Did you ever think it would be a really great idea to gather together your closest friends from the various aspects of your life none of whom had ever met each other before? The colleague from work with whom you almost always share lunch in the break room, the high school classmate who knows you like no other, and the neighbor you just really clicked with a few years ago? Oh, what a good time you would all have! It would be like triple the fun and then some!
And it turns out to be a complete disaster?
The high school friend thinks your work colleague is an uptight jerk, the neighbor thinks your high school friend is an unsophisticated slob, and nobody likes your neighbor, including you, you are starting to think.
That's what S'mores are. A concoction of elements, each one of which on its own brings you joy, but when brought together only brings you regret, disappointment, and sticky fingers.
It really should work. I wanted so much for it to work. I pretended it worked for years.
You think there's social pressure for tween girls to declare their allyship with the LGBTQI+ community and declare tongue-twisting pronouns that are pronounceable only by a native Thermian? Try declaring at a campfire that you don't much like S'mores.
So, for years I went through the ritual. I dutifully laid out the graham crackers, carefully placed a chocolate bar on top of each one with the care and precision of Hunter Biden laying out M&Ms on his, um…,
Anyway, and roasted the marshmallow to golden perfection. When it was go-time, I sandwiched that marshmallow between the graham cracker and chocolate, pulled out the skewer, took a bite and…
It looked great, I'll give it that.
It's not as if I only ever used expired graham crackers out of the discount bin at the Dollar Store, or some execrable vegan carob chocolate substitute. I've even sprung for the absurdly expensive artisanal marshmallows made with sugar and not corn syrup.
None of it mattered.
S'mores have been with us for about a hundred years that we know of, and almost certainly longer than that.
S'more is a contraction of the phrase "some more". S'mores appeared in a cookbook in the early 1920s, where it was called a "Graham Cracker Sandwich". The text indicates that the treat was already popular with both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. In 1927, a recipe for "Some More" was published in Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.
You can find "recipes" for S'mores, although that strikes me as like having a recipe for a ham-and-cheese sandwich. I mean, it's ham. It's cheese. And the sandwich strongly implies bread. Sure, you can play with condiments and such, but that's less a recipe and more a set of IKEA assembly instructions.
Here's an actual recipe from the popular allrecipes.com site.
Just like a set of austere Swedish bookshelves, only less wobbly.
On paper, it certainly is a great idea. I love graham crackers and could easily eat a package of them in one sitting if I was still 11 and calories were a concept completely irrelevant to my life, like taxes and colonoscopies.
And chocolate. Who doesn't love chocolate? Communists and people who think the Dachsador is a legitimate dog breed, that's who. (Full disclosure, I have relatives who own a Dachsador. The dog looks like some mad scientist grafted the head of a full-size Labrador retriever on to the body of a Dachshund. She is simultaneously cute, and a complete freak. Like Amber Heard.)
And marshmallows. Possibly the pinnacle of sugar concoctions, much like the martini is the pinnacle of gin concoctions. Really, the pinnacle of cocktails in general. Or the pinnacle of anything-liquid-in-a-glass.
In any case, It's not as if I "didn't give them a chance." I ate them for literally decades.
I made them myself. Others made them for me. Over and over, spanning maybe 40 years.
Then finally, a few years ago, I had a moment of honesty and self-reflection.
I was never going to be 6 feet tall.
Also, I didn't much care for S'mores.
So now, I'm one of "those people." I'm the four-year-old who doesn't want a S'more, but instead is happy to graze on the chocolate bars, eat a marshmallow, and maybe chew on a graham cracker while everyone else eyes me suspiciously.
Basically, I've deconstructed the S'mores back to their original components, each of which I can enjoy in blessed isolation from each other.
Here's the weird thing. I otherwise like combinations of marshmallow, chocolate, and a crispy wafer.
Moon Pies are one of the greatest snacks ever created.
But S'mores leave me with a cold, empty feeling and overwhelming sense of dread, such as whenever a news report begins with the words, "Today a George-Soros-backed prosecutor…"
Surely we all have similar skeletons in our closet...
Below are some common campfire/cookout foods that you are required by law to enjoy. Which ones could you do without? Be honest. We're all here to support each other. And ridicule each other. Out of love, of course. And malice.
So. Much. Malice…
Feel free to add your own confessions, particularly if there are regional "delights" I missed, ones you choke down as your neighbors look on with expectant glee, not unlike when I'm at a neighborhood gathering and the topic of gun control comes up and I bite my tongue so hard that I have to record it on my calorie-tracking app.
You may choose more than one. Dietary restrictions don't count. If you can't eat gluten, but wished you could so you could eat macaroni salad, that doesn't mean you don't like macaroni salad. It means macaroni salad doesn't like you.
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