Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In the absence of a campfire...

...a gas stove does a pretty good job. At least for S'mores making.

There was the idea of a camping trip with friends. That didn't work out, but we were left with a powerful hunger for S'mores!! My good friend Adina said, "Well, I've done them over a candle before." Do i need any more of a green light than that? Not where chocolate is concerned! So we collected the necessities: graham crackers, marshmallows, and, mmm... chocolate.

Now, Adina, being the S'mores connoisseur that she is, brought Ghirardelli chocolate squares. We here in the Bay Area have a serious appreciation for Ghirardelli, especially as she happens to be a local girl (there is just no way chocolate is a man!) It's smooth, it melts well, even on stove-top S'mores. Adina also tutored me in the ways of expert marshmallow toasting--she is good, i must say. As much longer as i have loved chocolate and S'mores than her, being considerably older, i was in awe at her masterful technique. i'm one of those impatient souls who ends up with the flaming marshmallow and has to blow it out, while she steadfastly held her metal skewered marshmallow, deftly dancing with the flame, creating an enormously puffed lightly tanned delight. And at this point the differences again showed--i am one to just slap that baby on the graham cracker and chocolate, squish the cracker on top and dive in, but not so for Adina. With the careful movements of a surgeon she tipped the skewer up and slid the marshmallow ever so slowly on end onto the chocolate and cracker, held the topping cracker and worked the flow of the oversized creaminess into just the right position, and danced it over the flame as a whole for just a moment longer before she gently picked it up and bit in. i was in awe.

A couple of days later i was still dreaming of perfectly puffed marshmallows, so i picked some up at the store to try her technique myself. i turned on the gas burner, and flame and marshmallow engaged in the dance. Could i do it? Could i, the impatient one, make the dance last until the perfect shade of golden delight had been achieved? Sadly, no. Marshmallow firebomb #4087. But as i blew it out and prepared to eat it, i paused to think fondly of all the other burnt marshmallows i've enjoyed over campfires in the past.

Final bit of advice, though--if you use a metal serving fork as a skewer, remove the marshmallow BEFORE attempting to eat. That hot fork can leave quite a little blister on your lip. Trust me on this one and don't ask.

4 comments:

equichick8 said...

Oh Julie,
I'm sure that I'm not really so romatic about my smore making. But you sure made me laugh out loud! Thanks for being part (and supplying the gas stove) for the smore-making adventure. Let's do it over a wood fire next time...

ontiverosfamily said...

Adina does strike me as an expertly patient person (unlike myself!), and this story does affirm that!

Lea Ann said...

Oh Julie, I am one worse than having no patience to toast my marshmallow. I always flamed my marshmallow (on the many occasions that we toasted marshmallows on a coat hanger wire over the fire place when I was a kid) but I can go you one worse. At Girl Scout Camp, where I first encountered S'mores, it took so long to distribute the ingredients to the campers and then it was some time later before one actually got a turn at the camp fire that I always ate my chocolate as soon as I got my hands on the Hershey bar! Besides, when I was 8 years old stacking 3 things together and eating them sounded sort of yuck! So I'd scarf down my chocolate bar, nibble on the graham crackers and then when I gained access to the fire I'd flame my marshmallow, eat it black charred shell and all, and proclaim that it was much better that way! Then I'd look around at folks eating S'mores and saying yummmmm...and wonder. I never told anyone that I had the slightes doubt about my culinary choices though!

jle said...

Hey, Jen ontiverosfamily!! nice to hear from you! Yes, Adina has all those patience genes missing from the rest of us...

Lea Ann, aaaaah, woman after my own heart!! but of COURSE you would eat the chocolate bar first--i'm only surprised i didn't think of that myself.....

teeeheee