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By Laura Stec

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