The Marshmallow Rule - The Sensibly Organic Cook Blog at - 260554

The Sensibly Organic Cook

The Marshmallow Rule 
Dec. 13, 2011 9:00 pm 
Updated: Mar. 23, 2012 4:03 pm
Since the fall began, I feel like I have been visited by the ghost of holidays past. Reaching into the memory vault pullling out this and that holiday to revisit like photographs from an old dusty album. I found myself sifting through the memories looking to see which holiday was a favored remembrance and what made it so. The people? The food? The presents? Watching how time had changed my perceptions of what was needed to make the day one to be later savored. I must tell you that the last 2 holidays of year's end are my favorites, Thanksgiving and Christmas. New Year's Eve isn't included since to me it is tied so closely to the beginning of the New Year. Perhaps I've pondered so deeply because this year would be so different for the DH and me. For once, it has been just us. After having gotten though Thanksgiving, I can definitely state cooking all the "must haves" takes just as much time for two as it does for 15-20.

So what does the "Marshmallow Rule" have to do with the holidays? I hadn't thought of the old battered sign for quite some time. It bubbled up in my memory after watching the news. Prodded to the surface by the story of a customer who pepper sprayed others while shopping for the deals of the season. That night I was trying to figure out what could possibly be so important to purchase for Christmas that hurting others was necessary to get it. If I thought that was bad, I saw a much worse story later. I'm not sure where this was but a woman left her little kids in the car to go shopping. Trying to grab some of those "big deals" it would seem. The youngest child was one, I believe. It was dark and the kids were cold and scared. A gentleman that was interviewed about the incident put it very well, "Ain't nothing in that store worth your kids!" No kidding! Probably both ladies needed to read this old rule before the season began.

When did such frenzied consumption of produced products become the norm, necessitating camping out no matter the weather to secure a place in line to purchase those sought after possessions? Toys of all kinds and TV's seemed to be front-runners of the giant sales this year that started when I was going to bed and continuing when I certainly wasn't gettting out of bed. This "I MUST & WILL have THAT for me or my child" attitude isn't really a recent trend. I recall seeing mothers mob the stores for those little kids from the patch roughly 25 years ago. Yikes! Has it been that long since they came out?

Don't get me wrong, I like presents. I like shopping for them. I like wrapping them. I like giving them and I like receiving them. I like everything from fun and thoughtful to eatable and drinkable to useful and practical gifts. I also understand the fundamental drive of economics. A consumer purchasing products gives a manufacturer an outlet for their goods. Sometimes a supplier is needed in the process allowing access to those goods. So both supplier and manufacturer are creating jobs for people. This does keep the whole cycle going. Some get more, some get less but if the cycle is broken, no one wins. And yes, my DH has gone out in the wee morning hours on Black Friday to purchase and item, not as a present but a necessity at that time. Eight years ago, I needed a TV. Not wanted, needed one to play the home schooling DVDs on.

Yep, I started home schooling my then grade-schooler during the holiday season. Not something for the faint of heart to be sure but I felt it was the best thing to do. During one particular session, the "Marshmallow Rule" came into being. Granted I was trying to combine homework from several classes with it. I was also trying to give a small Life lesson at the same time. Multitasking at its best! And yes, I did finally notice the spelling error. Kindly ignore it.

First, I'd like to share some bits and pieces of our holiday cheer. The early years in this house didn't allow for extravagant spending much less lavish decorations or food. In fact, our first tree was quite the "Charlie Brown" type, put too much on and over it would fall. It's good for one string of lights, some candy canes and tinsel. Feeling nostalgic, I chose to put it up again.

It isn't so bad looking and it was even made in the USA. Pippin's been delighting in knocking off the canes. I believe it is payback for the next photo. See that little figurine with him? My Mom gave what she called white elephant presents for Christmas the year my dad died. She said she wanted us to remember what was important about this time of year. That was my gift from the thrift store 18 years ago. She also had oranges and hard candy for table decorations. She said when she was a girl to get either or both were a big deal for Christmas.

Long before it dwindled to just us two, it had been my turn to host the mandatory family fun Christmas get together. I say mandatory because getting this branch together was like pulling hen's teeth. Either some had way too many commitments for the same day yet felt compelled to show for lunch then leave the table still chewing or some acted like they really didn't care to get together. I began suspecting the latter when it took 2 and 1/2 hours of serious debate to attempt to forestall any more complaints about who should host the next gathering and exactly when. Anyway, a relative quite admired my wreaths and asked how I'd managed the creations. I think she wanted to know how much I'd spent on them. She didn't quite believe me when I said, "with weeds." Yep, on a budget weeds can be turned into something quite pretty. Sometimes, you just have to see the beauty in the smallest and oddest of things and figure out how to make them useful.

That particular ability of mine is probably how I managed to think the "Marshmallow Rule" up in the first place but as you read it you might see why I've been thinking about it these last few weeks. The hustling bustle of the holiday season sometimes overshadows the simply important things in life.

( Not all things in Life must be expensive or complicated. Sometimes the simplest things, such as a roasted marshmallow, can delight the senses and brighten a cloudy day. ) The lesson, to teach a little boy penmanship, how to write about something he knew and that sometimes something as simple as a roasted marshmallow can put a smile on your face.

Health. Food. Safe warm homes. Family. And if you don't have family,  very good friends. An income so you can provide some of those things. Compared to the latest toy or gadget those things are pretty important to me. As for gifts here this year, they're going to be on the simple side. Then again, who can resist the perfect cup of cocoa with homemade marshmallows and a toasted s'more?

And that is my simple gift to all of you since you can't drop in and share them here.<<
My favorite recipes for hot chocolate and home made marshmallows.

Also the wish that each and everyone of you have very Merry Christmas and a safe Happy New Year!
Dec. 13, 2011 9:47 pm
Cat, I love this blog! Such simple pleasures are what makes life smile! I saved the recipes for the marshmallows and the chocolate. They both sound amazing!!...Ginny
Dec. 14, 2011 1:28 am
Where do I find chocolate wine? I never knew there was such a thing! I want to try both recipes! The decorating with weeds when there is not much money is so old fashioned, but then, so am I! I love your garland! I wish we could get only gifts that are homemade, then there wouldn't be such a frenzy of buying at Christmas time! This has been a wonderful blog!
Dec. 14, 2011 4:02 am
Loved your blog about the Marshmallow rule and I especially love your Christmas Kitty. Christmas is my favorite time of year to remember what is important in life-it's not the buying, but making of memories and sharing your love with family and friends. Happy Holidays to you Cat Hill!
Dec. 14, 2011 4:36 am
I love this blog! Girl, once again, you hit it out of the park. Lots of "food for thought" here!!! I do have a bottle of chocolate wine, given to me by a friend Last Christmas and in my fridge ever since. I'm going to make your recipes and invite her over for a chat fest. I appreciate the thoughts your blog has produced. Merry Christmas, Cat, and the Happiest of New Years to you and yours
Dec. 14, 2011 5:12 am
thanks for making the cocoa this morning, I am enjoying it while reading your blog:) Great thoughts have been shared here. Love your weed valance, I would have liked to see the look on the family members face when you said it was made from weeds LOL. Have a great Christmas.
Dec. 14, 2011 5:27 am
Well said, Cat! The holidays are very much the appropriate time for reflection as well as the joy. Bringing out the tree that reminds you of humbler times is a great idea. You have caused me to think of doing something similar.
Dec. 14, 2011 5:36 am
In a world full of "gotta have this and that" and "that's SO 27 seconds ago!" (smart phone ad) hubby and i shake our heads and wonder if we are the only weirdsters out here who don't care about those things and who think most of that stuff is simply over -rated. "Appearances" don't mean a lot to me, the foundation and substance of something is important, and our world seems to be all about appearances these days. LOVE your marshmallow rule, and now have a moniker for the lifestyle we've always lived- thanks to you. :) It's very strange when it's just the two of us after a lifetime of raising 2 kids (home schooled 6 wonderful years)and now a much quieter home. So many adjustments to make, slowly but surely, we are finding our way with God's help. :) DS comes home from college tonight which is the best Christmas present so far this year. :) Merry Christmas, Cat and thanks for the wonderful, peaceful, soothing, joyful blog.
Dec. 14, 2011 6:15 am
Merry Christmas Cat. I like the marshmallow rule - it is often the simple things in life that bring the most joy. Memories last a life time. I honestly can't think of a single "thing" that could out weigh the joy of gathering with family and friends.
Dec. 14, 2011 8:15 am
Wonderful blog Cat. I'm looking forward to some cocoa in the near future. :)
Dec. 14, 2011 8:38 am
granny gigi, the cocoa is a take on "Mexican Hot Chocolate", I just tweaked it to suit my taste buds. It's actually supposed to be good for you. I've had marshmallow recipes for 10 years or better and finally decided to try them to go with my "rule". They are killer!! The DH said they must be really good since he saw them go by and he didn't get any! I hope you enjoy the recipes!!
Dec. 14, 2011 8:43 am
sueb, chocolate wine first hit my radar on one of Mother Ann's blogs. Then Mangel brought all 3 flavors to the last roundup. I don't find I like it much to drink straight but it is wickedly delicious in the cocoa and marshmallows. Old fashioned, huh, well you know what they say- sometimes old ideas are better than the new ones! Oh, I've noticed that Walmart and my local grocery store have started carrying the wine so if it isn't there it should be coming your way :)
Dec. 14, 2011 8:45 am
Lela, I'm glad you enjoyed the blog! Happy Holidays to you too!
Dec. 14, 2011 8:48 am
SouthernGma, hugs and best wishes to you too!. I'm glad you liked the blog. Those marshmallows are sooooo good with the dusting of cocoa and then the flavor of the chocolate wine. I am a confirmed chocoholic! I hope you enjoy both recipes with your friend!
Dec. 14, 2011 8:52 am
redneck gramma, valance that's the word! I knew wreath wasn't right but couldn't think of what to call it. I must say she did give me quite the look when I said "weeds" but I wasn't kidding. Sometimes I have to beat the deer to them :) Enjoy the cocoa and the holidays!
Dec. 14, 2011 8:55 am
Thank you, Mike! I guess with Ryan being gone for Christmas, the shopping frenzy this year just looked so wrong. Then those 2 incidents I saw, seriously? I thought that man had it right when he said what he did. Thanks for stopping in!
Dec. 14, 2011 8:59 am
goodfood4ursoul, you are more than welcome! I'm glad you like my "rule". When homeschooling was done I took the sign down and moved it into my "office" because I thought it was a sweet thought and it reminded me of those days when, if we had a really good school day we'd roast marshmallows in the winter. The DS coming home safe and sound is indeed the best Christmas present you could get! Merry Christmas!
Dec. 14, 2011 9:04 am
Thank you, Baking Nana. I'm glad you liked the blog. And I so agree with you! Merry Christmas!
Dec. 14, 2011 9:08 am
Amanda, thank you for stopping in! Here is the actual recipe if you'd like to compare and tweak away-1T cocoa,2 tsp dk brown sugar,1/4tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1T boiling water,mixed together, 1 cup 1% milk 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/8 tsp almond extracts. Enjoy your cocoa and have a Merry Christmas!
Dec. 14, 2011 9:44 am
Great blog. The Marshmallow Rule is so true. When we think back on memories of past Christmases our thoughts are not of the presents but of the family gathering, the decorations and the aroma of the meal to be. As for Charlie Brown your tree: when I see something with a flaw I call it character and your tree definitely has character. Maybe you should pull that red wagon next to Charlie Brown and add some more character.
Dec. 14, 2011 9:49 am
bd.weld, that is a great idea! It is always the characters in our life that we do remember most isn't it? Thanks for stopping in!
Dec. 14, 2011 11:10 am
Your words are sooooo true! Your blog made me think back to our (hubby & me) first Christmas. We were poor as church mice. I think I got him underwear & socks (not pretty, but necessary) - and he got me a mug. Stamped over & over again on this mug was "I love you". It was and still is the most treasured Christmas gift I've ever gotten. Our gifts were simple - but came from the heart. I think it would do us all a lot of good to be "poor" every now and again so that we remember how rich we really are. Thank you for your words and your loving spirit reminding us all, simple is better.
Dec. 14, 2011 11:15 am
What a lovely blog and a great outlook on life. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Dec. 14, 2011 12:59 pm
Hi Cat! You're blog brought tears to my eyes thinking and reminiscing about holidays and memories of years past. And your recipes for the marshmallows and the cocoa sound really yummy! I can't wait to try them! Merry Christmas from your friend and neighbor, Sheila!
Dec. 14, 2011 1:02 pm
luv2cook, absolutely! That is what I was thinking about when I put up "Charlie" this year :) The first year when all the tree had under it was handknitted scarves but we had a healthy baby, candy canes, food, jobs and a warm house. Marshmallows do rule don't they :)!
Dec. 14, 2011 1:04 pm
Rosebud, thank you for stopping in and sharing your thoughts. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year too!
Dec. 14, 2011 1:07 pm
Ah, I didn't mean to make you cry! I wish you were a whole lot closer to stop in, Sheila, and have a cup with me but this is the best I can do! LOL! You have a lovely Christmas too!
Dec. 14, 2011 1:17 pm
Great blog, kiddo! When we were first married, and for the first 5 years or so we used to make all of our presents. I also baked all of our bread, etc. etc. And then I went to work. It is so hard to do those simple things when you are both working. And some magazines, etc. make you feel bad about it when you can't do ALL OF IT. I feel so badly for young families being so busy... it is a good thing, and a not-so-good thing. As you get older you realize those things when there is more time to reflect. "Simplify" is a beautiful word. Merry Christmas.
Dec. 14, 2011 1:20 pm
OK, I admit I am 2 years older than dirt and have turned into my grandmother, But I have always thought the old fashioned Christmas with the tree hung with homemade ornaments and strung popcorn and cranberries were wonderful! I love the ad on TV with the little girl playing with a cardboard box because I love the way kids can use their imaginations if they aren't smothered with "Stuff." I am sad to see how materialistic so many of us have become. I have never and will never participated on Black Friday madness. I try very hard to buy American made goods, and those in very limited quantity. I love your thought provoking blog and your pictures. That swag is gorgeous and so is Pippin!
Dec. 14, 2011 1:25 pm
chris k, you are so right when both work it is so hard to make extra time. As far as those magazines, blow'em a raspberry, we'd all have everything perfect if we had a staff! LOLOL I so agree with you "simplify" is a beautiful word. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 14, 2011 1:38 pm
BigShotsMom, nah you are only as old as you act :) I think that is one of the reasons I didn't want to put up the big tree, too many homemade decorations including the star a certain someone made in preschool. My child might disagree but I always felt his imagination was the best toy he could use. He did have "stuff" though. Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed the blog. How mad would you say Pip looks? LOLOL!
Dec. 14, 2011 1:49 pm
I agree with Southern Gramma on this -- totally out of the park, Cat! Absolutely fine writing (a true joy to read) and such a great topic and story! Now that we are in the Southern Hemisphere we don't really 'do' Christmas and I can't find the spirit, but I do reminisce about fantastic previous days, and I remember the food, the company and the spirit of love the season brought. Back then, we could afford great decorations and gifts, but I remember the gifts as terrific heartfelt surprises not as monetary offerings. And I remember cherishing putting up the decorations and enjoying the feel of the season, not as being house proud. Anyway, I am rattling -- you really got me with this one! Love you, sweetie, and have a great Christmas with your lovely Charlie Brown tree!
Dec. 14, 2011 2:01 pm
Good EatNZ, ahhhhh, what a sweet thing to say! I don't know why the shopping frenzy just seemed SOOO over the top this year. It just made me think of the past when it was more about making the house pretty and the food with as much love as possible so when friends and family came the time was just enjoyed! Hugs and "hearts" back at you. I know I need to review how to do that heart thing maybe write it down!
Dec. 14, 2011 2:34 pm
Hey, Cat. Lovely read. Wishing you and yours a blessed season, as well. (Feeling just a bit sticky from the marshmallow...but in a very nice way.)
Dec. 14, 2011 3:03 pm
Hi Cat, wonderful read. Love your pictures as well. I haven't been hustling and bustling, remember I cater so I am doing that for everyone else. I feel like an elf at the moment. I haven't baked anything yet, only my traditional nuts and bolts; I haven't even decorated the house yet. I guess the decorating will get done this weekend, our daughter is arriving on the 23rd, our son just arrived home today from school. All the best to you and your family. Pippin looks thrilled in his pictures, I wish I could dress Monkey up like that.
Dec. 14, 2011 5:51 pm
Hezzy_tant_Cook, thank you and may you have one too! Ooooh but that marshmallow is soooo good!
Dec. 14, 2011 5:58 pm
Cat, I LOVE the Marshmallow Rule. In fact, I copied it down to share with my family this Christmas. Reminding us what's truly important; our health and family, is something those waiting in the line to purchase this year's must-have item or pepper spraying strangers or leaving children unattended certainly need to hear. What's wrong with people?!? One of the very best Christmases ever was the year I HAD to purchase all my children's gifts from garage sales and thirft shops. My youngest daughter fondly reminds me of her fully furnished "Barbie Doll House" she spent so many hours playing with. I think I spent all of $3.00 on it. Christmas can quickly become stressful and burdensome if it revoles around all you mentioned above. I think the Marshmallow Rule should Rule Christmas! Thanks for a wonderful blog! Merry Christmas!
Dec. 14, 2011 6:04 pm
Hi, Janet! Oh yes, you are hustling! You are working :) How nice your kids are coming in for the holidays. Pippin was as thrilled as he looks! Rather on the Grinch side he was. May you and yours have a safe happy holiday!!!
Dec. 14, 2011 6:10 pm
Candice, thank you so much! Mom asked me later if she had gone over the top that Christmas with the "white elephants". I said, "NO!" I loved my cat, I don't care if he came thru the thrift store first. Merry Christmas to you too!
Dec. 14, 2011 7:49 pm
I'm gonna make that hot chocolate!! Lovely blog, as always. Counting the days until your boy comes home...
Dec. 14, 2011 9:57 pm
Cat you are one of the best writers on here. I love the sentiment, the Marshmallow Rule, the message, etc, etc, etc...Like you, I love this time of year but with all the incredible pressures and expectations thrust upon us via media, Wall Street, or even our own family members, it becomes harder and harder to keep up appearances. The last several years have been more low key and this year will be the most humble of them all. I'm perfectly fine with that and like Candice, I do believe that the Marshmallow Rule will be printed and framed for each of my kids to remind them of what is truly important and what the pitfalls of excess is all about. Thank you so much, and a very Merry Christmas to your family. Hug your son for me and thank him for his service.
Dec. 15, 2011 5:28 am
Wonderful blog Cat! I have to say the Marshmallow Rule is so true for us! Our best Christmas was the year the entire family made gifts to give. Some gave gifts of time for a specific need. It was wonderful! Lots of thought went into those gifts and although long gone, they are my most treasured holiday memories. As our kids have grown we now do a "Service Pollyanna" gift exchange along with our other traditions. We pick names out of a hat and give that person a specific gift of our time. BEST one ever was the year my girls mixed up the gifts and the Hubs got himself a complete makeover.... Yep! The works, hair, makeup, nails! So funny! He had a blast with the girls though. He is pretty bald so they TAPED bows to his head!!!! Such fun! I however received quite a nice detailing job on my car! It was complete with stickers all over the dashboard! (you KNOW they had to stay on there too, don't you?!) LOL Somehow all those photos of the spa day the Hubs got have all gone missing! Hmmm....... Pip looks a bit annoyed with the hat on Cat! LOL He is giving you SUCH a look!!!! I cant help but LOL looking at him! I can almost here him counting "Ok, lady... I will give you to the count of THREE to get this off me'! 1....2.....!!!! Poor kitty! How did you ever manage to get that photo???
Dec. 15, 2011 5:34 am
Great message and thanks for the recipes. I'm going to try the marshmallows today. Tried some a few years ago but it didn't go so well. We're having a small gathering this year, 5 of us, and we are making everything simple so that we can enjoy the time together this year.
Dec. 15, 2011 5:39 am
MB, if you like hot chocolate, this one is really good @ 9:08 to Amanda, I posted the original recipe. It's supposed to be good for you with antioxidents. You add those fresh marshmallows and who cares LOLOL! The taste is sooooo good! Yep, could be tomorrow, could be next month you know how military time works.
Dec. 15, 2011 5:52 am
Avon, what a nice Christmas present to give me by sharing your kind words, I appreciate and thank you for them. It is funny that "rule" was on the wall where we could see it everyday of school, once school was over it was moved into my "office" and not seen as frequently. I just couldn't help but think of it with all the crazy shopping that was going on this year. Due to injuries the DS's service will be cut short but thank you for thinking of him. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!!
Dec. 15, 2011 5:57 am
kris, I read several marshmallow recipes on AR and LOTS of reviews before settling on the one I posted. They aren't really hard to make but if you aren't used to working with gelatin or candy they can be a bit tricky. I hope my instructions serve you well because fresh marshmallows really are the best! Thanks you for stopping in!
Dec. 15, 2011 6:02 am
WFDM?, lololol!!! Patience is a virtue when working with pets and kids :) Wow! Your family sounds like they have it covered for Christmas from the heart! Hmmmm, wonder where those pictures went? I hope you and yours have a very lovely Christmas!
Dec. 15, 2011 6:21 am
We never made marshmallows, Cat. Will have to add them to the To Do List! We are fighting nasty colds and the kids are going down like dominoes! No fun but better than last years stomach virus at this time! Yikes! I will catch up with you in an email later on.... Warmest of holiday wishes to you all!
Dec. 15, 2011 8:33 am
There is no doubt in my mind, you all would have fun making them then eating them :)(: Get well soon so you ccan enjoy the holidays!
Dec. 15, 2011 8:39 am
You have warmed my morning and the season. I am a marshmallow fan and will try the recipe and think of you fondly. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 15, 2011 9:00 am
KATSINTHEKITCHEN, I hope you enjoy them. I'd thought about making them years ago but never got around to it till writing the blog. I don't think I can go back to store bought now :) Merry Christmas to you!
Dec. 15, 2011 11:58 am
I so enjoyed reading your blog, it gave me a sense of serenity and an overall calm feeling. Thank you Cat!
Dec. 15, 2011 12:34 pm
Ahhh, Wyattdogster, thank you and I am glad you enjoyed it so much. You are welcome! :)
Dec. 15, 2011 3:14 pm
Cat Hill your blog touched me on so many levels that I can't even tell you. Because then this comment would be longer than your blog! Money is only a temporary illusion no matter how much you have or spend. We're broke this year for Christmas, as usual, won't be seeing my sons and grandkids on Christmas to my knowledge. So sweetheart and I will be spending Christmas Eve as always...listening to my favorite rock and roll renditions of Xmas carols and making food gifts and others. If Christmas doesn't turn out to be the exact day it is still a holiday celebration a few days later. We are gonna hit the thrift stores this weekend. Plus a coupla others as I will not give grandkids used toys (health). My guy said gift cards on the phone today. That one was shot down quick!!!! Pippin pic is sweet. Thx Cat Hill, good blog and Merry Christmas.
Dec. 15, 2011 3:40 pm
Thank you. Thank you for the peace and tranquility that flows through your writings, for the beauty of the soul-stirring reflections, for the wisdom and astute observations, for the truth, gently but loudly spoken, straight from the heart to the heart. Thanks for the food inspiration,which I will surely try, as well as the food for the soul, already tasted! Beautiful, just beautiful!! Merry Christmas!!
Dec. 15, 2011 3:49 pm
Aww Cat. . .*wiping a tear* I'll be saving those recipes to try. I, too, have been "waxing nostalgic" through the holidays. . .so many memories. . .happy, sad. . .there came a time in my life, 10 years ago, when I felt "blasted apart" by life. And when I say 10 years ago, I mean almost to the day. It was then that I learned to carry Christmas in my heart, always. There were so many "theme's" over the years, one year it was "children" (when I told my 78 year old mother-in-law that's what it was all about because we were ALL Children. I've never forgotten the look on her face.) One year angels, and every year LOVE. Thank you for this my friend. My theme or wish this year is Peace and Wonder. . .XOXOXO
Dec. 15, 2011 5:21 pm
Cat.....beautiful sentiments as always. I am so happy you shared this amazing blog. I will save the Marshmallow rule and hang it for all to see every Christmas. I am especially grateful that you have received the very best Christmas gift of all......sharing this wonderful season with your precious son. Merry Christmas to you and your family and your unhappy Santa Pip:) XO honey
Dec. 15, 2011 5:23 pm
great blog cat! the cooking challenged wife and i send holiday wishes to you and yours! how did you get that fleabag to sit long enough for a picture...terrific picture!
Dec. 15, 2011 5:23 pm
oh, cats are scared now!
Dec. 15, 2011 7:20 pm
redly, thanks for dropping by! I appreciate the food for thought you have given me-" is a..... illusion.." And you could have said as much as you wanted to post even if you had to use a couple of them :) It's almost Christmas, a time to share. Merry Christmas!!
Dec. 15, 2011 7:29 pm
Mamaw, your post is very thoughtful. Thank you for your kind words about thoughts I felt like I needed to share about the season. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Dec. 15, 2011 7:32 pm
My dear Lady, you do Sparkle indeed!! I like your "themes" Peace and wonder, I think we all need both XOXOX & Merry Christmas to you!
Dec. 15, 2011 7:37 pm
mauigirl, Pip's still a little miffed! He is de-candycaning the tree at every chance and then pushing off the "skirt". I wish you and yours a very happy Christmas.
Dec. 15, 2011 7:44 pm
gderr, poor Pip is on a diet since the loss of his leg so a few slivers of cheese and mackeral got his attention. I do mean slivers too. That's why he has that look on his pretty little face. He just figured out he is only getting a mere taste. Merry Christmas to you and yours and I hope that kitchen's all done :)
Dec. 15, 2011 11:44 pm
I think that 'The Marshmallow Rule' is to Christmas as 'Respect the Bird' is to Thanksgiving....
Dec. 16, 2011 6:08 am
Wow!! That was a really cool thought to wake up to since I REALLY think we should "Respect the Bird"!! Thank you, Laurie!!
Dec. 16, 2011 6:28 am
This is such a wonderful post. Thank you so much for sharing :)
Dec. 16, 2011 7:40 am
JoeTheBaker, thank you for stopping in and reading it. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 16, 2011 8:39 am
I was catching up on my blog reading today and found this wonderful gem. Thank you for this literary "marshmallow". I gobbled it up and enjoyed every bit of it and will be sharing the link with others because I feel the message is important. Happy Holidays!
Dec. 16, 2011 9:32 am
~Kristy~, I'm glad you enjoyed the "marshmallow". Thanks for stopping in and Happy Holidays to you!!!
Dec. 16, 2011 10:08 am
Thank you, that puts the hustle and bustle into perspective for me. Family, love, sharing and giving everyday.
J. Dub 
Dec. 16, 2011 11:04 am
Cat Hill, I have to say, while I read through most of these blogs just for simple amusement and a way to spend a few free minutes, this post really made me sentimental. Yesterday my washing machine died and today the breaks on my Jeep are acting up. I'm feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. Your blog helped remind me to look at the things that I do have that mean the most. My family, my health, a lovely, warm home, plenty of food in the refrigerator, heck, a refrigerator that works! Thanks Cat Hill. And I wish you a Merry Christmas filled with the simple joys and reminders of what this time of year is REALLY about.
Dec. 16, 2011 12:02 pm
I must agree with Avon and everybody else who said that your blog is a true joy to read! I love the thoughts and messages that you share with us, and this Marshmallow Rule is no different. I'm going to be printing this out too to share with my family and friends this Christmas. Christmas at our place has always been all about sharing & giving love, but it's always good to be reminded. 2011 has been a very varied year for us with lots of ups and downs. And this year I'm especially grateful and thankful for life and loved ones to share it all with! Also sending out warm hugs and wishes to all at AR. Once again, fab blog Cat and a splendid message too! :)
Dec. 16, 2011 1:55 pm
margiejo, I'm glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Dec. 16, 2011 4:11 pm
J. Dub, I had a nice post done and then got booted off so let's see if I can post it again.
Dec. 16, 2011 4:15 pm
I don't think this is all AR but here goes- it is hard to see the bright side and the high spots when things are crumbling under your very feet. Your 3rd sentence fron the end says it all, without those things we really don't have anything. I wish you a Merry Christmas and hope the New Year brings you want you need!
Dec. 16, 2011 4:19 pm
ri2, I echo your thoughts that you shared. This household has had its share of highs and lows this year too. I wish you a warm, safe Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!
Dec. 17, 2011 6:56 am
Great blog, Cat. While we all participate in the hustle and bustle, it is nice to be reminded of what really is important and be brought back down to earth. Merry Christmas!!
Dec. 17, 2011 7:16 am
mickdee, thank you! I've been thinking, there is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping during the holiday season. There is a certain excitment in the air that you just don't have at any other time but you are right, we still neeed to remember what is important. Merry Christmas to you!
Dec. 17, 2011 8:37 am
Awe Cat this warmed my heart. Great blog as always!
Dec. 17, 2011 9:55 am
Soup Loving Nicole, I'm glad you stopped in! Did you enjoy the cocoa? :) Merry Christmas!
Dec. 17, 2011 5:17 pm
Hello Darlin! Beautiful blog and so true. John & I decided we didn't need to give each other any gift other than the gift of time spent together. I'm so grateful to have time with him and with my family and friends. Anything you give that comes from the heart is a gift. Merry Christmas All! :o)
Dec. 18, 2011 5:37 am
cheepchick,I love what you said about spending time with family and friends that has meant a lot more to me this year. And, indeed, anything from the heart is a gift! Merry Christmas!
Dec. 18, 2011 6:20 am
I would sleep with one eye open - from the look on his face, your kitty is plotting and planning revenge! (If he were mine, he'd piddle on you in the middle of the night! Want another kitty - I have one I'll let you have cheap - real cheap!) Wonderful rule, wonderful blog! (But, seriously - keep those eyes open!)
Dec. 18, 2011 6:41 am
xraybarb, he has been plotting! He takes the tree skirt off, then tosses all the canes on the floor. I had to duct tape the tree in place cause he has been trying to push it off. I tell you no sense of humor that one! No thanks, I think there are enough furballs in this house right now! Merry Christmas!!
Dec. 18, 2011 3:56 pm
Thanks for the smile Cat. Everyone needs one these days. Roasted marshmallows were like a lil piece of heaven sitting round the campfire. I sense a nostalgathon a brewing. your cat does have the "wait till they get a load of me" look on his face. I had at one point 24 cats for some time all had names all were spayed and neutered. and best of all on evenings walks around the corner to the park I looked like the pied piper except with cats {and no flute} Live well and smile often. holiday cheer and so on.
Lisa D 
Dec. 18, 2011 4:12 pm
My late grandmother too said it was a big deal to get a fresh orange and a single peppermint stick for Christmas--no other gifts. I sometimes give my coworkers clementines and small candy cane with a note about my grandmothers. Great way to remember what's really important.
Dec. 18, 2011 5:22 pm
The one who pees does not cough up hairballs. And the hairballs are no problem, because HER brother eats them - blech! I have nothing up, yet - but am planning to just get my little fiber-optic tree out again. There's no one here, but me - but the kids might be here Christmas morning - maybe? And my kitties get so rambunctious at 2:00 am!
Dec. 18, 2011 7:11 pm
crazilagyi, you are welcome for the smile. You are right we all need one. Ah, cats they are some of the best of creatures. And yes, I am worried about the payback:)(:
Dec. 18, 2011 7:37 pm
Lisa D, some would find it hard to believe that a piece of candy and an orange were Christmas presents. Thank you for stopping in and sharing!
Dec. 18, 2011 7:41 pm
Nope, nada, not even if you flew out here to spend Christmas with me, do I need another cat!!! Just spent 3 hours cleaning a dog whom I swear takes more time then a teenage girl in the bathroom. I would love to see & meet you,however, xraybarb :)(:
Dec. 19, 2011 1:11 am
Wonderful Blog CAT ~ I loved reading it so much. Going to save those recipes too. Not sure how my mother got my Cabbage patch kid but I know I had one the first year it came out. I remember it being in teh news how crazy it was over here with everyone trying to purchase one. I think my Mum sent a few over from England to my aunt!
Dec. 19, 2011 3:26 am
Saved both recipes, Cat, Thanks! Nice blog - I so agree with you in that the simple pleasures are the best. Proof that even the youngest child believes that, just buy a new appliance and give the kids the box. They'll have fun for hours! My daughter turned my washing machine box into a "castle" and kept it in the basement for years. When she reached middle school I finally convinced her we could get rid of it! LOL
Dec. 19, 2011 5:29 am
apple.strudel, how funny! I remember seeing news reports of mob swarming the stores when they heard they had the dolls. I hope you enjoy the recipes as I have enjoyed some of yours so much! Merry Christmas!
Dec. 19, 2011 5:33 am
Mother Ann, we did the same thing, only ours was a "fort". Ours left when it fell apart from overuse. LOL! I hope you enjoy the recipes. That chocolate wine really made the marshmallows divine when toasted. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 19, 2011 10:54 am
Party pooper! I guess I'll leave the cats home when I come to visit (=
Dec. 19, 2011 7:09 pm
This year my wide and I are finally alone with one in the army and the rest away in school. We have had time to gather our thoughts and really plan where to go from here. The house will be full Christmas day and that makes the wife happy which in turn makes me happy. The economy hasn't been kind to us but we still get by. Wrapped gifts will be fewer this year. We think the kids will understand that it is being together that counts. We have two bottles of chocolate wine and we will spend many hours in the kitchen with my wife baking and I cooking the majority of meals. And I will share "The Marshmallow Rule" with all of them. Thank you for your story and may your holidays be full of love.
Dec. 20, 2011 5:38 am
Barb, I can see the felines swarming the little "charlie brown" tree and hanging from the ceiling fans. Bane loves kitties. I guess we could have enough cocoa we wouldn't care!
Dec. 20, 2011 5:41 am
Pundragon, thank you! We picked our only son up at the airport yesterday. He's been in Navy bootcamp. I have never been so excited to see anyone in all my life. Our Christmas will be perfect no matter what now!
Dec. 20, 2011 9:17 am
Oh my, how this mirrors my childhood & brought back some very nice memories. Guess I needed that. We forget too often, and we forget too much. Everyone is so spoiled nowadays. Kids don't know what it's like to appreciate, really appreciate little things. I got oranges & an apple, along with a few nuts in my stocking-not material presents. But it was the best present ever as far as I was concerned, and I so very much appreciated that Santa would take the time to think of me, I must of been good and he forgave me for those pranks I pulled on my older sister and brother, right?! And I so very much looked forward to those oranges each year, just hoping that I had them in my stocking when I snuck down those bare hardwood steps in my stocking feet. Careful to be as quite as possible, careful not to slip and fall, alerting Santa of my arrival to sneak a peek. The hard christmas candy, which was only gotten at christmas time. It disappeared as fast as it apppeared. Thank youy for the walk down memory lane. It brought up some other memories of my own which will always be held close to my heart, for only me and Santa to know of, for the rest of my days. Merry Christmas everyone.
Dec. 20, 2011 12:05 pm
Cat this blog touched me in so many ways. Thank you. I started to read it because I recently made my own marshmallows for gifts at work. With the economy being the way it is times have been very hard I was feeling such pressure to reciprocate in the gift giving and not having the means to do so. My dear friend Carol made some marshmallows and dipped them in chocolate, simple, beautiful and delicious. With Carol's encouragement and ingredients I thought perhaps I would give them a try. I made one 9" x 13" pan and cut them in to pieces dipping them into chocolate and put them out to set up. I ran to the dollar store and spent $1.09 on a package of tiny plastic pouches to put them in, decorated them with home made tags and a little ribbon and I had gifts for my entire office. I worried so much about not being able to participate. The simple marshmallow brightened what would have been my cloudy holidays. Merry Christmas!
Dec. 20, 2011 1:06 pm
T, I'm glad that my Mom's stories took you down memory lane. You are and she was right, we can get spoiled and not remember to appreciate the simplest of things. Thank you for stopping in and Merry Christmas to you!
Dec. 20, 2011 1:10 pm
Deb Newell, thank you for taking the time to share your story. I think sometimes we feel homemade presents don't measure up to store bought but I really believe when they are made with such thoughtfulness they outshine anything that the store could offer. Truly, a simple marshmallow can brighten the day :)(: Merry Christmas!
Dec. 21, 2011 10:22 am
Dear, dear, Cat, I'm so sorry it took me so long to get to this blog. As you know, my semester finally ended, and thankfully, I can now catch up on the things that really matter. Your friendship is riding high on that list. I'm looking forward to the cocoa and the marshmallows, in fact, I think they will be menu for this years traditional treat making for my littlest niece and me. Thanks for being such a great gal!
Dec. 21, 2011 10:25 am
Mangel, I'm telling you, both treats are excellent. Ryan thought cold out of the fridge the marshmallows were good. Toasted him some last night. The comment-these are like warm chocolate foam! Merry Christmas and enjoy your vacation!
Jan. 7, 2012 6:48 am
bizzbe, I don't know where my comment back to you went but I wanted to make sure you knew that I had. What a wonderful idea giving marshmallows as gifts!
Click to Change your Profile Picture
Cat Hill

Home Town
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Gourmet

Gardening, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

Go Pro!

In Season

Passover Celebration
Passover Celebration

Celebrate Passover with Jewish main dishes, desserts, and traditional holiday foods.

Easter Lamb, Ham, and More
Easter Lamb, Ham, and More

Choose your Easter dinner main dish from hams, savory lamb, and over 150 more recipes.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
I live in the middle of the U.S. in a farming communtiy. Gardening, reading and cooking are the things you'll mostly find me doing. I also enjoy horseback riding & my many pets. A husband & teen, I have 1 of each.
My favorite things to cook
Bread & BBQ are 2 of my favorite things to cook. I do enjoy a food challenge. Last year it was curing my own brisket for Corned beef & pastrami & porkloin for Canadian bacon. This year sausages & scratch cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bread and brittle. I learned to bake bread with my Mom. It was her favorite thing to make. My Aunt made the best peanut brittle ever. She'd stopped making it in the later years but when I told her how much I enjoyed her brittle, she opened the vault ,gave me the recipe & handed over the brittle torch to me.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that turns out the way I wanted it to or exceeds my expectations! Like my homemade bratwurst.
My cooking tragedies
Let's not go there! I prefer not to think about my kitchen disasters besides my child can gleefully recount all of them.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States