The Green Marshmallow Stuff

I think one of the more awkward parts for me after a breakup, is wading through the minefield that becomes my daily life after the initial shock has worn off.  I have all these *blank spots* in my life now.  Both the things we used to do on a daily basis, as well as the joint future plans . . . they’re all just gone.  I have to re-orient, re-prioritize, re-establish everything.

Until I gain a foothold and give myself new coordinates on where I’m headed, I’m just a ship lost at sea.  Wishing I had thought to bring a game of yahtzee or a puzzle or SOMETHING, because it’s really fucking boring bobbing up and down out in the middle of nowhere.  Patience, schmatience.

So, in the meantime in order to fill the holes in my life I’ve started doing crazy shit like cooking.  I know I’m in a weird place in my life when my response to “what now?” is answered with anything even remotely related to the kitchen.  That is *not* my domain.  It’s like a new foreign country to me.  I don’t understand the customs and I definitely don’t understand the language.  It’s all ooga booga to me.

The night before last, as I stayed up way past my bedtime reading, out of NOWHERE came this intense craving for some green marshmallow “salad” thing I used to eat when I was younger.  I wanted it so much, I nearly got dressed at 1am in the morning and braved the cold to hunt down the needed ingredients.  But the warm, comfy bed won that battle.

So I stopped on the way home after work yesterday to get them.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I walked into the grocery store with no recipe and absolutely no idea what the name of the stupid dish even was.  Just green . . . fluff . . . stuff.  I’m a planning type person.  Walking all willy nilly into a store without an exact list of needed ingredients for a recipe isn’t my m.o.  I was out of control.

I probably spent a good 30 minutes standing in the cake mix aisle next to the Jell-O boxes, doing search after search on my phone on ingredients I was guessing based on a very fuzzy memory of something I hadn’t eaten in years and years.  *Green stuff*  *Green Jell-O salad stuff*  *Green fluffy marshmallow stuff* *Green Jell-O salad with cream cheese and marshmallow*  *Green Jell-O salad marshmallows* Oh wait . . . I don’t think it was green Jell-O . . . I think it was something to do with . . . pistachios?  *Pistachio green salad* *Pistachio green stuff with marshmallows* *Pistachio marshmallow pineapple*


I finally found a recipe I was willing to commit to.  It didn’t involve words or items that I did not want to deal with or have to figure out, like “2 cups of heavy cream”.  Did you know that there isn’t anything in the grocery store that is *just* heavy cream.  WTF is it referring to?  Is it milk that needs to go on a diet?  Is it creamer, but . . . special?  Is it soupy yogurt?  Is it condensed milk?  Is it heavy cream for whipping?  I don’t need that kind of complication in the kitchen, so those recipes got axed.

Once home, I put my brave face on because I didn’t want the food ingredients to know I was intimidated by them.  I tried to show them who was boss.  I drained the can of crushed pineapple, *BUT* . . . retained the juice.  Yeah, now who’s scared?  You thought I’d miss that little detail, didn’t you recipe?

And then . . . the recipe went all vague on me.

Stir together half of the pineapple juice with the pudding mix until well blended.

What?!  I thought I had done a good job of vetting out complicated recipes, but I FAILED.  I need measurements!!  I’m not some fancy Iron Chef who works with dashes of this and a dollops of that!  What is “half” of the pineapple juice?!

So then I started questioning whether I had even drained the crushed pineapple correctly.  Is there a kitchen “standard” for pineapple draining that I don’t know about?  Do I let it drain naturally, or do I press all of the juice out of the pineapple?  There’s a lot of liquid in pineapple that could make a huge difference in the amount of juice I start out with before “halving” it.

I winged it.  Why not?  I was already living dangerously.  I picked up my bowl of pineapple juice and just poured some into a bigger bowl.  I took a deep breathe and started stirring in the pudding mix.  By the 2nd package, it started to feel like I was trying to stir cement, so I was fairly certain I was going to need more pineapple juice.  And also at this point, I was starting to come to peace with the fact that this entire thing may not work out and be a disaster, in which case I was going to be grabbing the chips and dip and consoling myself on the couch.

More juice.  More pudding mix.  Little more juice.  Rest of pudding mix.  Feeling more confident about my choices thus far.  Starting to calm down a little and backing away from the ledge.  Whew.  Okay.  Ready for the next step.

Gently fold in the Cool Whip and carefully stir in the pineapple and marshmallows.

Gently fold?  Am I making love to my laundry or am I making food?  The lines were beginning to blur.

I started doing my best impersonation of folding 16 oz of cool whip (the big container) into what looked like green Laffy Taffy at the bottom of my mixing bowl and having many, many doubts.  And getting exhausted from trying to mix two completely different consistencies, but I powered through.

Successful mixing of green concrete and cool whip.

Successful mixing of green concrete and cool whip.

I mixed the pineapple without much fanfare, and so had arrived at the final ingredient: marshmallows.  I had gone through a lot with this dish.  I had had my ups and downs.  I had been pushed far out of my comfort zone more than once.  I was a changed person.  I started to measure out the two cups of marshmallows.  The relief of finally getting to use a measuring cup for the first time the whole evening was indescribable.  “Oh finally, thank you!  I love you, measuring cup!”

After I was done, I stood there staring at the bowl.

* * * c o n t e m p l a t i n g * * *

And then grabbed the bag of marshmallows and poured more in.

Every single marshmallow you see, is above and beyond the 2 cups asked for in the recipe.

Every single marshmallow you see, is above and beyond the 2 cups asked for in the recipe.

I had gone mad.  The recipe had broken me.  It was anarchy in my kitchen.  Not just with my rash recipe decisions, but with the mess I had left behind on the counter:

Just look at that pistachio pudding powder disaster.

Just look at that pistachio pudding powder disaster.

I survived, but I will never be the same.

Now . . . if you’ll excuse me . . . I have some delicious green marshmallow stuff waiting for me in the refrigerator.