S'mores made with marshmallows roasted over the fire are a summertime favorite. And - for years - we took all of the boys' friends camping for R's birthday in early June. I was reminded of this favorite after dinner treat after reading The Family Bones by Elle Marr.
Half Moon Bay State Beach, June 2012
On the Page
The Family Bones by Elle Marr centers around the Ericksen family who have a legacy of psychopathy that carries down from generation to generation. Olivia Eriksen is a psychology student who wants to answer the question of whether psychopathy is based on nature or nurture.
Though she has avoided her relatives for years, she agrees to attend a weekend reunion in the hopes that she can interview her grandfather. Her fiancé joins her as he is interested in meeting his future in-laws and to see their psychopathy for himself. Set the scene at a remote lakeside resort where everyone is asked to relinquish their phones to foster peace, quiet, and family engagement. But the weekend quickly darkens as Olivia's favorite cousin is found dead in the lake. Then a storm cuts the resort off from outside contact and another family member disappears.
All signs begin to point to Olivia who swears she is being framed. There are lots of twists and turns in this novel. It wasn't my favorite, but it was well-written. And, if you are like me, you won't see the end coming!
There was plenty of food mentioned in the book.
"When I open my front door, the entry smells of last night’s yakisoba noodles and grilled bok choy. Mental note to self: use less dark soy sauce. I wolf down my burrito, carne asada and all, then head into my office-slash-closet."
"When I was done laying all my cards on the table, the server arrived with my spaghetti carbonara and his linguine al nero. Something about his plate seemed to unnerve him, and he promptly set down his fork. Looked at me with his forest-green orbs and began his own confession."
"Dinner is livelier than the previous night, as if my relatives are drowning their grief and anxiety in cocktails, while skipping the Chinook salmon and butternut squash drizzled with truffle oil."
But what inspired me was the Ericksen family evening by the fireside when they made s'mores.
'For dessert, there will be s’mores and a fireside chat outside for anyone interested'
"'Olivia, you want?' Uma hands me a paper plate of graham crackers, cookies, chocolate squares, and two marshmallows. Without waiting for me to accept, she sits beside me."
We Love S'mores
Every summer, we would camp around Northern California for ten days. And that usually meant ten days of campfires and s'mores. F0r my 20th high school reunion, we did a camping trip down the Big Sur coast and I hosted a s'mores bar. It was so much fun for our kids...and for us! Roasting marshmallows is always the perfect time for conversations.
One year, the boys decided to try a variation that their friend Trinity had made during one of our Halloween camping trips: marshmallows (roasted or not), dipped in melted chocolate, and rolled in crushed graham crackers. So, they called it 'The Trinity' - named for their friend...and because it's the holy trinity of camping foods.
My boys fashioned a double boiler and melted the chocolate! This isn't so much a precise recipe as a process.
chocolate, broken into chunks
graham crackers, crushed
Also needed: roasting sticks, double boiler
Place crushed graham crackers in a shallow bowl for easy rolling. Melt chocolate in the double boiler. Keep warm.
Toast marshmallows - or not. Roll marshmallows in chocolate. Dip in graham crackers. Eat immediately.