Perhaps no other camping tradition is more memorable, as a child, than melting your own marshmallow over an open fire, than squishing it between two halves of a graham cracker along with a piece of chocolate candy bar. S’mores are a huge hit with the kids, of course, but they have such a rich tradition that they remind many adults of their childhood family camping experience, too.
Toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich. The heat of the marshmallow between the halves of chocolate bar will melt the chocolate a bit. Though it tastes like “some more” one is really enough.
“Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts,” Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 1927
I do not know if one is ever really enough, but I do know that making s’mores is a great family camping activity and it is something that the kids can participate in at a very young age, which is always exciting. After all, there are few activities more exciting in a child’s life than playing with fire and eating candy.
There are numerous variations on the s’mores theme, the most popular being the addition of peanut butter, or even the substitution of peanut butter cups for the traditional chocolate bar. Oftentimes it is too close to bedtime for the kids, by the time we get back to our campsite and eat dinner, so we forgo the graham crackers and let the kids poke a piece of chocolate into the marshmallow and roast it. This is quicker and not nearly as messy. Another variation on this theme is to drizzle chocolate syrup directly onto the roasted marshmallow.
Campfire s’mores are not just about eating candy, when it comes to passing on family camping traditions. Another great aspect of s’mores, for the kids, is scouting for that perfect marshmallow roasting stick. We have seen elaborate multi-forked roasting sticks capable of holding half-a-dozen marshmallows at a time, from our youngest daughter who has quite the sweet tooth! One of the great lessons of marshmallow roasting, though, is that trying to divide your attention between too many fires can lead to crisply results. But that is not always a bad thing.