Ice cream to cure indecision

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Nothing makes my maddening indecision flare up like standing in front of the supermarket’s freezer section of ice cream, trying to choose just one flavor to take with me. If I’m by myself, I can easily clock up to fifteen minutes standing there, my eyes darting between cookie dough and dulce de leche, coconut and mint chocolate chip, rum raisin and plain ol’ vanilla. (If I’m with someone else, I’ll make a quick choice and then spend the duration of my check out time second guessing my selection.)

I was in exactly this state of mental turmoil Sunday night when I saw a pint of Van Leeuwen ice cream that stopped me right in my indecisive tracks: the limited edition Selamat Pagi curried nuts and salted caramel swirl in vanilla ice cream. Boom. Decision made.

A sticky, sweet, creamy, crunchy, salty, curried heap of deliciousness

A sticky, sweet, creamy, crunchy, salty, curried heap of deliciousness

No sooner had I run home, than I threw everything on the kitchen table and without unpacking anything other than my pint of ice cream, dug a spoon right into the soft, gooey, caramely heart of it. It was simultaneously smooth and creamy, sweet from the vanilla and savory from the curried nuts, just a hint of salty from the thick ribbons and swirls of salted caramel and both spicy and crunchy from the  nuts.

It took everything in me not to eat the whole pint in one ravenous sitting. So instead I polished off half right then and there (in front of my unpacked groceries) and the other half the next night. It was some of my finer decision making, if I do say so myself.

Marshmallows in the mail

An Elephant Ear marshmallow from 240sweet

Things I love probably more than the average person: getting things in the mail and marshmallows. True story. Both make me giddy and happy in a way I just don’t see often in other people. Which is why when the opportunity presented itself for me to get marshmallows in the mail, I was all over it.

I had read about 240sweet, a Columbus, Indiana brand of artisan marshmallows, on a food blog recently and then not long after I saw them on sale at Fab.com. A few days later BAM! Marshmallow madness in the mail! (And alliteration to boot!)

Salted caramel marshmallow: it'll make you question everything you think you know about marshmallows

Now, to call these marshmallows, which came in two flavors, Elephant Ear and Salted Caramel, just marshmallows, is something of a huge misnomer. These were massive, fluffy fat pillows of sugar and deliciousness. The elephant ear was a plump, soft square with a twinkling coat of cinnamon and sugar on top, giving it a little granular feel to the otherwise spongey softness. The salted caramel, though, was unlike any marshmallow I’ve ever had. Unlike the elephant ear kind which looked like a regular marshmallow in its even consistency throughout, the salted caramel was made almost in layers, which rich, sticky caramel oozing out from between the layers. It looked like some sort of dessert version of pork belly.

Thank God for the gas stove!

But my favorite way to eat marshmallows is lightly toasted over a flame, to give them the light crisp and smokey burnt flavor, so that’s exactly the end these bad boys met over my gas stove. Well, you can just imagine what happened when I toasted the behemoth salted caramel marshmallow: INSANITY. Complete mayhem in my mouth. It already had that sweet-salty combo I love so much, but then when it was burnt a little it added a delicious smokey edge to everything, and the caramel just melted to a warm, perfect stickiness.

Needless to say, these lasted all of about 15 minutes before they were devoured. But with a huge collection of flavors that includes banana pudding, sweet potato and ginger, and amaretto crunch, I might be getting lots of more packages in the mail.