Tonight is the annual Father's and Son's outing for our family, and might I add it is one of Emma's favorite days of the year too. I think it rates up there with Christmas and the 4th of July for her. The boys rough it in the great outdoors, and Emma and I rough it buying new shoes, dinner, and a movie usually. Just one of the perks of being the only daughter! So for the Father's and Son's outing the only request that I received was Homemade Marshmellows! I know that may sound a bit daunting, or crazy, or even a bit silly, but they are actually super duper easy. Nothing can make a camping trip fantastic the way these marshmellows can.
As I grew up we didn't camp a lot. My mom didn't really love it, and sometimes it is just way over rated. Actually the only camping trip I even remember was one to Jackson Hole when I was maybe 15 or 16. My dad had bought a new 8 man tent for the family (or so he said) and we were going to have a great time. The trip was really fun. This was the first time we had hiked to Phelps Lake (which is one of our all time favorite hikes now) and of course we did all things Jackson Hole. Except for riding the river because Eric was so little. The first night as we were all getting our bags situated in the tent we were packed in there like sardines. There wasn't room to roll over, let alone hang a leg out of your bag. I remembering asking my dad how big the tent was and that is when he said it was a roomy 8 man tent. He is such a liar!!
The next week I was dinking around in the garage when I ran across the box that the "8 man" tent had come in. In all actuality it was a 5 MAN tent. No wonder we were sleeping on top of each other. That's Rodney for you. Always the optimist!! It was a fun camping trip, but it was enough camping to hold me over until I married James. I don't love camping, but I tolerate it. The kids and James do love it though. James' idea of a camping trip doesn't involve the cute little campsites on the side of the road, but the kind that require a Backcountry Wilderness Permit from Teton National Park. It usually requires, some canoeing, portaging, pot and pan banging, and yelling to keep the bears out of your dinner, skinny dipping (or chunky dunking in my case), some great dutch oven dinners, and a lot of rain or hail. The trips are memorable, and the pictures are amazing. We get the permits for the Clawson annual Jackson Lake trip every Jan. The trip isn't until July, but you know we've got to get the perfect campsite. This camping trip is the kind that fills you with some serious nervous anticipation. Actually it is the scariest 2 nights of the year for me! I secretly hate it and I am so exited the day we pack up and are heading out. I don't have to be on the lookout for bears for another 364 days!! I did find these marshmellows do take your mind off the bears that are lurking somewhere in the "not far enough" distance though. It's also handy to have someone else with you on the trip that you've mentally decided can be the bear bait. You know that's usually why we take uncle Eric with us:) Just teasing Eric! Make a batch of these mallows though the next time there's a campfire, or you're burning weeds. You'll never buy a store bought marshmellow again. Happy camping!
Jackson Lake Marshmellows
4 pkg. unflavored gelatin
3/4 c. cold water
Place these ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Let sit until water is absorbed. In a saucepan add the remaining ingredients.
3 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. water
Bring to a boil and let boil until it comes to 230' on a candy thermometer. Slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture as it stirs slowly. Once all the syrup is in the bowl turn the speed up until your at the fastest speed. Continue to beat for about 10 mins. or until the stuff is a semi stiff white fluff. Add 1/2 t. of vanilla just before it is done. It is like magic. Pour the marshmellow into a 9X13 inch pan that has a piece of greased wax paper of parchment in it and up the sides. Smooth the top of the marshmellow and let sit for at least 4 hour, but best overnight. To cut the marshmellows remove it from the pan onto a clean surface that has 1 c. of powdered sugar on it. Cut into big squares and roll in the powdered sugar. This keeps your marshmellows from sticking. Store in a Ziploc. They'll keep for weeks if you don't eat them all. We actually love to put them on a fork and roast them over the gas stove in the kitchen. As they roast the outside gets a crispy crust almost like a creme brulee. These are lovely.