One Christmas (years prior to drinking age), my Aunt Priscilla set out an assortment of Jelly Belly jelly beans at her house along with a recipe chart of jelly bean flavor equations. My young and curious sweet tooth struggled to be polite while resisting the urge to empty the tray and taste test every listed combination. I remember wishing that I could invent my own someday as I attempted to simulate a banana split experience in my mouth with jelly beans.
This year over the 4th, my niece and nephew introduced me to Jelly Belly syrup flavors. In between water fights with their neighbors, they mixed Blue Raspberry Jelly Belly and Root Beer Jelly Belly flavored sno cones in the backyard. I also enjoyed a sno cone that afternoon, except I toasted to American adulthood and topped off my shaved ice with bourbon. Beam over bean, I said in my head. After all, I am a fall-weather gal, and it was upwards of 110-degrees out there.
It seems like those little gourmet gelatinous beans come in just about every flavor but bourbon, and now at least a dozen candy syrups are available at most stores in town. So I thought, why not put together a Jelly Belly Champagne cocktail? A jelly bean alone seems to fit the amorphous cocktail description of “a mixture of substances.” Let me be clear about one thing though, this bubbly bean beverage must be classified as a kitschy candy cocktail. I would never think of disgracing Madame Clicquot by polluting her perfectly golden dry bubbles with shaved ice, not to mention jelly bean flavored corn syrup. This concoction is for the cheap stuff!
Place jelly beans in the bottom of your cone or glass, cover them with shaved ice, pour about two tablespoons of Jelly Belly flavored syrup over the ice, and top off with champagne. The drink also works w/o alcohol (use sparkling cider or Perrier with the syrup and ice). Pink colored Tutti Fruitti with champagne tastes like bubbly bubble gum; Grape or Root Beer are fun to mix with brown liquor.
What else? Jelly Bellies and their syrups are gluten free, and jelly beans turn into gummy beans as they effervesce. Dare I suggest that drinking a jelly bean cocktail can simulate childhood while being an adult… just be responsible and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Snowflakes fell from the sky all weekend in my neck of the woods; it was a good reason to drink a mug of hot milk. I did that very thing one morning, but instead of sweetening it up with some honey or chocolate, I used strawberry marshmallows for a creamy summertime flavor. These were no ordinary strawberry marshmallows though, they were handcrafted, locally-sourced Hoosier Strawberry Marshmallows from 240sweet!* The strawberry marshmallow steamer cozied me up and took me back to late June in the middle of our ol’ family strawberry patch, trying to match a quart full of like-sized strawberries for my 4-H project (eating any and all “unsightly” extra-juicy sun-ripened ones in my bare feet).
How it happened: I cut the mallows into fluffy sugar cube-lookin’ quarters. After the milk was heated through, I added 2 mallow cubes, heated the mix up again (~10 seconds microwave, 2 min. stovetop) and stirred. Then I added 2 more mallow cubes on top.
*Saturday I hopped in the car with a good friend and traveled south to the sight of marshmallow magic. The 240sweet folks taught us all things mallow (I took snapshots when I wasn’t savoring freshly toasted samples–future post!), and I brought home a few edible souvenirs.
My niece and I did quick napkin portraits of each other at the kitchen table yesterday. She said, “look Aunt Amy, there’s a sun over your head.. and you have suns for eyes!” Hope you all have sunny eyes this year; I sure hope to live up to mine.
In other news, I think I will start up some drawings on fabric. I like the way it feels, and I need more practice.