January 28, 2012
My Love Affair with Marshmallow Creme....And The Aunt Who Loved Me
Marshmallow Creme (Cream?) is truly a gift from the heavens. It is based on my favorite food group, sugar, so it really can't be wrong. It's shiny and fluffy and makes everything better. I think it was what God had for dessert on his day of rest.
Many years ago, I was an insecure freshman in high school desperately in love with one of the most beautiful people I thought I'd ever seen. For some freak reason I have yet to understand, he asked me out and we continued to date for several years. One night I was sitting on kitchen counter eating straight from the jar of marshmallow cream and talking to a girlfriend about how said boyfriend and I were so in sync and obviously were destined for marriage. She relayed this to common friend of ours who happened to have a crush on my boyfriend. Common friend, upon hearing of our true love destiny and my love affair with the 'mallow, said, "I hope she gets fat so he dumps her." That kinda ruined our relationship for a while...me and the mallow, I mean.
Years later, during my freshman year of college, my beloved aunt turned 50. Now, my aunt never had any children of her own, so I was her surrogate child. Every kid should have one of these...She brought me clothes and anything my heart desired; she intervened when my parents obviously did not know how to be appropriate parents (read: they told me no); above all, she loved me unconditionally. I knew that parents were supposed to do that, but it was pretty cool that she did, too.
For the 50th anniversary of her birth, her husband had a party for her. Here is what I remember: there was a really, really cute boy there whom I later dated (My love destiny turned out to not be so destined. He got a job at a pizza joint my senior year and fell in love with a co-worker.); there was a very hairy stripper with long curly hair, ala Patrick Hernandez (go google it now); and there was the best damn fruit dip ever there. It was creamy and orangey AND had marshmallow cream in it. SCORE!
My aunt made it for me a couple of times when I went to visit after that, but then that ended. She passed away unexpectedly not long after. I never thought she would be gone, at least not until she was very ancient and had helped me raise my own kids who were yet to be born. This woman oozed life and I couldn't imagine it being any other way until it was. I never thought to ask her for a recipe because she was always supposed to be there.
It has been almost 20 years since I had that dip...until today. I helped my sister (not really, but only because God separated us at birth) host a baby shower for our other sister (again, not my sister, but it really is her sister!). While looking for a dip recipe online for the fruit, I came across one that sounded like it just might be similar. I thought, what the hell? We had really good petit fours, so I could always hide the dip if it sucked.
It wasn't just similar; It was THE dip. For that brief second, I was 18 and still innocent about how much it hurt to lose people you love. I ate it without fruit until I had made sure it really was the same. Then I had it with fruit to make sure it was still the same. I probably had a few too many bites, but I'm sure it's okay. I know it's okay.
Today I saw one of my oldest and dearest friends happy and full of life (literally) and I thought about how fleeting it sometimes is. I sometimes wonder how the hell I got to kissing 40 ~ Where did the time go? Why didn't I do more with it? I should've appreciated more. I should've gone to the gym sooner. Really, I should've eaten more marshmallow cream.
Now, go make this dip and say a little thanks to my aunt who I know is still looking down on me everyday of my life. I think I will christen this Wanda's Stripper Dip!
7 oz whipped cream cheese
7 oz marshmallow creme
1-2 tablespoons Tang (depends on how strong you prefer)
Mix together in a bowl with a fork or knife and use as dip. Most awesome with white seedless grapes!
P.S. I'm totally aware there are no cookbook companies knocking on my door.