Marshmallows in My Coffee

By , November 15, 2010

I try to be a careful shopper, but sometimes I’m not careful enough. When I fail to be vigilant, problems arise. Luckily, this time, it’s not so bad. But I do have marshmallows in my coffee.

If you’ve followed the blog very long at all, you’ve probably guessed at the importance hot drinks play in our lives. Cocoa takes a central role for two reasons: it is a Prince among Hot Beverages in and of itself, and I use it to sweeten my primary hot drink choice, coffee.

I confess, I don’t always drink my coffee black. I’m perfectly capable and willing to, but I like to stir in a spoonful of cocoa mix when I can. It works like a “whitener” and sweetener.

We favor Swiss Miss cocoa mix because it has less high fructose corn syrup than most commercially-available mixes. Whenever we find a good price on the biggest cans, we grab them by the armload. They store well, we use them throughout the year—it’s always a good investment!

The last time this opportunity arose, I bought a bunch of cans. That was months ago. Recently, I brought in a fresh can. Michelle wanted a cup of cocoa, so I turned it over to her. When she opened it, she said, “Hey, there’s marshmallows in here!” Sure enough, small, hard, white pellets lay sprinkled liberally in the powdered mix.

Please understand, I have nothing against marshmallows. I consider myself a Master Marshmallow Roaster, and a big, soft, plump cylinder that’s just as ready to be plopped into a mug of hot cocoa as it is to be lovingly toasted to a light golden brown over a comfortable campfire warms my heart and fires my imagination.

I’m not, however, enthusiastic about these desiccated, manufactured, night-of-the-living-dead marshmallow corpses that wait patiently through the eons to be revived through the miracle of hot water. Particularly since at least 80% of my cocoa powder use is devoted to coffee.

Lucky for me, Aly’s here. She is more than willing to sift the little specks out to experiment with. Super-marshmallowed chai tea seems to be one of her more successful efforts. She’s not removing all of them, but I’ve noticed fewer and fewer each morning when I reach for coffee sweetener.

Also, with the weather turning colder, I’m drinking more cocoa, and a touch of marshmallow, even when less than ideal, is still pretty good. And, I’ve discovered that the marshmallows don’t really change the quality of my morning coffee experience. They don’t diminish the pleasure, at any rate.

Next time I shop for cocoa mix, though, I intend to be more careful.

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