This has been one of the rainiest June’s I can remember, at least in my area. I think we swapped climates with Seattle. When summer comes I crave s’mores, but how do you make a decent s’more when the rain doesn’t let up long enough to build a fire? Friday night seemed like a good time to try. The sun had made an appearance that day, and it seemed like we might get a few more hours reprieve from all the precipitation. No sooner did we have the fire blazing away in our fire pit than it started to rain again. Big. Fat. Rain drops.
I briefly considered lighting the wood stove so the s’moresy-good-times would not be ruined, but since it was in the 80′s I nixed that idea. Thank goodness for Sterno! We moved to the enclosed porch, lit a couple of cans of Sterno, and happily sat around roasting marshmallows. Sure I could have made made s’mores in the microwave, but it’s just not the same. I like my marshmallows toasted, not just melted.
Obligatory Warning: Sterno is an alcohol-based cooking fuel. It is napalm in a can. Ever order a pu-pu platter at a Chinese restaurant? That purple flaming stuff in the middle is Sterno fuel. It’s very goopy, and the fire goes wherever the goop goes. So keep it in the can. Just follow the warnings on the label, and you’ll be fine.
Speaking of warnings on packages, let us take a moment to discuss the dangers of marshmallows. How many more must die before the voices of marshmallow safety advocates will be heard? A marshmallow is not a toy! In the wrong hands, it can be a deadly weapon. In addition to the warning below, I recommend the use of seat restraints…and not just for children! Strap your guests to their chairs with duct tape first if you need too!
Now I’m going to assume that most of my readers no how to make s’mores, but – just in case there’s some poor, deprived soul out there who’s never experienced the wonders of this campfire treat – let me explain how it’s done.
- 1 graham cracker, broken in half
- 1/2 Hershey milk chocolate bar
- 1 regular size marshmallow (Trust me, the mini ones just aren’t worth the effort here!)
- Got all that? Okay, next place the marshmallow on a stick of some kind. Traditionally you just find a stick outside, and peel away some of the bark at one end. I prefer to use long kabob skewers with wooden handles. Here’s another safety tip for you: metal conducts heat, so the wooden handle protects your hand from getting burned. If you use an all metal skewer, use a potholder. I also like to get my chocolate in place on my cracker at this point so it’s all ready to go once the marshmallow is ready.
- Now for the fun part. Toast the marshmallow over a flame, whether it’s a campfire flame or your own personal can of sterno. Don’t put the marsmallow right into the flame, or it will catch on fire. Then you’ll have a black marshmallow that’s still cool in the middle. Hold it just above the flame and turn it often to get it evenly toasted.
- (Oops! The flames didn’t show up in the photo! But I assure you, the fuel must be lit to toast the marshmallow. Just holding it over a cold Sterno can will not be enough…unless you’re a Jedi.)
- As soon as the marshmallow is toasted too perfection, carefully place it on the chocolate topped cracker and use the second cracker to help slide the marshmallow off the skewer. Squish it down a bit, and enjoy your tasty treat! Just don’t burn your tongue!