The title says it all, well not really. See, the conversation started something like this:
Me: I don’t like s’mores.
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
Peppermint chocolate bark
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!