Friday, September 24, 2010

I Want S'more!

I've been poking marshmallows onto sticks, rolling them in melted chocolate, and then again in crushed graham crackers. It's taken every ounce of effort for me not to sample one, or two, and I was sure to quickly wash away the remaining chocolate before I took my fingers to it.

S'mores on a stick are a decadant way to eat s'mores without completely making a mess of yourself. I made 25 of them for a campfire that I am hosting on Sunday. Make no mistake, these stick s'mores in no way replace the old fashioned kind. I still have six bags of Jet-Puffed marshmallows, and as many giant Hershey bars, and graham crackers, ready to melt into each other over a crazy flame. I have marshmallow roasting sticks, from Campmor, that are 42" long, to allow 'mallows to safely melt over an open fire. 

My favorite months are the ones that allow me to be outside in the warm sun, with a nice breeze. A late summer afternoon is usually my favorite. I love the sound of crickets, and the knowledge that the sun won't be setting until well after 8 p.m. But I also love my home state of New Jersey, and living here means four full seasons. I do my best to embrace them.

Just days into the season, I am reminded of apples (apple picking, apple crisp, apple pie, baked apples), pumpkins, and hot soups. I want to make meatloaf, beef stew, spaghetti and meatballs, muffins and pies. I want to walk through the woods, and hear the leaves crunch beneath my feet. And I want to have a picnic of champagne and strawberries by one of the many beautiful lakes that surround me.

Having a campfire is the perfect way to launch a season of cozy nights by the fireplace, snuggled up in blankets with the windows open. Crisp air crashing into warm homes just makes perfect sense for fall. 

When I was melting my chocolate in my double boiler, I looked outside at the leaves, gently changing colors, and I was reminded of when I was a child and watched my mother make a carrot cake. She stood, shredding the carrots, one by one, while It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, played on the television. It was magical.

I want to give that magic back to my loved ones. 

So I bake, and cook, and decorate, and celebrate, and make every meal as magical as possible. My s'mores were a simple way to celebrate. Three marshmallows speared on a lollipop stick, rolled in melted chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers, then left to harden on wax paper. When I wrapped them in cellophane bags and tied them in gingham ribbon, voila! They became a tiny bit of magic.

Next week, I will be making my mother's carrot cake. And I will post the recipe for you all to try. I promise you that the work involved in making it is worth the smiles you'll see when first bites are taken.

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