Toasting Marshmallows

After leaving work this evening I made my way over to the local junior school to find our younger children (we are insane – we have three girls), who were taking part in a rehearsal for a dance show at the town summer fete in a few weeks time. After half-watching through the gymnasium door for the last few minutes, trying not to distract my own children who had spotted me, the class finished, and we made our way to the supermarket.

I was in charge of dinner, on account of my other half (who is a Brownie Leader, along with the other thousand things she attempts to do each week) taking part in a route march with the Brownies along the river to the next town.

My first reaction, upon hearing that I could choose dinner, can be summed up in one word – Pizza. I mentioned this to our eldest daughter, who became bizarrely logical for the first time in living memory.

“Isn’t tomorrow night movie night?”

Good point. Normally we get pizza on a Friday night. It was only Thursday.

“Why don’t you get curry or something?”

While talking to Miss 11 en-route to the supermarket, we decided that given it was a hot day, it would be nice to get some salad. So we agreed. Two minutes later we walked into the supermarket, and I spied the disposable barbecues.

“How about we have a barbecue tonight?”


And that’s how we ended up having a barbecue. I waddled home with two shopping bags full of bread rolls, burgers, sausages, and salad while Miss 11 munched on granola bars (she said she was hungry).

Skip forwards another hour, and the kids had eaten a hot dog and a burger each. Miss 11 had rather successfully managed to tip half a glass of lemon squash across her burger, so in reality had two burgers (the first one went in the food bin). Just as we were finishing eating, my other half arrived.

“I’m starving!”

“I thought you were eating with the Brownies?”

“Oh, by the time we sorted them out with food, there wasn’t enough time to get anything for myself.”

And that’s how I ended up putting the grill on in the house, and getting everything back out again, to cook one more plate full of food – although vegetarian this time, because my other half is awkward.

Shortcut another half an hour, and we’re all sitting around in the garden, trying to ignore the younger children who are bouncing on the trampoline like lunatics (it never ceases to amaze me how food charges children up – sometimes to the point where they literally don’t know what to do with themselves).

That’s when I threw some kindling in the chiminea, and fished a huge (secret) bag of marshmallows from the kitchen. You have never seen children get off a trampoline so fast, or take such a close interest in a fire. For the next fifteen minutes I rolled marshmallow after marshmallow in the flames on skewers, and handed them on to little hands waiting patiently alongside me. I never actually got around to making any for myself.

I gather during the several rounds of marshmallow vanishing going on at the table in the garden, a new combination was tried and perfected. Our eldest daughter (who is coeliac) couldn’t find any cookies to make smores with, so used Jaffa Cakes. It turns out two jaffa cakes, facing each other, with a molten marshmallow squashed in between them almost made her eyes roll back in her head, and her knees buckle. She then almost wet herself laughing at her own reaction.

I wonder what we’ll call them? Jaffasmores ?

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