Lately, my creative energy feels a little worn out. I had a pretty bad depressive episode a week or so ago, and I’m still recovering from it. I still don’t want to write about that thing that’s been nagging at me. I’m still processing it all. I could write about what EMDR therapy has been like. But, I’d rather give you a recipe for something I made recently: s’more pops (pictured below). Or, maybe, I’ll do both.
1 16oz bag of regular-sized marshmallows
1 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 sleeve of regular graham crackers
6 T of butter
Approximately 1/4 cup of brown sugar
Smoked sea salt (to taste) — fine or freshly ground
Special equipment: Cake pop sticks or small skewers
Makes: a lot (uses all of the marshmallows in your bag)
Time to make: 1–2 hours
How have you been feeling? Are you feeling present right now? Let’s do a grounding exercise to help with that. Name five things in the room that are orange. What are four things you can touch? What are three things you can hear? Two things you can smell? What’s one thing you can taste? How present do you feel now? Good, let’s continue.
Step one: the graham cracker crust
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Empty the sleeve of graham crackers into a large Ziploc bag, seal, and then whack the hell out of it with a rolling pin. Smush the graham crackers until most of them are finely ground. Empty the bag of graham cracker crumbs onto the lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle the crumbs with brown sugar and use your hands to mix the crumbs and sugar until well incorporated. Next, melt the butter in the microwave for a little over a minute (or until completely melted). Pour the butter as evenly as you can over the graham cracker/sugar mixture. Use your hands to mix again until the butter is well incorporated. Pat down the graham cracker mixture so that it evenly covers the cookie sheet (giving the sheet a little wiggle back and forth will help this, too). Sprinkle the smoked sea salt generously over the graham cracker mixture. Put the whole thing in the oven and bake for 8 minutes, stirring at the 4 minute mark. Taste the mixture and re-salt, as needed.
We’ll start with a low-disturbance event, working our way up to the most traumatic events you’ve experienced. I’ve created a list of events here that we could work on. Does this list look accurate to you? Which event was the most traumatic? Which one would you like to start with?
Step two: the marshmallows
Use strong kitchen scissors to cut the cake pop sticks or skewers in half (the pops will look kind of ridiculous otherwise) until you have half a stick for each marshmallow. Jab one stick into each marshmallow until you have an army of mallows ready for dipping. (It’s nice to have these ready before you get to the next step).
I’m going to place the pulsers in your hand and turn on the vibration. How does that feel? I want you to think about the low-disturbance event that we chose to target today. Think about all of the details of the event: what you saw, what you smelled, what you heard, etc. and be mindful of what you notice. Are you ready? Okay, let’s start.
Step three: the chocolate
Empty the bag of chocolate chips into a glass or microwave-safe bowl. Place bowl of chocolate chips into microwave and cook for approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds (or until majority of chips are melted), stirring halfway through with a rubber spatula. Stir the melted chocolate well, to melt any remaining chips; the texture should be completely smooth.
What did you notice? How did it make you feel? I want you to focus on that for awhile while I turn the machine back on and just see where your mind takes you.
Step four: putting it all together
Line up your marshmallow soldiers, your melted chocolate, your tray of graham cracker crumbs, and a cooling rack in close proximity to one another. Start by taking a marshmallow by the stick and plunge it into the melted chocolate, covering it all the way around (don’t worry about the bottom), you should have a medium-thin layer of chocolate (not too thick), so scrape off excess chocolate against the side of the bowl. Then, roll the chocolatey marshmallow in the graham cracker crumbs — don’t forget to smush the top into the crumbs — get as many crumbs on there as you can. Lay your fully-constructed smore pop carefully on the drying rack to cool. Repeat this process for each marshmallow, or until you get tired of making them. If your chocolate starts getting too solid, pop it back in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it’s easily spreadable again. You can either eat the pops while they’re still warm or stick them in a container and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator approximately one hour before you plan to consume them. (Otherwise the chocolate will be cold and it won’t have the right mouth-feel.) Try to share them with others.
What did you notice this time? Where did your mind take you? Is there anything else you noticed? That’s great! I want you to focus on those feelings and let’s try this again.