Today was so snowy and bone-chillingly cold that Chris came home early. I put on a pot of decaf for a little warming four o'clock break for Caro and me, and made Chris a big mug of cocoa with a handful of little marshmallows bobbing atop. He stirred, ate a few with his spoon, and as he always does, asked, "Remember the time . . ." And we all laughed.
Several years ago, I had bought some of those pastel flower-shaped marshmallows for the older granddaughters' Easter box, since they wouldn't be here that year. They were pretty little things, pale pink ruffly "petals" around a creamy yellow center circle. They even had little center dots---to represent stamen, I suppose, and they tasted just like regular marshmallows---one of those "cute" things the candymakers burst forth with all the time.
So I thought they might be pretty on the sweet potato casserole for Easter lunch.
A few nights before the holiday, we shared a baked sweet potato, taken out of the shell and mashed with brown sugar/butter/vanilla, then topped with a few of the marshmallows and baked in a little gratin dish.
Glad I made them for an early trial---they were AWFUL. They lay atop the creamy potato mixture in the heat of the oven, gently spreading a bit as they softened. Next peek in the door revealed blobs of pink goo, with clops of yellow bubbling in the center, bits of browned marshmallow appearing as it crisped a bit.
I said "Oh, Well, they'll taste OK," and set them aside for a few minutes while serving up the dinner. The scoop of the spoon down through the potatoes disarranged all the colors, spreading a strange rainbow amongst the deep rust/orange, and when served upon the plate, the stuff was NOT attractive. Chris looked at his plate, said a few complimentary words about the chicken livers and other dishes, then said, "What is THAT?"
I told him, and asked "What did you think it was?"
He said the first and only uncomplimentary thing about my cooking that he's EVER said in all our twenty-some-odd years: "Looks like a doll died in a pile of poop."
I took a look, and we both fell out laughing. There was the little ruffly petal-bonnet surrounding a small pale face, with strands and streamers of pink circled all through, little speckles of burnt sugar, and the contrast to the deep gold potatoes---well, it was just too much.
THEN, he capped it all by saying of the browned bits, "I can see its little eyes!"