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They’re funny old things, marshmallows.  Pink and white cylinders of sticky, squidgy, sweet fluffiness.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy popping one into their mouth.  I am, however, slightly reticent about putting those little ones into a hot drink.  I’ve never quite understood what the pleasure is there.  I’m sure many would disagree.

Anyway, today we indulged in the art of the barbecue.  It is not something, if I’m completely honest, that I relish.  I love the idea of eating outside.  I love the idea of cooking food over charcoal.  I am even partial to the odd slightly burnt offering.  But there is something about the whole notion of burgers that just doesn’t really appeal to me.  It could well be the generation I was brought up in where fast food outlets just weren’t an option.  It may well be that I have never really eaten a truly wonderful burger.  Whatever the reason, I’m a take ’em or leave ’em kinda gal where burgers are concerned.

However, toasted marshmallows, that is something different altogether.  I remember as a child, the thrill of holding a marshmallow on a long stick, hovering it over an open fire, waiting for it to crisp up and timing it just right so the outside had a crunch and the inside became a wonderful symphony of goo.

Of course, I always forget that it is an open flame which makes this happen, and not the dying embers of barbecue charcoal.  That becomes irrelevant when children are around though, as it is the preparation and ceremony of the toasting rather than the end product.  And as you all probably know, marshmallows on a barbecue don’t actually toast, they just warm and melt.  Which is what happened today, to the extent that my youngest niece managed to create a spiders web effect on her hands out of warmed marshmallow which she, and the others, found fantastic fun and quite hilarious.

So we are now sitting in the garden, the barbecue well and truly distinguished by the wee boy via the hose pipe, and the last few marshmallows are lingering on a plate like forlorn balls of cotton wool.    I’m sure they will eventually be eaten by someone, probably son #1 who is at that age where almost anything left on a plate has his name on it.  Fabulous.


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