S'more memories

June 19, 2014

It isn't summer unless I have a s'more. I don't even really like them that much; I would gladly eat the chocolate and skip the rest. In fact, the graham cracker and marshmallow are just vehicles for carrying the chocolate to my mouth, so to speak. 

But really, there's nothing like toasting a marshmallow for a s'more over a campfire, trying to get it to the perfect stage of golden brown. The stars are winking overhead, everyone is pleasantly tired after a day at the beach or on the trails, someone's telling jokes or singing a song . . . when suddenly that perfectly toasted marshmallow bursts into flames and ends up a blackened, charred mess.

When you have children, there is one of two reactions when this happens -- tearful disappointment or unadulterated glee. The child who wants to make the perfect s'more and the child who is delighted to burn up an entire bag of marshmallows, three on a stick at a time.

our view of Lake Michigan last night
Making s'mores with children is fraught with danger. Take three excited, overtired children at the end of a long day, put them near an open fire and give them long, sharp, pointed sticks. Um, who came up with this brilliant idea? Mom and dad are on the constant alert, lest someone trip and fall into said fire or accidentally poke someone's eye out. There's always the possibility of a flaming marshmallow, wildly swung about in an attempt to extinguish the flames, slipping off and careening into the nearby nylon tent.

And the unsuccessful attempt to make sure all the graham cracker crumbs and dead marshmallows lying in the dirt around the fire have been cleaned up so that you don't wake up in the middle of the night to hear two angry, snarling raccoons fighting over the leftovers.

Enter adults staying at a condo on the beach, with fond memories, but no campfire at hand. It's summertime; s'mores are clearly called for after a day at the beach.

Well, necessity is the mother of invention as they say.

Now, those of you who own toaster ovens have probably already thought of this, or have done this. But, when I thought of using the toaster oven in this fully equipped kitchen to make s'mores, I felt Positively Brilliant.

tip the marshmallows over and toast "s'more"

No fuss, no mess. No sticky fingers all over the clean sleeping bags despite mom's best attempts at wiping little faces and fingers clean before bed. No marshmallow residue in a child's hair, resulting in a matted tangle. A nice perfect s'more.

So how come I miss those campfire days so much?


  1. Deborah, your Lake Michigan photos are stunning! Glad you are enjoying your vacation!

  2. I especially love that 2nd photo. You are making special memories with the children. I'm with you; I would just like the chocolate bar!

  3. Of course the real trick is to get the chocolate to melt 'just enough' so that it's soft, but not messy. Our solution was to assemble the S'More and then put it in one of those sandwich toasters with long handles (for fires) and warm it ever so slightly to soften the chocolate. And what's with the pointy sticks? Our campgrounds will fine you $200(!) for using any sticks dragged from the woods for either kindling for your campfire or using them as marshmallow sticks ... I know, unbelievable. So how many toaster oven s'mores can you eat? Wendy x

  4. You're making my mouth water...what perfect summertime fun! Hugs, Diane

  5. Dearest Deborah,
    You are a great story writer and keep your readers very captivated!
    Loved this... it sums up all the bad and the good; in that sequence I guess.
    Enjoy the beginning of summer.

  6. Hi Deborah, this is the best summer time fun and like you I'll just take the chocolate bar, but these do look mess free the way you prepare them. Love your gorgeous Lake Michigan photos. This makes me miss my home state.
    Have a wonderful time on vacation and nice weekend.

  7. Tooooo Funny, But our little boys would have no such orderly smores! But really I am with you, just give me the chocolate and nobody will get hurt!
    Enjoy your lovely time away...

  8. Great idea using the toaster oven, Deborah! My 85 year old Mom still toasts marshmallows over the stove when she needs her sweet tooth fixed.
    The view at the end of your post is breathtaking! Happy weekend and xo!

  9. Hi Deborah saw your blog through Wendy's-how lovely it is, such uplifting thoughts and pictures! Looks like such a beautiful place your are visiting, what amazing views. Happy weekend Best wishes Alison xx

  10. Oh good tip! We may be in agreement about S'mores. I like toasted marshmallows; love cold milk chocolate; I even like crunchy graham crackers...on their own and not in combination.

  11. I've never heard of s'more's before,it really sounds like what it is. I have fond memories of Easter long weekends sitting around a camp fire at night toasting marshmallows,but that was with friends when the children had fled the nest. Now we stay home and they are doing the same with their families. Lovely memories that didn't cost an arm and a leg. aaah:)


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