The CampingTrip

The CampingTrip

There’s just something about camping as a child. Off in the wilderness, left to survive on your own, eating off the land…  Well, that’s how it felt to me. I don’t know of many wilderness excursions that include the fully packed Country Squire wagon chucked full of folks and kids – braving the unknown south of Atlanta with a 12′ x 12′ rubberized canvas tent, Coleman lanterns and cooking stoves, sleeping bags.. and groceries.

But hell – for a 10 year old – it was primal living at its best.

For a couple of summers when I was a kid, my mom’s family got together for a camping weekend – the location varied but the experience is always the same.
It would take what felt like endless hours of setting up the 300lb drab green “Family Tent – Built to last for years of Family Fun!” that my dad purchased with Gold Bond Stamps, setting up the cook stove, priming the Colemann lantern –  all in preparation of that 1st magical night… under the stars…

……in the woods….

…..by the creek…

…with convenient restroom and shower facilities just a short walk down the trail.

Sleeping is out of the question. Having spent late into the summer night, everyone in their own aluminum, webbed folding chair,  peacefully gorged on the hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips brought along in the ice chests. (there’s never any He-Man, big wilderness food gathering on the 1st night.)

There would be hours of swapping family stories and toasted marshmallows, embellishing on tales of relatives and toasted marshmallows, laughing at the antics of my grandparents brothers and sisters…and little stick torches of marshmallows – the unbent coat hanger ablaze with burnt, toasty goodness.

Grown Up S’mores

Makes 16 Servings

Crust
Ingredients
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
16 Muffing Tins
1 – 16 Hole  Muffin Pan

Filling
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 large eggs, beaten

Topping
Ingredients
3/4 Cup Unflavored gelatin
4 Cups Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Hot Water
Powdered Sugar
1 – 9″ x 9″ x 2″ Pyrex Dish – Lightly sprayed with cooking spray

 Marshmallows
(It’s a really easy homemade recipe – but…if you HAVE to, you can use  packaged ones.)

  • Soften the gelatin with 3/4 Cup of hot water. (keep the bowl warm. Fill a sink bay With Hot water and set the bowl in it if you need to)
  • Melt the sugar in the rest of the hot water.
  • Pour the sugar, water and vanilla into the gelatin and mix them with an hand mixer for about 5 minutes.
  • The mixture will start to set once it cools, so quickly pour the mixture into the container.
  • Let cool and chill for 2 hours.
  • Cut into squares and Toss them in Powdered Sugar – Set aside for Assembly

Crust

  • Preheat over to 350
  • Place Muffin cups into muffin pan
  • Mix together all the “Crust” ingredients
  • Press mixture into each of the cups – Try to get all the way up the sides of the cups
  • Bake crust cups 12 min
  • Remove from oven and cool in the pan

 Filling

  • Heat 1 cup sugar with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a little.
  • Melt chocolates in a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stir occasionally, until melted.
  • Mix together butter (2 sticks) and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in another bowl until combined.
  • Stir butter mixture into the melted chocolate.
  • Stir in sugar syrup.
  • Stir in  the eggs until combined. – Try to make as few bubbles as possible
  • Ladle into Prepared Cups and bake until center is almost set – about 25 to 30 minutes.

 Assembly

  • Remove cups from the tin and place on a baking sheet
  • Set the top Shelf of your over to about 2″ from the top
  • Set your broiler on High
  • Top each cup with 2 or 3 of the marshmallow squares
  • Slide baking sheet under broiler and toast until marshmallows are golden brown (About 2 minutes)

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