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A sure fire way
to deal with marshmallow burns.

Marshmallow Memories

468 words


The sweet ritual and danger of s’mores...
by Dianne Roth


Last summer we had a fire pit near the cabin where we lived for the summer. We had frequent fires to enjoy the stars, the warm nights, and marshmallow roasting.

Sitting around the fire, memories filled with aroma, sticky fingers, and molten marshmallows came wafting back to me.

My mother insisted on the perfectly roasted marshmallow. The trick is to keep the marshmallow out of the flame, but close enough to toast the outside to a crisp golden brown while the inside melts to the core. It might take ten minutes to get the desired result, but if you are patient, the puffed marshmallow slides off the stick and fills your mouth with a bit of campfire smoke, burnt sugar, and pure white marshmallow cream.

Ah, it is heavenly.

Well, mostly it is heavenly.

Even the most observant roaster might get a bit too close to the flame now and again, but a quick blow usually saves the marshmallow from the blackened disaster that so many roasters are willing to accept.

One night, my marshmallow burst into flame. I quickly brought it close to blow it out. My roasting stick must have been too long. Bumping into the dirt it caused a jerk, which flung the molten marshmallow the last few inches to my cheek.

I screamed and pulled the marshmallow from my face leaving a layer of hot burnt sugar. My mother decided to leave the sugar until we were finished with our campfire. Then she got a cold washcloth and began scrubbing my face.

Needless to say, her scrubbing removed the blistered skin below the sugar as well. I was sure the scabbed area would turn into a massive scar. It did scar, but it is far from massive and can only be seen in certain light with a magnifying glass.

I was lucky. But, I always thought there must be a better way to remove molten marshmallow.

I made a plan and, when my son was about 10 years old, put it into action.

His marshmallow landed on his nose. I quickly changed into my super-heroine costume and leapt over the fire (well, not over... exactly). But, in less time than it takes to tell, I grabbed him by the ears and began sucking his nose. His shock at my action distracted him for a few moments and by the time he threw me to the ground in disgust (ha ha ha), my warm mouth had removed all the molten sugar, leaving his skin intact. It worked!

But, he made me swear never to tell. “Shhhh...”

My mother’s Wonderfully Improved S’mores recipe:

Plain or Cinnamon Graham Crackers
1 can dark chocolate frosting

Spread frosting on one graham cracker. Use the crackers to remove the perfectly roasted marshmallow from the stick. Squeeze to flatten. Delicious!


Dianne Roth is a teacher, mother, grandmother, and freelance writer. She lives in Oregon.




Last updated on November 2, 2015