Joanne Palmer's Life in the 'Boat column appears Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more columns by Palmer here.
Mark your calendars now. You'll need plenty of time to get ready for two little known but important August holidays.
Aug. 10 - National S'mores Day
Aug. 30 - National Toasted Marshmallow Day.
These are my kind of holidays! No presents. No family. No expectations. Just calories and guilt. The guilt, however, clearly is misplaced. After all, the marshmallow package claims its is a fat-free food, so why not indulge?
Plus, they have the added benefit of being jet puffed. The Web site states, "they inflate each marshmallow with a patented process." Who are these mysterious jet puffers? A secret cult that tip-toes around late at night carrying blow dryers?
If you think Americans are all health-conscious, organic, South Beach dieters, consider these startling statistics:
Americans purchase 90 million pounds of marshmallows per year. Now, here comes one of those angst-producing story problems from fifth grade math:
Bulimic Betty was on a camping trip with her hyperactive children. As she snuck into the woods with a 16 oz. bag of marshmallows, she wondered ... "If each marshmallow weighs one ounce, and there are 16 ounces in a pound, and Americans purchase 90 million pounds of marshmallows, how many marshmallows does just one person eat?"
Easier to find my phone than a calculator, I called a retired math teacher friend. After a few false starts, he concluded that Americans eat 21 marshmallows per person, per year. Just to be patriotic, I ate all 21 in one sitting.
No one really knows the history of s'mores, but most will agree the first recipe using marshmallows appeared in the 1927 Girl Scout publication, "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts." No doubt the Girl Scouts, exhausted from tramping and trailing, decided to reward their efforts by placing a Hershey chocolate bar on a graham cracker, topping it off with a warm marshmallow and creating s'mores.
As for marshmallows, some bored pharaoh squeezed a mallow plant and discovered the sticky emission. It tasted so good it was immediately reserved for royalty. Figures. This casts doubt on the famous Marie Antoinette quote, "Let them eat cake." Perhaps, knowing the end was near, Marie barricaded herself in the closet with her cache of mallow plants. When the French dragged her out, her mouth was so sticky and full her quote was misinterpreted. What she really said was, "Let them eat marshmallows."
The behavior of the piggish pharaoh and Marie pales in comparison to the introduction of the S'mores Maker. Apparently, a bunch of over-caffeinated MBA's were bantering about a "brand extension of marshmallows." Before someone could cry out, "grande mistake-o-marshmallow-latte" the S'mores Maker was born. The S'mores Maker consists of a round wooden tray that holds three attractive containers, one for graham crackers, one for chocolate bars and one for marshmallows. It also has a small sterno pot with a little grate on top for toasting marshmallows. Can you imagine toasting a marshmallow inside with a brightly colored skewer? This is unacceptable. A travesty of epic proportions. A wedding present that will make its merry way into the garage sale pile.
Please start s'mores season outside with the careful building of a cozy campfire and the sharpening of a stick. Check the bushes to make sure Bulimic Betty isn't hiding in there, and enjoy your fat-free holiday!