Tech5 News : Marshmallows and Mauby

Ben HarrisonTECH 5 for March 27, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to another Tech 5 program and a five minute trip into the amazing world of technology. This is Ben Harrison.

 

For the past few days we have been sharing thoughts on the huge role technology has had and continues to have in the field of medicine. Today I’d like to do a complete topic flip and talk about M and M. Not the M & M candies, but Marshmallows and Mauby

Marshmallows are incredibly cool and toasted on a stick over an open fire, they taste good!

Technically, marshmallows are a confection — a candy. They’ve been around in the form we know them since the mid-1800s.

They are called “marshmallows” because part of the early recipe called for sap from the root of the marshmallow plant.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a marshmallow is: A pink-flowered European perennial herb of the mallow family that is grown in the eastern U.S. and has a mucilaginous or jelly like root; A marshmallow is a confection that was made from the root of the marshmallow Today the root has been replaced by gelatin, in making modern  marshmallows.

I discovered a very cool cookbook called Better than Store Bought that is now out of print but you may find a copy in your local library. It has a very easy low technology recipe for making your own marshmallows; you will need:

  • 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
  1. Sift the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Lightly grease an 8×8-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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spread the fluffy mixture in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Leave for two hours or until set.
  5. 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.
  6. Place the marshmallows on a cake rack covered with paper towels and let them stand overnight to dry the surface slightly. Store airtight; the marshmallows will keep for a month.

 

The second M in today’s program is Mauby a favourite Caribbean drink. With a unique sort of liquorice flavor, Mauby must be enjoyed cold to really appreciate it… especially on a hot day. You can certainly find the mauby concentrate in stores, but nothing beats making your own from the ‘bark’ which you can either grow yourself of purchase in most food stores.

I am going to share with you a recipe to make your own Mauby concentrate which can be stored in the fridge for the next time you feel like a mauby drink. All you’ll have to do is add water and sweeten to taste and you’re good to go.

You’ll Need…

4 cups water
10 mauby bark
2 small cinnamon sticks
2 (4 inch) pieces of dried orange peel
nutmeg (see note below)
3-4 cloves

If cinnamon is not your thing, you can leave it out but it does add a nice overall flavor. The nutmeg also is totally optional… if you have a whole one, simply crack off half and add it to the brew (half).

You now have two options. If you’re intention is to make this mauby juice immediately, allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes or if you are in no rush, all you do is allow it to cook for 5 minutes at a rolling boil, then turn off the stove, cover the pot and let it steep for about 5 hours; overnight is even better. All you have to do is … for every cup of concentrate add 2 cups of water, then sweeten to your liking. For the perfect glass of mauby, you can sweeten with cane sugar and top with crushed ice and a slice of lime or lemon!

For generations, folk medicine practitioners have claimed all sorts of health benefits of mauby with some claims that it is an aphrodisiac and that it might help for arthritis. A new study appears to give support to mauby being useful in lowering blood pressure. Whatever the claim, it is a refreshingly different drink:  Enjoy

If you would like to see a transcript including the recipes of this or other Tech 5 programs, please visit www.ezeeradiosvg.com.

This is Ben Harrison from EEZEE Radio 91.1 AND 102.7 on your FM DIAL in St. Vincent and the Grenadines