosity and trepidation; he wouldn’t come near me. Kitten literally pointed and laughed at my awkward bandage, looking all the world like a pirate whose eye patch has slipped down their check.
I have such compassionate children.
Despite their ‘sympathy’, I am healing nicely. I’ve got just the slightest pinkness where the flames actually blistered my cheek and my singed eyelashes should grow back in time. Maybe longer?
The day after the incident (having soundly chucked the offending bag of marshmallows), your father gifted me with two bags of high-quality, name-brand marshmallows; the proverbial horse to get back up on. You will be happy to know that I have taken up the toasting sticks (telescoping, you’ll recall) once more and have not – NOT! – burned down the house or the rest of my face.
The most recent generation of marshmallows was perfection…if a little raw. Who can blame me??
Today’s PSA: Buy the good marshmallows. Trust me.