Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Ultimate S’More Cook-Off

The Ultimate S'More Trophy

Tonight was the Ultimate S’More Cook-Off Party.

Families have been gathering at the Bates night after night, practicing for this moment.

The prize was a gold-wrapped marshmallow stick springing from a silver vessel, a trophy to be desired and sitting on a table for all to see.

Supplies have been purchased at No-Frills and at the Bulk Barn, each time with even more thought and acumen, knowing that this night was about to happen.

There were two sets of judges, a younger set and an older set.

The Challenge Begins
The latter had pens and paper in hand, as did the younger set, who were to give marks out of 10.

That was only possible for the first contestants, but soon the younger set of judges were giving 20’s and 100’s and soon thousands for the presentation of the s’mores that were passing their way.

... 3 intense marshmallow roasters ...
The older judges were Art Treleaven, Glen Pilling and Laynie Hicks.

Their job was to taste each S’More, judging quality of ingredients, quantity of ingredients and quirkiness.

The night wore on as individuals from all age categories were toasting their marshmallows to perfection and then building the s’more of their dreams.

...judging and eating a s'more at the same time ...
When the party was all-in, the judges went to confer in the house, looking at pictures that had been taken and tallying marks.

The winners were Michael Johnson, Teresa Oldham, Annalisse Bates, Alice Johnson, Zoe Bates, Tonia Bates, Marcia Bates, Ezra Bates, Ivan Bates, Senya Bates, David Camps-Johnson and his friend, Connor.

The categories included the sweetest s’more, the fluffiest, the tallest s’more and the best presentation of a s’more.

There was also a category for the s’more illustrating nepotism (Zach who built his out of a dad’s cookie).
... the ingredient table ...
This was a serious contest with marks being carefully calculated.

Tonia won for a category which I can’t remember but I do know she had her prize withdrawn for being a teacher, which, with slumped shoulders, she sadly acknowledged as true.

The ultimate prize went to Gabe for delivering the most influence to the judges. I asked what that was all about.

Someone answered that he kept bringing them drinks of water.

Little Alice was afraid to enter.

I went to the ingredients table and brought her a wide selection so that she could at least taste what might have gone onto a s’more, if she had had the courage to make one.

Maybe next year.

And thus endeth another of the best parties ever.

... starting to build a s'more ...
I heard Graham say, “no other family has parties like these”.

I don’t know if he was referring to the decadence of the ingredients, to the spontaneity of the laughter at many moments, to the inter-generational character of the attendees, to the hours of repartee over the selected ingredients, or to the intensity of the participation.

As the party closed I heard Jeremy say, “I can’t believe no one built a s’more out of ice-cream”.

Now there is an idea for next year.

... Michael getting first feedback from Glen about his s'more ...
... judge taking careful data ...
Judge #2, Art Treleaven inspecting s'more
Oh yes, the judges were in agreement.

 Next year they are stepping down and letting a different set of judges taste that many s’mores.

Enough is enough.

Laynie takes a bite and prepares to give careful feedback to Michael.

In the background, Graham wonders how the judges will hold up
to the amount of sugar they are eating.


  1. The look on Michael's face when his name was announced is my favorite moment of the summer. It was the look of a person who had experienced his first miracle. He turned towards the crowd with his mouth wide open in wonder. The sparkle in his eye asked, "Did you hear what I just heard?" No one could have been more excited to win an award than Michael. It was a precious moment.

  2. There were so many contestants at this party. People entered all night. I nominate the same judges for next year. Noone can top off all the care and work that went into the judging. And besides, this is the only way that a person can get sugar into Laynie and Glen. And besides, it was Laynie and Glen who came up with the idea. And besides, Marcia put hot chips in her smore and the judges liked it. Crazy taste buds!

    There were two buckets of candy left over. Saved for next year. Come again!