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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Replacing the Marshmallow in S’mores

Uploaded: Aug 7, 2016

There’s a day for everything, and August 10th is National S’mores Day.

Ooooo, I know you love that soft and creamy, sticky, chocolately crunch. The marshmallows though, aren’t they getting a little phony tasting? I’m not a big fan of the grocery graham cracker either but one rescue mission at a time.

How to replace the marshmallow in s’mores?

At the annual camp trip, we took on the challenge. This year went to Mt. Lassen National Park, up Highway 5, south east of Mt Shasta. If you haven’t been to a national park in a while, it’s time to return.

The U.S. does national parks well, with all the environmentally weird paint pots and boiling sulfur below winding walkways with cool signs, and modern visitor centers with interactive displays, wifi, and fun things to buy. Lassen (a big ol’ volcano) is especially lovely because it gets less than a 10th of the visitors Yosemite does. We did day hikes, only about 5 - 7 miles, that accessed awesome swimming lakes, magnificent vistas,

and unique park attractions, including Arnie the Super Hike Guide's suggestion to enter the famed Bumpass Hell Trail from the back end. Did I just write that? Snow closed the trail when we arrived, but it opened the day before we left.

Lucky us.

Lassen is only a 5-hour drive from the Bay Area, and if you factor in less traffic, it’s probably the same drive time as a trip to Tahoe.

Just like Camp Glamp, it was a Food Party! while we were there. I love cooking outside. My EZdinner was:

Mixed Grill (BBQ Lime Tofu, sausages, and marinated Italian chicken breast from Bianchini’s) + Grilled onion

Sautéed Broccolini with garlic and red pepper flake

Tomato Burrata Salad

Bean / Couscous dry mix from Trader Joe's

Plus Anybodies Appetizer Cheese Plate (grate Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning on your raw veggies)

The only thing to do before you leave the house is marinate the tofu in ketchup + hoison + sriracha + lime juice. Everything else came together quickly at camp.

Once dinner was done, it was time to replace the marshmallow. Hmmm, what to use? How about grilling those peaches bought at a roadside stand? And guess what? Nailed it! Better than expected, and with peaches in season – Woweey Yum! It’s still gooey and rich, but it’s a real, natural, light and gooey rich.

FYI - butter is best for grilling fruit, but olive oil is a fine substitute.

So supposedly only 40% of the U.S. population take a vacation each year, and of those who do, 25% don’t take all the vacation they are allotted. Don’t be one of those. TAKE YOUR VACATION!! And while you are out there, make Peach S’mores.

The only way to continue great work is to stop doing it every so often.

- photo by Dean Samos

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 +   1 person likes this
Posted by trailmaven, a resident of another community,
on Aug 8, 2016 at 8:03 am

Oh my! Camping like that makes me want to go. Again. Slow roasted peach over an open fire is the nectar of the gods and we were high among them in Lassen.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by MPer, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Aug 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm

If you don't like store bought marshmallows, why not make your own? Web Link Smores are awesome, and you can't make them with out marshmallows. I am sure your peach substitute is great, but it is not a Smore.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by AJ Crawdaddy, a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens,
on Aug 9, 2016 at 9:05 am

Improvisation! Bravo! No marshmellow? No problem! Eat a peach! I like the sound of it and love me some peaches! Yum! Speaking of peaches, how you be, Laura?

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 9, 2016 at 9:12 am

AJ Crawdaddy? Oh lardy! You're that Blues guitar playing fool who plays Friday night 8 - 11pm at The Rail in San Carlos. Great dancing and you guys rock! Let's grill s'mores in the back next Friday!

 +   2 people like this
Posted by And get off my lawn, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Aug 9, 2016 at 9:34 am

Here's my gripe about s'mores: They should NEVER call for Hershey's chocolate anymore. Those chocolate bars used to contain more butter fat so they actually melted from the heat of the toasted marshmallow. Remember as a kid, holding a Hershey bar and having the heat in your fingertips melt it? Try that today. They have reduced the amount of costly butterfat so it has a much higher melting point. Whenever I make s'mores now I try to find higher quality chocolate that will actually melt.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Aug 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

HBD Lassen. Just heard turns 100 today (8/9). It is our 2nd designated National Park

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 9, 2016 at 8:50 pm

I totally agree And get off my lawn. I think Hershey's tastes like sweet soft plastic. Funny name by the way.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by thomasf2220, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 1:49 am

thomasf2220 is a registered user.

I never ate grilled fruits. Will try it for sure during the next trip.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Food Nerd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:21 am

In a quest to replace the graham cracker, I suggest something my Swiss relatives do: chocolate sandwiches. Good European bread, butter, and a slab of really good Swiss chocolate. I've never grilled them, but now you make me wonder what it might be like with a grilled buttered seed bread, grilled peaches, and the chocolate...

 +   3 people like this
Posted by ted , a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 8:55 am

Laura Stec Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!

 +   2 people like this
Posted by red, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 9:16 am

honestly it's nice to see something to read besides trumps latest verbal rampage.....or Hillary's latest email gaffe.....we need something makes us laugh.....

 +  Like this comment
Posted by bop, a resident of Charleston Gardens,
on Aug 11, 2016 at 2:55 am

I like this post very much. Thanks

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 11, 2016 at 6:23 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Well thank you Ted.

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