So, yesterday I had a really fab party. I applied to host a More S’mores Party through Tryazon… & won! I was super excited! The Party was to feature Sterno’s S’mores Maker.
The party package contained two Sterno S’mores Makers (complete with fuel cannister and two roasting forks), two boxes of extra fuel (containing two cans each), the More S’mores Card Game by Mad Capp Games, Thank You cards with a link to purchase if people wished along with some s’mores related information, & a $15 gift card to Walmart.
One S’mores Maker & one box of fuel was for me to keep (as well as to use during the party), the other S’mores Maker (& extra box of fuel) was for a guest to win by whichever method I chose. The gift card was for purchasing s’mores making supplies.
I decided to do a contest to win the S’mores Maker, so guests had to guess the number of chocolate chips in the bottle. I also decided that who ever was second highest would win the card game, though we did play it and everyone enjoyed it. We also had a door prize, just because basically. My sister taught a class last night about making relaxing eye pillows. It’s not s’mores related but we decided it would be fun. So, the door prize was a handmade eye pillow and a free aromatherapy class at the local yoga studio where she works. It went over well, even if if was unrelated to the theme of the party.
I followed the Host Guide that was sent to my email and also added a little bit to it. I had invited fifteen people and I had seven who were able to make it. It was a rather dreary day (though I found it perfect for an indoor s’mores party) & they had things come up. It happens. So, it was very low key with family friends and my parents. So, we had the mingle of the Greet & Mingle section, because everyone already knew each other. I served Blueberry Tea, Lemonade, Cucumber Sandwiches, & miniature French cheese with cucumbers and herbs with crackers.
Next, I introduced both companies: Tryazon, which gets innovative products into peoples hands in fun settings & Sterno that’s been supplying fuel and food heating for more than a century. I also mentioned that there were 99 other parties happening this weekend in the US (the 19th & 20th’s, respectively).
Next I talked a little about s’mores. They had included two points. I researched & found a tad more, & I decided to briefly talk about the origins of the three main s’mores ingredients; Graham Crackers, Marshmallows, & Chocolate. I found it interesting & so did my guests! So, here’s what I said.
Originally published in a book of recipes by the Campfire Marshmallow Company in the 20’s, they were referred to as “Graham Cracker Sandwiches”, & it was stated that this treat was already being enjoyed by the Girl & Boy Scouts.
In 1927, “Tramping & Trailing with the Girl Scouts” was publishes and referred to the campfire treat as “Some Mores”. They were first referred to as “S’mores” in a 1938 publication aimed at summer camps. The term wasn’t widely used until 1974.
*I liked learning this, as I was a Girl Scout, as were my sister, mother, aunt, & maternal grandmother. We also had a former Girl Scout Leader & fellow troop member in attendence at this party.
Graham Crackers are named after Sylvester Graham who promoted a vegetarian diet in the mid-19th century. His followers were called Grahamites & they later came up with the crackers bearing their leaders’ name.
*I figured since this was a happy party, that I would leave of the part of him being a religious nut, or thinking that wheat and vegetable would help stave off the ‘unnatural’ cravings for sex.
Marshmallows were first consumed by Ancient Egyptians as early as 2,000 BCE. Used medicinally, and only by royalty, it was a product made from boiling the root pulp of the marshmallow plant with sugar to form a thickened paste.
By the mid-1800’s, French confectioners were whipping the sap of the plant into a fluffy candy called Pate de Guimauve; a spongey-soft dessert, it was sold as a medicinal lozenge. Later the whipped marshmallow sap was paired with gelatin to give a better form.
By the 1950’s, we have the marshmallows you’ll be consuming today, which sadly contain nothing of the orignal plant which gives them their name. They are made of suger, water, & a protein which is used as a whipping agent, either egg whites or gelatin.
*I loved learning this about marshmallows. I’d always wondered what the correlationg between the confection and the plant were.
Chocolate comes from Cacao seeds which are fermented and roasted. Removing the shells gives you Cacao Beans, while grinding the beans productes Cacao Nibs which end up being chocolate later on down the line, whether it’s baking cocoa and chocolate to the bars you eat.
Baking Cocoa, which are the nibs ground into a fine powder, and Baking Chocolate are not sweet. Both contain Cacao Solids, and the bars of baking chocolate also contain Cocao Butter.
The chocolate we’re eating contains sugar. The darker the chocolate, the less sugar it contains and it has more Cacao Solids. The lighter the chocolate, the more sugar and the less Cacao Solids it contains. White Chocolate contains no Cacao Solids and many people do not even count it as chocolate.
The earliest use of chocolate dates back to 1900 BCE in Mexico and Guatemala. The Mayans and Aztecs called it Chicolatl, which was also the name of their chocolate drink. The Mayans prefered it hot, while the Aztecs preferred it cold. They ground the cacao into a fine powder and added honey, chili pepper, allspice, & vanilla; frothing it with a Chicoli. What you know as Mexican Hot Cocoa is the most similar to Chicolatl as it contains chili peppers, though Chicolatl is still less sweet than the modern Mexican version and Hot Cocoa in the US is by far the sweetest.
*My sister actually has Cacao Beans and Cacao Nibs, which she lent me to show off for my small, educational presentation. Everyone got to try some Cacao Nibs too. And I showed off our Chicoli which was fun.
Next, I demonstrated how to use the Sterno S’mores Maker. Pulling it out of the box and showing them what comes inside the package as well as how to utelize the various ingredient and making stations. I also showed them the proper way to open the fuel canister, how to light it, and how to exstinguish it.
*Remember kids, only use official Sterno S’mores Maker cannisters with the Sterno S’mores Maker. Also only use a long handled match or long lighter (I used the first). And never blow the flame out. Simply remove the screen (not shown) & turn it over onto the flame.*
I then told them that they’d be able to make a variety of fancy sweet and fancy savoury s’mores & that I’d written up some recipes as a basic guide, but that they could build any s’mores that they wished. I also discussed all the s’mores making possibilities with them.
Graham Cracker Alternates:
*Donuts (sliced in half)
*Girl Scout Cookies
Chocolate Bar Alternatives:
*Ghiradelli filled squares (Salted Caramel, Chocolate Mint)
*Candy Bars (Twix, Kit-Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Mounds)
*Flavoured Marshmallows (mint, chocolate, etc)
After finishing the product introduction and discussion, we played the More S’mores card game. We played twice and everyone had a lot of fun, but they were also ready to make some s’mores!
As I said before, I wrote down some basic recipes that they could follow as a handy guide. Here’s what we could make.
*Graham or Ritz Crackers
*Jam (apricot or blueberry)
(try it without the chocolate)
Chocolate Covered Banana S’mores:
(try with just strawberry or with both strawberry and banana together!)
Tropical Coconut S’mores:
(try with dark chocolate for a Mounds S’mores!)
(Add chocolate to make it a Reese’s S’mores!)
Chocolate Chip Cookie S’mores:
*Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Italian S’mores:
*Pita or Ritz Crackers
(try pepperoni on it!)
Savoury Brie S’mores:
*Jam (apricot or blueberry)
(try it without jam)
The Elvis S’mores:
(or just try chocolate, bacon, & marshmallow!)