Glad you’re Cookin’ with me today!
After having a beautiful Mother’s Day with our extended family, my husband, John, and I were looking forward to going “down the shore” as we Pennsylvanians say it for the following weekend. We have had a small 2nd floor duplex home in Ocean City, NJ for about 18 years now, and this is officially our first season that we are not renting it out in the summer! And…we are bringing my mother….help us, oh Universe!
When the subject of going away for a weekend comes up, especially if it involves camping, Mom will go into the stories about Girl Scout Camp, and the weekends of brutally hot weather, freezing cold in late September, and spider infested, latrine disgusting times. Well, that’s how I remember it. Camping is not my thing. Hence why the beach calls me and not the woods! But S’mores were a great memory, and the one you’ll see in this recipe is easy to make and pretty to look at!
Now, my mother has memories of the shore growing up and going down to Wildwood, NJ and we hear about it over and over again. My husband even has his phone set to play “Wildwood Days” every time she mentions Wildwood! And if that isn’t enough, she has memories of Ocean City, NJ when she went down as a teenager, and when my sister and I were young. We would rent a house for a week and my cousins would be down during the same week, and we also have great memories ourselves. Of course, we don’t talk about them to the point we drive everyone away yelling “enough already!”
My mother has a little trouble remembering some things but not others! For example, she’ll remember a day on the beach 65 years ago but forgets that we took her to Ocean City last year. She’ll remark that she hasn’t been down in years! So my husband, in his ever so good intentions, kept mentioning we should take my Mom down the shore for a weekend. As you know we love my Mom to pieces yet knowing how she has an extremely strict routine at home, the thought of bringing her out of her element was a little frightening! Not just for her, but for John and me, too!
I’m hesitant to write about my mother and come off as if I am not considerate of her feelings, yet there is just WAY TOO MUCH material to work with! It just spills out of me! And for that matter, out of our entire family! How many TV shows have a “hovering” mother character….” Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Mom”, and “Rhoda” (for those of us who can remember), in 2021, “Call Your Mother”! Can you love someone so much but also have them drive you crazy? Well, my answer is a resounding “YES”! And I’m sure my boys are collecting all the material they can on me, too! I have to remind myself to always have a sense of humor because they could write an encyclopedia on me! My boys and husband do tease me, but I know it is always out of love and with the best of intentions!
Where do I begin about the weekend? When Mom got lost while taking a walk on Friday when we told her not to go out, or when she lost her VISA card before leaving Sunday morning, or having the TV volume at the highest decibel possible anytime the TV was on? We also need to make sure she can work the remotes so she can watch her movies in both the living room and her bedroom. Okay, so I am confessing here that John and I have had some challenges with the 3 remotes in our den. The worst is when we turn the TV on, and the screen is blank and it says “NO SIGNAL”! Panic does set in! How do I get to YouTube TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or to Air Play HBO Max? What if I can’t watch my shows?
And as far as the volume goes, we did have to go into Mom’s bedroom to ask her to turn the TV volume down at 11 PM because we could hear it all the way out in the living room! Thank goodness our dear friends weren’t downstairs this past weekend! They would have disowned us! And guess what? I realize I am asking John to turn up the TV at home more than I realize! Is my hearing starting to go, too?
Mom wakes up at 5 AM in the morning, and she tries not to make noise, (but we heard the opening and closing of drawers, cabinets, and the TV). She likes to take a walk to the beach, and loves to see the sunrise, but in May, it comes up way too early and we don’t want her walking in the dark. At this point, I like my sleep so that sun can rise all it wants at 5 AM but I sure won’t! At least not yet…..
Let’s talk about the ride to and from the shore! She goes into how she used to drive to the shore, taking my father down along with her Aunt Rosalie to visit their Uncle Neil (who had a place right around the corner from ours, so the memories kept flooding back). My oldest calls this “the loop.” She’ll go round and round about the same thing. She’ll ask what road we were on driving the entire way down and back from the shore and says when route 476 was first built years ago, they called it “the Blue Route”, and the “White Elephant”. And what I’ve been realizing is that when I start to tell John, my family or friends something, I start off by saying, “I may have told you,” or “If I told you this before, stop me.” Uh-oh.
Mom was pretty restless not being in her own home, and constantly asked what she could do to help me, which I very much appreciated, but asking every 15 minutes was a little overkill, don’t you think? And to top it off, her bags were packed and at the door by 8 AM Sunday, even though we weren’t leaving until 11 AM or so. Needless to say, we were out at 9:00 AM! I have to admit sometimes when I know we are leaving to go home I am already thinking about what I have to get done when I get home, and should we just pack it up and head out early? That’s when I realize I have to remind myself to be more in the moment.
I can’t help but ask myself if I am headed in the same direction as my mother some day? If I am lucky enough to live a longer life, will I be driving my kids crazy when I reach my mother’s age? Or should I say will I be driving them crazier than I do now? Again, the answer is probably, “YES”! Will I be worried about some many seamlessly trivial things, but they become so important that I can’t focus on the here and now?
This week was another busy week at work and at home. We have an upcoming family wedding, I have no idea what I’m wearing, didn’t get a card or gift yet, and we’ve got to get the house at home mulched, flowers planted, and other odds and ends done. See, my mind is already going into overdrive! Deep breath, Madeline!
I am so blessed to have my mother here, my husband and boys, daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter in my life. And no matter what happens in my future, I will try each and every day to be grateful for all the craziness life brings and keep that sense of humor! Grab s S’More
Let’s Get Cookin’
S'mores No More
- Microwave or saucepan
- Mixing bowl for melting chocolate chips
- Mixing bowl for Graham Cracker Crumbs
- Parchment Paper
- 1 12 oz Milk or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 1 package Extra Large Marshmallows
- 20 large Toothpicks
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or sunflower oil
- 1. Melt chocolate chips in glass bowl in microwave or saucepan with 1 tablespoon oil
- 2. Dip half of a marshmallow in the melted chocolate, swirling gently so that all sides are covered.
- 3. Then dip the chocolate covered part of the marshmallow in the graham cracker crumbs, gently coating all around.
- 4. Place marshmallow on parchment paper chocolate side down to set up.
- 5. Gently place a toothpick in the center, pressing down so that the marshmallow can be picked up by the toothpick.
- 6. Repeat for the remaining marshmallows.
- 7. Once the marshmallows are set up, place on a platter and serve!