Thursday, November 3, 2011

S'more Moments

Yesterday I received a little Blackberry text message from my friend Jan back home in Wisconsin. She said,  “Chris and Sam are playing drums in the basement”.

I responded, “Some things never change for either one of us. There are still kids playing drums in your basement and I have, at this moment,  a strange teenager sleeping on my couch”.

The two of us forever had bands of boy-wanna-be-musicians playing death metal music in the bowels of our homes, rattling the pots and pans and threatening to separate our brain matter from our skulls. And we could always compare notes about how many of these creatures we found sleeping on all the beds, couches and floors in the morning. I often found one or two of hers on my floor while mine were missing only to be found on her couches.

Her brief, little text made me happy as did the momentary memory of counting teenagers in the morning.

And now I have another strange teenager on the couch. She’s not actually strange but she was a stranger until she arrived. Grace is the daughter of one of my blogging buddies, Paulita, who needed a break from the family she’s been staying with in Paris. And I had a new clic clac couch just waiting for another visitor.

The day she arrived I promised her we would make s’mores* that evening because lucky for her, my friends had brought me all the fixin’s when they visited in September. And I didn't  imagine this…. she actually jumped up and down with delight in anticipation of a tiny treat that would remind her of home.

This wasn’t going to be my first attempt at s’mores. Last month I had a friend over for dinner and though I did not make him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with some of the 22 pounds of Extra Crunch Skippy that my friends also so generously brought me, I told him we were going to pretend we were camping and eat s’mores for dessert. This was obviously a curious thing for him.

 What are S’mores? How do you spell that?  What’s a graham cracker? We’re going to build a fire on the terrace? Seriously?

Yeppers, we are! So we built a fire with broken-up vegetable crates from the market in my little, green grill. I found a wire hanger and fashioned a long-handled fork. I taught him how to have patience, wait for the good coals, and carefully watch the marshmallow so it browns all over, melts in the middle, and puffs up in preparation for the human attack. I cut slices of my really nummy Swiss chocolate that I bought in Geneva a month ago, and demonstrated how to slide the marshmallow off the fork and onto the prepared cracker with the help of the top graham.

After devouring the s’more, he asked if he could eat just a plain roasted marshmallow. “Go for it”, I said, although I’m not fond of plain-old roasted marshmallows in keeping with my theory that everything is better with chocolate.

He roasted his marshmallow and ate it right off the fork like an expert. As he licked his fingers, a big, satisfied smile crossed his still marshmallow-gooed lips.

“Is it really THAT good?”, I asked.

In typical French fashion (the French DO love to talk about food) he replied that yes, it was…because the outside was lightly croustillant (crispy) in contrast to  l’intérieur fondue (melted inside) that was légèrement caramélisés (took on a slight caramelized flavor).

I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never heard a roasted marshmallow described exactly like that…and in French, mind you!  That put a whole new spin on roasted marshmallows and made me want to eat ten of them myself.

And then he said “and mostly I just feel happy to have done what I’ve seen so many times in American films. Roasting a marshmallow over a fire and eating it off the stick. It was always such a curious thing. I have a better understanding now.”

Sometimes it really is the little things isn’t it? The little moments of pleasure.  A new experience no matter how small, a fleeting memory or a tiny anticipation. Just makes my intérieur all fondue.

And now it's off to Paris for two weeks. I got me a dog-sitting job!


*Just in case you don't know though I can't imagine how you couldn't, the definition of s'more according to Wikipedia: 
A s'more (sometimes spelled smore) is a traditional nighttime campfire treat popular in the United States and Canada consisting of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.


  1. Fun times!

    I used to roast marshmallows when I was young. Your friend summed them up exactly, and that's just how I loved to eat them. They didn't need anything extra.

    Have fun dog sitting.

  2. Thanks for having my strange teenager. She loved the smores and she loved connecting with you. She thinks you're great fun and that we would get along fabulously in person. I hope someday we get a chance to see. You're officially my favorite blogger friend now.

  3. Roasted marshmallows - love'em!!!

  4. that was a fun s'more story, I didn't realize s'mores were just an American thing.

  5. I imagine it isn't very often we can impress a frenchie when it comes to food. Way to represent :)
    Enjoy Paris -susan

  6. S'mores are great in any language. I'm glad they translated well to your friend. And now you get Paris too! Lucky lucky gal.

  7. Dogsitting in Paris!
    Take your pooper scooper...and use the contents for any passing politician.
    do you want DSK's address?

  8. S'mores, I have learnt something new today :) Diane

  9. I love your attitude- s'mores in France! I just never would've thought of it. And I think it's wonderful that you opened your place to a teen that needed a break. You get some official angel wings for that one!

  10. S'mores? Does it stand for 'some more' meaning that you can not have just one? This is new for me too, although I have seen poeple eating them in movies, of course.


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