Weather: while the the Lower 48 has been unseasonably cold, our snow has been melting into a mess of ice and slush
What I’m listening to: Let It Go, from the Frozen motion picture soundtrack
For the past few Christmases, we have put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving. Our children rotate each year on which of the three get to select the tree. This year, it was our 5th grader.
The tree comes home, the lights go up, followed by the red beaded garland, then the ornaments, and finally, the star. Everyone participates while Christmas music plays. Then, once the tree is done and dinner has been eaten (a pot of soup, typically), we turn on Polar Express and eat popcorn and have hot chocolate with homemade peppermint marshmallows.
The children insist upon homemade marshmallows for tree trimming. They love them and look forward to them every year. Yes, yes. The marshmallows will be made. They’re a tradition.
Quick note: last time I made these, I added peppermint extract to the marshmallows but didn’t use crushed candy canes. They were winter white and fluffy and you didn’t know they were minty until your bit into one and got a little candy cane surprise. I love that. This year, I was out of extract, so I used crushed candy canes. They are very pretty this way and you know that you’re getting peppermint flavor on sight, but the drawback is that, over a matter of days, the candy canes will start to lose their crunch and the red color will bleed a bit from the moisture in the marshmallows. So, if using crushed candy canes, these are best enjoyed the same day or soon after. Without candy canes, a batch of marshmallows will last weeks in an airtight container.
For a photo tutorial on homemade marshmallows, see my Orange Cream Marshmallow recipe.