Saturday, May 14, 2011

...But the fire is so delightful

Well. My post-everyday-in-May was going so well! Until yesterday, when Blogger had major issues and no one could publish or comment at all. Sigh...such is life! And all the comments disappeared from my last post, too! So allow me to let you know that Rebecca and my dad (Camp Papa) both correctly guessed MacGyver's first name--Angus! Well done, guys! And Dad, you letting us know that you knew it was Angus cause that's what Mom calls you "sometimes" there a way to unread something? Maybe I need a new brain?

But moving on! This last week here in Sydney has been freezing! Autumn was going along quite nicely and then it was like all wintry up in here! It took us all by surprise. Wednesday, we ordered our firewood to be delivered. It seems that once we start using the fireplace, we don't stop till late August. Our fireplace is the main way (well, the only way) that we heat our kitchen and playroom. It has a fan that blows the hot air from the fire into the room. Building and maintaining the fire is usually Jason's job. Last winter, though, I had to get good at it while he and Ava were in Manila. I'd stare at the cold ashes and wish it were warmer in the room. However, I found that wishes and desperation do not conduct heat. So, I had to woman up and build the fire. Then, I'd beat my chest and howl into the whipping winter wind.

When we start using the fireplace again each year, the kids always ask to roast marshmallows. This year, we decided to do s'mores. Mmmmm, s'mores. Creamy, chocolatey, marshmallowy, crunchy goodness. I don't think s'mores are much of a thing here in Australia--at least, not with the folks I've talked with.

So, just in case you're reading this and you've never made a s'more, lemme fill you in. It's easy peasy! You need some kind of plain biscuit (ideally a graham cracker if you can find them), marshmallows, and milk chocolate. Roast the marshmallow, and have the biscuit with chocolate on top waiting. When the marshmallow is all hot, and almost burned on the outside, pop it off the stick and lay it on top of the chocolate. Sandwich it with a second cracker/biscuit and press down. Then your life will change and you can thank me later.

We invited some friends over, as well as some of the youth group from church. Graham crackers are pretty hard to find here, and sadly, there's no Hershey's chocolate, so I had to improvise.

Instead of graham crackers, I used digestive biscuits, which are kind or crumbly and I thought it might be an okay substitute. Also, the marshmallows here are a bit smaller than the ones we'd use at home, so we had to double up on those. The kids had fun roasting their marshmallows.(Sorry for the dark shot.) So, how did they taste? Hmmm, on the S'more Delectability Scale (SDS), which was of course sanctioned by the International Campfire Traditions Council (ICTC), I think they'd rate at about a 6. Not fantastic, I gotta say. The biscuits were a little too thick, and the chocolate didn't melt quite as well as it should have. Not that the kids minded at all--any parent-sanctioned excuse to ingest 3 forms of sugar at once is hailed as a miracle!

But I will not be beaten! On the agenda for next time: find a better graham cracker equivalent. There used to be a shop in our mall that imported them from the US, but they were like $13/box. I'm told, though, there are other sources. And also, maybe get some better quality chocolate. S'mores, we will meet again. I'm determined to get your ratings up to 8, 8.5 at least.

This month, I'm linking back to some of my favorite posts. Speaking of stuff I can't get here in Oz, click here to read about some things I miss from home. But there's lots to love about living here! Here's some of my favorite things about daily life in Australia. And also here.


  1. How cute! The kids huddled around the fireplace roasting marshmallows. Digestive biscuits ? What are they? You know, in this land we have kiosks on every corner selling Nabisco Honey Grahams AND Hersheys Miniatures. But I bet yours were delicious too, and the kids had fun. You're kinda Macguiveresque in your improvisation!

  2. Please don't tell Cal if you ever meet her that you let people makes s'mores inside the home. That would drop my ranking on the C.P.S (cool parent scale) to a 1. It's already only at a 3, so I can't risk going any lower.

  3. i lived in NZ for awhile and can't think of any good graham cracker equivalent, but i do think cadbury chocolate is so much better than hershey's!
    To make the ultimate s'more add peanut butter on the graham cracker to hold the chocolate on! yuuuuuuuuumy!

  4. Hannah--peanut butter is a great idea! And you're right--cadbury is really good. I'd bought cheapie chocolate, so I might have to upgrade next time!

    Elizabeth, my own CPS rating is pretty low, so this was an attempt to boost my image!

    Mom, perhaps you wanna pop those in a box and send me some? :)

  5. Never knew what a smore was til recently & have no clue what a Graham cracker is like to find a substitute, Donna Hay suggests using a choc chip cookie, would that work?
    Love Nate's 'crazy sugar eyes' LOL

  6. Some friends told me you can get them in Asian grocery stores here, but I haven't checked yet. But a choc chip cookie could be a nice variation!