The holiday gods were angry today, my friend. It was time to celebrate the quintessential holiday treat and those fickle deities decided to cast rain upon our earth for the first time in weeks (or so it seems). It stopped eventually, but the wood and dry grass was now wet and not very amenable to making fire. You need fire for a good authentic s’more. I know you can make them other ways – in a toaster over, on the grill, blow torch – but the classic needs to be made over open fire.
My sister-in-law Cherie, who you may remember from National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, was excited for celebrating S’mores Day. S’mores are kind of her thing. She made plans to come over around 5 with her kids, Wavy, Brixton and Calix, along with her sister-in-law Jeannie and her daughter Mae. I went outside to start the fire at around 4:30. I was met with wet firewood, wet kindling and wet grass. No fear, I was armed with a lighter, a roll of dry paper towels, a few cold Miller High Lifes and a heart full of determination. By 5 pm, I was two High Lifes in to my adventure, I had a smoldering pile of smoke before me, half of which had filled up my lungs, a shirt drenched in sweat and no real fire to speak of. Flames would rise up if I blew on it, but only for a few minutes, then it would fade out. It was wearing me down.
That’s when Cherie and company showed up and the holiday gods intervened again. Poor little Wavy, who was walking on the rocks, slipped and fell, bumping her head hard. There was tears, and blood. It took all of us to calm her down. Cherie patiently tended to her, cleaning her up as much as Wavy would let her and giving her hugs and love to ease the pain. Eventually, Wavy calmed down and went back to playing, but for a minute, it seemed like the night was coming to a quick end. Naturally, Wavy was back on the rocks in minutes as if nothing had happened. I then gave the fire another quick burst of air and it actually sparked up and suddenly we had ourselves a real fire. S’more time was happening!
Cherie is kind of an expert on S’mores and has a whole system. First, she gives us a reminder to not forget three things:
- Wet Wipes – things get sticky so be prepared
- Bug Spray – perfect s’more weather means perfect mosquito weather too
- Water – s’mores make the kiddies thirsty, so be prepared
And while that’s great advice, the real key to Cherie’s s’more success (s’morecess?) is a little variety. Everyone knows the classic recipe: Graham Cracker, Marshmallow and Hershey Bar. Cherie branches out. She replaces the Hershey Bar with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I’ll pause here to let you soak that in.
Why not add a little PB to the mix? She’s also been known to throw a Kit Kat in there too. There’s no stopping her. She’s out of the box all the way. That’s what fun about Cherie when she’s cooking. She takes an idea and runs with it. Here’s her secret, patiently explained to us all (with a brief appearance by Brix):
It ended up being a great night. Delicious S’mores (although we were victims to some slightly stale Graham Crackers), fun time with the kids, and long chats in the summer grass as the sun started to slowly set. Just what S’mores were meant to be.
We bring news of more holiday cheer spreading too. My friend Mike up in Portsmouth, NH was out in the rain having a few s’mores with his kids as well. The rain wasn’t going to stop this treat from being celebrated, and it definitely wasn’t stopping Mike either.
Today was a good day, or at least ended up that way. I think I slipped into the angry stage of this whole getting fired thing this morning. My head just filled up with lots of bad thoughts about what happened, how it happened and why it happened. I guess the whole experience is still kind of surreal. I spent a lot of today just cruising the internet aimlessly. That’s when I realized today was another holiday too: Duran Duran Appreciation Day. Oddly enough, Duran Duran turned my mood around, something they haven’t done since 1985.
I am not sure why Duran Duran deserves a day of celebration or why it happens today (something to do with a DJ), but here we were and I could think of no more absurd way to spend my afternoon. I started posting random messages to friends on Facebook wishing them a happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day. The thought of these random messages popping up on people’s feed throughout the day brought a big smile to my face. That’s what this whole quest is about – spreading random joy – and what better way to do that than to share completely random Duran Duran message across the universe? Duran Duran was trending today on Facebook and I really feel that I had a small but significant part in that. Thanks Duran Duran. You turned this day around for me, just like that river twisting through a dusty land.
Tomorrow: Raspberry Bombe Day – what the hell is that?