13 Jan 2012

A Whole New World

(Scroll down for the Update!)

When I was in Europe this Christmas, I was surrounded by coffee fanatics. I don't necessarily mean Europeans (although they certainly enjoy their Nespressos) - but the members of my family whom I was holidaying with: The day did not begin until everyone had coffee. I've generally been a take-it-leave-it kind of person when it came to a cup of morning Joe; I've never really been that big on Starbucks and generally I hadn't been bothered to make it, except for maybe on the weekend. But seeing as coffee was being made every morning, I'd help myself to some each day - and since I've been back in Canada, I've been drinking it somewhat regularly. Just a cup in the morning, made with the french press. I've been learning how to make a better brew, by letting the grounds "bloom" first - and it's been weirdly interesting to discover that there really is an art to everything.

But as we all know, art is highly subjective - as demonstrated in Redbook's November 1965 magazine article, "How To Perk Up Your Day With Coffee."

As you can see from the cover stories,
it's just one of MANY great finds in this issue.
The article starts out sane, explaining what roasting the beans does, how long one should allow coffee to percolate and so on ...

... but it's when the magazine goes into the specifics on how one can add touches that make coffee "a bit different" and what "foreign flavours" can bring an "elegant note" to the evening that things take a turn for the worse:
"... coffee with any or all of these: cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, whole cloves, orange peel, lemon peel or sliced oranges."


Ok, so perhaps I just happen to be someone who really hates when orange flavours are put where nature never intended them - I'm talking to you, Terry's Chocolate Orange - but sliced oranges in coffee? Really?

"It's delightful! You should try it!" says some random crazy person on the Internet.

No, no. I'm going to try another of the magazine's suggested flavour combinations. Prepare to get your elegance on with a dessert that blends coffee with gelatine, peanut butter and - I shit you not - Marshmallow Fluff:

Fuck yeah.

You know when certain religious conservatives get all hysterical about "gay marriage" and start talking about a bizarro world where people can marry dogs and children can marry toasters? They really need not worry about it because the most brutal of combinations has already happened in the above recipe, and God hasn't smited (smitten? Smut? Yes! Smut!) us yet.

I'd like to thank the above recipe for giving me the excuse to do something I have ever done in my life, and that's buy / have Marshmallow Fluff.
I know somewhere in America there's a person connected to an air tank who cannot believe that someone's gone 33 years without Fluff, but it's a fact. I wasn't even sure if the grocery store carried it, but there it was among the ice cream condiments and cones. I'm almost scared to ask where in the store it's found in the US. Please don't say dairy aisle.

In buying this strange little product, I was also introduced to something totally new that I had never heard of; a Fluffernutter:
Fluffernutter: Product of USA.

Oh, we already figured that one out, Fluffernutter.

If I hadn't seen the picture, I would have thought it was something else, but thanks to the label, I take it that a Fluffernutter is marshmallow fluff and peanut butter, in bread. And this is what people eat? For lunch? At school? Why hasn't Michelle Obama mentioned this in, like, every single one of her speeches?

But what's truly sad is that Coffee Gelatine With Peanut Sauce is actually worse than a Fluffernutter, nutritionally (and, probably, spiritually). In each serving of a CGWPS is 1/2 cup of coffee, gelatine, 1.5 tablespoons of sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1.5 tablespoons of marshmallow creme, 1.5 tablespoons of milk, half a tablespoon of molasses, and a sprinkling of salt.


And with that dry heave, let the cooking begin.

Oh Jesus Christ.

The coffee gelatin was easy enough to make. I don't have sorbet glasses, so these highball glasses will do.

In the meantime, I got the topping to look deceptively normal:

I've popped it all in the fridge to chill. I'll update this post with the final product once my Guinea Byck husband is home to try it out. Stay tuned!


The dessert is complete and the Guinea Byck is standing by!

If you didn't know what was in it, I wouldn't call it a repulsive looking dish:

Since we're talking about an elegant dessert, it should no doubt be accompanied by candlelight, cloth napkin, and an eager gourmet!
Ok, maybe not so eager.

"What's in this, again?" the poor dear asked.

"Coffee. Gelatin. Peanut butter. Marshmallow. Sugar." I said.

"I like all those things," replied the sweet GB optimistically.

I steadied my camera to capture his first reaction.

"Wait. There isn't shrimp in this, is there?" he-with-the-shellfish-allergy asked.


"When has there ever been a dessert that had shrimp in it?" I yelped.

Iron Chef, replied the voice in my head. The voice in my head watches a lot of TV.

"You didn't answer my question," my husband said suspiciously.

"No. I promise, there is no shrimp in that," I sighed.

I held the camera again, ready to take a picture.

"So, do I just eat this, or start with the top or ...?"

"Whatever you want, dear," I said, realizing how rather stupid blogging is.

He put his spoon in and skimmed some of the topping and sniffed it. And then he put some in his mouth.

And then he had another bite. And another.

"Thoughts?" I asked.

"It's good," he said. I just don't get him sometimes.

"I can't finish it all right now, but I'll have the rest later! Don't throw it out!" said the strange man I married. He got up and kissed me on the cheek and I quickly learned of an immediate side effect of eating this dessert: seriously disastrous breath.

Poor GB.

But then I couldn't help it. I decided to become Guinea Byck #2 and give it a try.

I wish I could tell you the taste was a surprise that really did warrant a thumbs-up. It wasn't. It's like having cold, jellied coffee with a fuck-tonne of sweetened peanut butter.

It makes ... no sense.


The topping and the gelatine don't compliment each other, they don't blend together - they are simply two awful things that just happen to coexist in the same container, like as if Josef Stalin and Naomi Campbell shared a limo.

You puzzle me, Redbook. You puzzle me.


Jess@It's Jess! 1:36 pm, January 13, 2012  

I'm not going to try to defend the fluffernutter, but it's the best known cure for the ladies moon time. For added curative properties I suggest throwing in a layer of Nutella.

Known side effects: diabetes.

Karen 2:06 pm, January 13, 2012  

I fear for the Guinea Byck.

Anonymous,  2:53 pm, January 13, 2012  

HAHAHAHAHAHA to all of the above. Thanks for the Friday the 13th laugh!
(run Guinea Byck, RUN!!)


Anonymous,  2:59 pm, January 13, 2012  


Link to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6gljDcLrvQ

Mmmmmm... good!


Anonymous,  4:00 pm, January 13, 2012  


Anonymous,  4:26 pm, January 13, 2012  

You can use fluff for making rice crispy treats too... just be careful it's all sugar so it burns kind of easily. And once it burns it is impossible to remove from the pots (as my Mom well knows, sorry again Mom for all those pots years ago)

Anonymous,  4:55 pm, January 13, 2012  

Don't worry -- marshmallow fluff and the Fluffernutter are not mandatory foods in the U.S. I've made it four decades without ever trying them or a Big Mac (which is saying something, since I do eat my share of utter crap).

You're clearly holding out with some goodies from the rest of that issue. Racing, hunting and cannibals? Top-secret marital observations? Clearly, this is a tome for the ages.

Emily D,  9:45 am, January 14, 2012  

I laughed so hard I cried - thank you for this. I have never eaten nor served a fluffernutter, but my husband's grandmother used to make them for his lunch. Eew. BTW in the US the fluff is usually found in the aisle with the peanut butter and jelly. One excellent use for fluff is my grandmother's fudge recipe - which, despite being of mid-20th century vintage - is actually amazingly good. Though there is a point in its cooking process where it looks remarkably like this unholy coffee/gelatin combo.

Anonymous,  3:52 pm, January 14, 2012  

Oh my god, I hope the Guinea Byck comes home soon!! I must know how this tastes, as over here in Europe I have never even heard of Marshmallow fluff, so can't even imagine what it taste like.. 0 odd years without ever trying fluff is nothing compared to all the millions of Europeans who will never eat this nor even now about its existence :)

Susan Vollenweider 8:13 pm, January 14, 2012  

Very funny!!!Gotta defend the fluffernutter, though. On white bread. Cut in triangles. With some orange slices on the side to cut the sticky goowie goodness. Not everyday, though, that's just stupid.Like once a year. And the fluff on top of hot chocolate? Another annual blissfest. You want gross food? Try scrapple.

Coffee gelatin still sounds pretty horrid. The whole thing is mixing grown-up and childhood flavors. I'm not gonna try it.

Heather 9:00 pm, January 14, 2012  

I love your (and your husband's!) willingness to try the unthinkable for our amusement.
In my U.S. grocery store, the marshmallow fluff is found near the peanut butter, another American product that is 1) an acquired taste and 2) hard to find in Europe (or at least it was when I lived there).
This nation still lets me keep my citizenship even though I have also never to my knowledge eaten Fluff and am sure I would not like it.

Anonymous,  9:32 pm, January 14, 2012  

Oh Jen, Too Funny, That face on Pat reminds me of when he was little and would spit his food at me, didn't like the texture!!! Thanks for making me smile. Love Mern

MMM,  4:24 pm, January 15, 2012  

You have such a way of making things so entertaining! Thanks for sacrificing your tastebuds for us, Guinea Bycks!

Mantha 10:20 pm, January 20, 2012  

Fluff's a huge East Coast thing. I remember fluffernutters being a regular lunch in elementary school. For what it's worth, it also makes a great lazy man's fondant and/or crumb layer.

Anonymous,  11:38 am, January 21, 2012  

Oh oh! We can't hate Fluff!!! I am a healthy/mostly whole foods kinda gal, but I remember having a few "fluffernutter" sandwiches as a kid and it was w o n d e r f u l ! Mmmmm, sweet + peanut butter is amazing, and it makes some good fudge!

Hill 3:48 am, October 26, 2016  
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Need words? I'm a Toronto-based freelance writer who injects great ones into blogs, websites, magazines, ads and more. So many services, one lovely Jen (with one 'n').

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