Montana Grant | Sunday Jul. 1st, 2018
S’mores are a Montana and camping tradition. These tasty treats are required at most campfire events. Whether you are camping, on a Scouting adventure, or simply having a campfire in the backyard, S’mores are always welcome.
The classic S’more is simple. Two graham crackers, a Hershey Bar, some sharp sticks and marshmallows. The marshmallows are slowly toasted over the coals until golden brown. Rookies usually burn them as the get too close to the flames. Some campers like blackened and burnt but most want that perfect golden brown smushed look as it is sandwiched between the graham crackers and Hershey Bar. It is best to let the chocolate melt, the marshmallow cool and the flavors to melt together. Delicious!
S’mores are the bait to lure the kids outside. The things kids, and Grandma’s, will do for some chocolate. Once you have the gang around the fire, it is time for some fun. The magic of the flames just makes folks smile. Maybe a song or two may be needed. Campers sing better in the dark.
S’more safety is important. Every time I think about toasting marshmallows, I recall the Dennis the Menace movie. Dennis toasts a marshmallow until it is on fire and flicks it over the fence into Mr. Wilson’s eye! Sharp sticks are always a concern. Make sure to set up some rules. Maybe try some extendable forks rather than pointed sticks. If they fall in the dirt, you can sterilize them in the flames.
S’moreing is more than a simple S’more. Get creative. With a little imagination and preparation, you can set up an amazing S’more Buffet Counter. Simply have a selection of ingredients and let the campers invent their own S’more.
Now we all know that we could build a S’more in the microwave but really? They are just not the same. If a campfire is too much of chore, try using your propane Turkey/ fish fry burners. I also have a portable campfire made by Camco called the Little Red Campfire. This campground-approved propane fire can be set up anywhere. It comes in a red metal cake-container-looking carry box. Fake logs and a gas ring give the fire a real presentation. If you set up a buffet bar, you could have this campfire ready for marshmallow grilling. Many folks are now adding outdoor gas fire pits or table inserts.
Recently I saw a S’more recipe in the Field and Stream Magazine. “Bless this Mess” was on the picture of a S’more with brown sugared bacon, chocolate, and marshmallows on top of chocolate chip cookies. They called it a “Supercharged S’more.” Talk about taking it to another level.
It is against the rules to eat the chocolate without a S’more. Lazy campers will try to steal the prime ingredient. Place the chocolate in the control of a responsible monitor. I also have found the small mini Hershey bars work great.
Chocolate also means Hershey Kisses, Twix bars, Peppermint Patties, Malty Balls, or any other candy that floats your boat. Liquid chocolate sauces and syrups can also be fun additions. This works great when grilling bananas and adding toppings.
Proper toasting of marshmallows is a learned skill. Try using hot coals rather than the flames. Patience is important. You also need a stick or fork long enough to allow the roaster to safely and comfortably roast the marshmallow and not themselves. Try rotating the mallow slowly and toast all sides evenly. This golden-brown crust will allow you to set the mallow onto its cracker perfectly. Now add the lid and smoosh the deal together.
Originally, marshmallows were invented by native Americans. Marshes along bays and rivers were filled with blue and pink flowers called Marsh Mallows. They would pick the blossoms just before they opened and would boil them in a little water until they formed a pasty substance. This sweet and messy treat was eaten out of the bowl, applied to pemmican, or smeared onto other foods as a sweetener.
Not all marshmallows are created equal. Off-brand or cheapo mallows do not have the sturdy texture to withstand the flames. I find that they often melt off the forks. Mallows also come in different flavors. Strawberry, coconut, chocolate, key lime, and plain. You can also use the minis or Jumbo-Sized mallows.
S’more fun is all about creating and naming your own S’more.