Column, Living the Dream

Golden brown to perfection — or not

It all begins with a sacred quest.

To begin, one must have a vision of perfection that will undoubtably not be met but must be strived for in any case.

One might journey deep into the forest, a solo mission filled with dedication to a high standard. A lone branch, peeping out from underneath a pile of leaves might work but that pile of recently pruned apple tree branches could hold a greater fortune. Like any quest seeking greatness, it should be well thought out and all possibilities exhausted before making a final decision. It should be perfect.

Or not. For the impatient consumer, a quick grab at the first stick small enough to skewer one to seven marshmallows would work just fine, never mind that the stick bows so severely that you are guaranteed a marshmallow survival rate of approximately 40%. Or perhaps your stick is so short that your hand is constantly flirting with the potential of third degree burns. While this theory might threaten your own livelihood, it should reduce fire exposure enough to prevent your marshmallow from bursting into flames.

But the perfect marshmallow stick settles just right in the hand. Slightly thicker at the handle to promote sturdiness, the stick tapers off at the pointy end to allow for greater skewering. It’s long enough to keep you safe and short enough that you have easy access to your mouth for consumption. Perhaps dad will let you use his pocket knife for a wee bit of whittling to make a perfect point — also an excellent way of deterring all siblings from challenging your perfect roasting spot. After all this precision work and dedication to the cause, one is only left with the duty of forcefully stabbing the coals until the freshly exposed wood becomes beautifully charred.

And now you can pull up a chair and relax with your perfect stick … as your seventh marshmallow bursts into flames and falls into the fire with a plop. Again.

At this point, there might be more marshmallows in the fire than made it onto the chocolate and graham crackers. Exasperated, you finally ask your always patient little sister if she can make you one of those perfectly golden brown ones like she makes for mom. While you have been trying to perfect the stab and cook method, she has been quietly perched at the edge of the fire, methodically turning her stick like a spit. No drama or excitement, just perfectly golden brown marshmallows. You roll your eyes at her inferior stick choice and once again stab yours into the fire, more focused now on sneaking as many marshmallows as possible to create the flaming torch of greatness. My record was eight and it was glorious.

Eventually, either the bag is empty or mom’s patience is gone. Everyone is tired of you shoving a burnt marshmallow creation into their face with the demand of consumption. Dad is sick from pretending to like the charred bits or only getting the unburnt insides. Melted sugar has combined with a section of your hair and a big clump of goo, dirt and rocks is stuck to the bottom of your shoe. There’s marshmallow all over your face and hands, but also inexplicably on the back of your leg. You’ve been licking a combination of soot and sugar off your hands for what seems like hours and your belly is an aching mess. Your heart is racing from all the sugar and you’re only waiting for the crash to come so you can pass on all this sticky mess to your sleeping bag.

Lying in your tent, you deem the tradition is complete as you pledge to yourself not to eat another marshmallow for as long as you live. Even your little kid body knows this binge has not been for the best, even though you did manage to break your s’more eating record for the fifth time in a row. You can feel your eyelids getting heavy as you fade off to sleep .. and then you sit up with a start and climb hurriedly out of the tent. You forgot to make the marshmallow taffy!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Killington Fire and Rescue

A big “thank you” to the Killington Fire Department and the Killington Pico Area Association, in collaboration with local apparel company, ‘Till I Die, for their contributions to the Killington Relief Fund for Covid-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, this town run fund has been providing monthly food distributions, utilizing the buying power of Killington Resort to support local vendors. This past July 4th, instead of the traditional post-parade BBQ to raise money FOR the fire department, our small community came together to give out 300 BBQ meals to local families in need — including chocolate, graham crackers and, of course, a big bag of marshmallows.

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