Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sometimes cheaper isn't better

I shop at Aldis here in town on a very regular basis. Price wise on most products they are even less expensive than Sam's Club. Saturday as an example, I spent almost 60 dollars yet ended up with items for at least four family meals, a week's worth of items to pack for Aubrey's lunch and breakfast items for the house for close to a week. Even a few extra's like some more ice cream cones, ice cream, hot fudge and strawberry topping.

Their canned items are almost always cheaper than any grocery store sale price. No discernable difference in vegetables, with fruit you may get some irregular shapes but quality is still similiar.

I did today discover one item that was ickky.

I love marshmallows and have bought the Kroger brand in the past if there was a huge price difference between that and Kraft. I'm sad to say though "Toasty Puffs" have way to much powder still left on them which not only leaves a huge mess on your hands but gives them a rather strange taste.

So if you decide to visit your local Aldis? Stay away from the marshmallows.


Then of course it started me on a search about Marshmallows

"Nineteenth century doctors extracted juice from the marsh mallow plant's roots and cooked it with egg whites and sugar, then whipped the mixture into a foamy meringue that later hardened, creating a medicinal candy used to soothe children's sore throats."

As well as something you know I'll have to now try...Making my own:

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift the cornstarch and confectioners sugar into a bowl. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch square baking pan and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch-and-sugar mixture into it. Tilt the pan to coat the sides and the bottom. Leave any excess in the pan.
Sprinkle the gelatin into the water in a small saucepan and let soak for five minutes. Add the granulated sugar and stir over low heat until the gelatin and sugar dissolve.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the gelatin mixture, corn syrup, salt and vanilla and beat for 15 minutes on high speed, until peaks form.
Spread the fluffy mixture in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Leave for two hours or until set.

With a wet knife, cut the marshmallow mixture into quarters and loosen around the edges. Sprinkle the remaining cornstarch-and-sugar mixture on a baking sheet and invert the marshmallow blocks onto it. Cut each quarter into nine pieces and roll each one in the starch and sugar.

Place the marshmallows on a cake rack covered with paper towels and let them stand over night to dry the surface slightly. Store airtight; the marshmallows will keep for a month.

After all, they can't be worse than the ones I just bought...can they?