Sweets and Treats

If by ‘nesting’ you mean making homemade marshmallows and homemade caramels in the same week, then consider me nested! I was hoping that the flat would get less sticky rather than more sticky through the nesting process, but am pleased that ‘nesting’ didn’t end up meaning ‘dust the lightbulbs’ or ‘clean the 1940’s coal dust out of the attic’ or other things significantly less pleasant than marshmallows.

The marshmallows are worth making if you have a [insert technological specifications thoroughly researched by one’s mechanical engineer husband here] stand mixer that you’re dying to try out: the transition from lumps of cold gelatin + boiling sugar water to pure white, super fluffy, not-too-sweet marshmallows is magical, and clean up really isn’t a killer if you have hot running water indoors (we do.) We sent most of them in a care package to The German, Sr., and I am eagerly awaiting his report (Herr R assures me that he’ll think they’re funny because they’re so American. I am now thinking that it might have been wise to send 6 marshmallows rather than 30 to illustrate the idea that they are meant to be a novelty rather than a significant contributor to daily nutrition.)

The caramels are dangerous. Adding a cream/butter mixture to 310-degree sugar is an event I feel lucky to have come through unscathed. Deciding to clean the pan by dipping apple slices in the leftover caramel is a choice that scathed me. Specifically, there are a few spots on my wrist that are worse for the wear, and Herr R burned his toungue quite badly. There are risks inherent in having a pound of caramels cooling on the counter overnight, mainly related to the treatment of said caramel as a potential breakfast food. I would recommend making these if you have a deep, heavybottomed pan and a deep voiced, heavybottomed angel on your shoulder who will steer you away from eating more than one per day.

If you’re now worried about the Smidgen and how her teeth are going to fall out before she’s even born, rest assured that Herr R and I also made whole wheat apple muffins, homemade half-soy burgers, and delicious liver-with-apples-and-onions this week, and we’ve had persimmons and clementines for breakfast instead of candy.

In other news, I receive emails from Groupon Deutschland. Groupon is a company that sends daily coupons via email. In Austin, these are often for 50% off massages, buy-one-get-one-free dinners at local restaurants, and great deals on housekeeping services. The German equivalents include those sorts of bargains, but they also include the following:
-65% off breast enhancement surgery
-a pair of Adidas track pants for 18 Euros (green, pink, or orange only)
-several offers for Fotoshooting, where a professional does your makeup and takes pictures of you just as if you were a model except that you’re paying them and not the other way around
-a 1,000-Euro package vacation to the U.S. where you are flown from location to location for 6 days in a private jet! Here’s the kicker: the locations on this tour include Toronto, Hershey, Allentown and Harrisburg. As in, Toronto, Canada and then Pennsylvania comma Central.

Walking down the cobblestoned streets here in Hamburg, you would never guess that there is such a market for the big-boob, GlamourShots, pink-track-suit, private-jet-in-Central-PA lifestyle. The best part about Groupon is that you can click through for more details on each promotion and find out how many have been purchased so far!
As marketing device that is not reaching its intended audience, the Groupon emails are clearly in the category of junk mail. I cling to the idea, however, that keen and deliberate mocking of the worst of consumer culture is actually the purpose of Groupon Deutschland; in this light the emails are to be cherished.

Note to Groupon: as the owner and wearer of an Adidas tracksuit (black), may I recommend Juicy Couture as a more suitable brand partner?

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