It's official. Today is National S’mores Day.
For me, eating S'mores (Graham cracker, chocolate, toasted marshmallow) as an adult rarely meets the expectations of goodness that I experienced as a child, but what fun I had back then making S’mores. My family would gather round the campfire, my mom carefully doling out the marshmallows. I remember the hoots of laughter if your ‘mallow caught fire! And there was the ever-present admonishment: “DON’T waive that thing around! Blow on it for heaven’s sake!” Out camping as a kid, it seemed I always waited to hear the magical phrase, “OK, go get your stick,” a phrase that initiated the Great Search for the perfect marshmallow toasting stick. Of course, it had to be a green branch off a vine maple, sharpened to a fine point by my trusty pocket knife (yes my very own pocket knife.) What fond family memories the thought of a National S’mores Day brings forth.
But as I said, as an adult, S’mores just don't really do it for me anymore. I’ve found my sweet tooth has mellowed some, and not having children myself, it’s a rare occasion that I look for that perfect marshmallow toasting stick. Nevertheless, I have discovered some interesting variations on the traditional S’mores over the years.
I was camping with my nephew’s family last summer and they introduced me to chocolate mint S’mOreos. You take two chocolate mint Oreos and squish a toasted marshmallow between them. I've also dreamed up a S’mores with slightly more protein than the traditional variety: graham crackers, marshmallows and Nutella. Or maybe you could add some freshly picked coastal blackberries or mountain huckleberries to the mix. In the springtime, pack along some “PEEPS” – yep, you read that right, those yellow and pink marshmallow Easter treats. They toast up crunchy and caramelized on the outside and all gooey goodness on the inside.
Next time you find yourself camping around a fire (which may not be this summer, as fires are currently banned in large swaths of Washington's backcountry), go ahead and try to find that perfect marshmallow toasting stick. Be sure to check out any fire restrictions, always build your campfire in an existing firepit, and only collect dead and down wood for your fire.
What’s your favorite S’mores recipe? Have you a S'mores story to share?