raspberry & chocolate mint s’mores

The title says it all, well not really. See, the conversation started something like this:

Me: I don’t like s’mores.

Gina: Really?

Me: Yeah, I’m not crazy about melted marshmallows and chocolate together.

Ten minutes later I inhaled what you see above.

And then I proceeded to toast another marshmallow to dig into raspberry, chocolate-mint s’more #2. In my defense, I’d never been offered a s’more like this one. In fact, I didn’t have my first s’more until I was well into my thirties. I’m pretty sure I can hear the collective gasp you’re all letting out as you read these words.

I’ve been wondering a lot lately if I’ll ever find a love as deep, and kind, and caring and fulfilling as the one I shared with Mikey. The kind of love that puts a skip in your step, and a smile in your heart. The kind of love that you trust so completely, you surrender yourself to the wonder of it, and accept that with great love can come great loss.

Loss is inevitable when you love since every living thing has a shelf life. And, since humans don’t come with clearly labeled expiration dates, we have to surrender our hearts and minds to fully appreciate the moments, rather than worry about the heartache that will follow when they’re no longer here.

A friend told me recently that it is possible to experience a love and connection that deep again, so long as I keep my mind open to it being different. After my s’mores revelation, anything is possible, right? I mean, if some fresh raspberries and peppermint chocolate bark could convince my tastebuds to see s’mores in a new light, then surely the right person can introduce my heart to a whole new world of love and trust. Maybe Mikey was my A-Side. August 7th, 2011 was like someone dragged the needle across, and it’s been skipping the last 23 months. It’s finally time to flip the album, gingerly place the needle down, and start exploring the B-Side.

Raspberry & Chocolate Mint S'mores

Serves as many as you want

Music Pairing: Because by The Beatles

Graham crackers

Fresh raspberries

Peppermint chocolate bark

Marshmallows

long sturdy sticks, for toasting the marshmallows

Posting a recipe for s’mores seems a bit silly, but I do want to highlight the best method for a gooey, melted marshmallow. The kind that produces a lightly toasted exterior, with a center so melted, it’s practically quivering, ready to collapse and gush between the graham crackers and chocolate. It requires patience, like many things in life.

Most people thrust their marshmallow-laden sticks right into the center of the flames. This is a great method if you love gooey marshmallows with a charred exterior (a.k.a. burnt). I’ll admit, I love eating them plain like this. For s’mores, though, I don’t want the charred flavor to compete with the chocolate and other fillings. Let the marshmallow hover near the perimeter of the fire, swirling it frequently. Depending on the robustness of your flame, it can take a good 5 to 7 minutes for the marshmallows to tan on the outside and melt up nicely inside. This will feel like an eternity—be patient, the reward is well-worth the wait.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory. You place a piece of chocolate on top of one graham cracker (Gina also had a chocolate bark with coconut and mixed nuts—the woman is a genius). Rest the marshmallow on top of the chocolate, add a couple of raspberries and top with another graham cracker. Squish it together and gently pull out the stick, letting the melted marshmallow collapse between the layers. You may want to eat these in private the first time around. I let out some sounds that might not have been appropriate around children when I took my first bite.

Feel free to improvise here, and use your favorite chocolate bar and berries. We didn’t use homemade crackers or marshmallows, but you can certainly try your hand at them. I’ve been experimenting with a vegan marshmallow recipe of my own, and will share when it’s ready. As for homemade graham crackers, I must confess I’ve yet to come across a recipe that seems worth the time. They all tend to be too fussy, and my healthfood store sells a couple of brands that are made with good, wholesome ingredients. One day, I’ll crack the code for an easy from-scratch recipe, and am all ears if anyone has one to recommend!

Comments

  • Tracey A: Good Morning Jennie,
    So good to talk to you again and see the different sides of Jennie. This kind of threw you a bit, didn’t it? These types of revelations do. Don’t be surprised if something comes knocking on your door at the least expected time.
    Prayers, hugs and raspberry revelations,
    Tracey

  • Sally: I agree with your friend, I think you have to keep your mind open to the idea that a new relationship will be different and could be equally as good or maybe even better than what you had with Mikey. Just in a different way. If you’re not open to that I think you’re giving short shrift to everyone involved.

  • merry jennifer: I’m so glad you tried those s’mores, Jennie. I hope the B side is just as amazing as side A was, until it ended too soon.
    Sending much love your way,
    MJ

  • Katie Morene: Side B will be different; some ways better, some ways not. Appreciate and rejoice in the opportunity to experience a Side B. I know this from experience, you will move forward. Until you’re ready, enjoy the power of being a single Mom in charge of your own destiny! You CAN do this with grace and dignity.

  • Tracey: Where do I find peppermint bark?

  • Lyn: I think you’re onto something with the s’mores + the “different”. My sister died unexpectedly at 27. She had been married for only 19 months. My brother in law remarried 3.5 years later. He told me about his new wife, “I don’t live her more or less, but differently”.

  • Jennifer Perillo: Tracey,

    Gina’s peppermint bark was from Trader Joe’s.

    —Jennie

  • Jan: I think you are right. There just may be a B-side. You have two beautiful girls to raise and you are doing great. Be patient and content with the life you have and you may just get a beautiful B. I love your blog, too.

  • Terry Covington: I just want you to know how much this post helped me, and how timely it was. I was feeling really sad this afternoon about my own relatively recent loss (still in the 6-month stage here, still in shock I think), and I thought I’d check your website to see if there was a new entry. And here you are, writing about the very thing I’ve been wondering: Could I ever experience love again, and can I open myself to it being different but also good? Because I have been certain I lost the love of my life. So, my dear, you give me hope. I hope for both of us. Thanks

  • Laura Kingston: I like the B-side metaphor. It’s playful and hopeful- two of my favorite emotions. Good approach. And, love the idea of raspberry/peppermint bark. Mirrors the playfulness :)

  • Rocky Mountain Woman: Those look like my kind of smores….

    It is possible to find a new connection – I’m living proof – it’s different than what I had with my husband, but it works and my life is certainly the richer for it….

    hang in there, sweetie!!

  • Laura: How creative and delicious! I really can’t wait to try these. Great idea!

  • ren: hi jennie- i don’t know if i’ve ever commented before but i’ve been reading your blog for the past couple of years and reading this post I just thought “I don’t know this woman from Adam, but I just KNOW she deserves to be happy” Here’s to Side B & happiness. :) xx

  • Angie | Big Bear’s Wife: I think when the time comes for love again your heart will know what to do. <3 hugs

  • Roberta: Jennie, this is my first time to comment although I’ve been reading for a few years. Just wanted you to know that I’ve passed along both a copy of your cookbook and the website address to someone whose “Mikey” left her too early just a few months ago. Your story gives hope and joy. Thanks for sharing and being real. Grateful to have you grace our lives…LOVE the cookbook.

  • Cheryl Arkison: I’d never had s’mores until my 30s either. Just a few years ago, in fact. Now I prefer mine made with Digestive Cookies instead of graham crackers.

    Congratulations on all your recent adventures. A house, the B-side, and gooey marshmallows.

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  • Christine: Brought a few tears to my eyes. Hang in there, and I definitely say start exploring that B-side, slowly and surely…

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