HALLOWEEN: Frankenstein marshmallows (and a little bit about Mary Shelley)

Before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming, I have a few more Halloween goodies that I did for Celebrations last month (and am only getting to sharing now, though they’ve been up for all the world to see for weeks). Next up are Frankenstein marshmallows.

Here’s a little side tale that is of little significance to anyone but me (so feel free to skip to the end). Frankenstein has a different meaning for me than most. I was given a rare and coveted full scholarship to earn my MFA in Literature at American University back in the early 2000s, or ‘aught-years, as I call ’em. But I worked for it. Boy, did I work for it. I was the Research Assistant to a high-ranking, feared professor as she worked on a biography of Mary Shelley. Sure, I did end up doing some actual research, though less than I anticipated, and for a moment I was voyeur to this 19th century writer, her family and her inner circle. I even adopted a bit of my boss’s sense of intimacy with her. But mostly I remember toiling away without break in the professor’s basement, one desk away from the click clack of the professor’s fast moving fingers (she only worked with DOS, by the way, no modern programs). Oh, the hours and hours of mindless activities like highlighting words, scanning 500 page books one page at a time, and removing staples from documents, all while sneaking bites of a granola bar to stave off hunger.

I dreaded those hours. Dreaded. But gosh dangit, over the months of working together, wouldn’t you know it if that professor didn’t rub off on me a bit. My respect for her brilliance, strength and wisdom inched upwards once I could overlook the painful work ethos that permeated that basement, and I think she kind of respected that I could wise-crack with her when too often in her presence most minions became instant milquetoasts (for example, she was a firm believer in paper clips and pencils over staples and pens, so I often hovered a stapler or permanent ink over documents, just to rile her up). When she became ill, our bond deepened, as I had experienced years of living with severe illness as well. We spoke on a different level after that.

One thing that I found oddly endearing about the professor was her collection of Frankenstein paraphernalia. She wasn’t above the cheesy, green-faced, cartoon versions of Frankenstein so removed from Shelley’s view. Anything Frankenstein brought her closer to the woman with whom she spent her days, Mary Shelley. A few years after I served as her assistant, the professor passed away. To this day, I still think of that professor–without an ounce of dread, only fondness–every time I see a Frankenstein in any shape or form.

All that hearty background is just to lead you elsewhere. I made these Frankenstein marshmallow pops for Celebrations, where you’ll find all the instructions and step-by-steps.

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  1. Giulia says

    Oh my. It means something to me, too. She once threw a stapler at me:) Yep. I'll be back when there's more time but I worked my way thru most of undergrad as asst. to chair & MFA program in 80s. Still many friends there…

    I can't say that I ever really warmed up to Betty B. the way you did but I didn't take her baloney & so she seemed to respect that…

    I love your remembrance.

    And your cookies:)


  2. Mina Topilina says

    Hello… I just have to say that you really touched me with your story… I mean, to share those feelings is quite a great gift for us all who come here and learn from you, but now I´m also learning about your heart. Thank you!

    The treats are amazing! I just do not know where to start with all the awesome recipes you post!!!

    Lady, you´re a sunshine!


  3. Trish - Sweetology101 says

    I have seen these at Celebrations and love them. The best part of this post is the story about this professor…how neat…for you and her really. I am glad you had the experience of knowing her and the evolution of your friendship. I am not at all surprised you were able to form that connection with her. Have a great day.

  4. Generic Viagra says

    Well always something good came from something bad, is what old people say and they are right.
    I love the cookies i had a friend that is a chef and he always make weird stuff with food every year for christmas and other days like halloween.

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