J Simens.com

Holy #3*^ What Happened?

Happy Fourth of July to my American Friends
Freedom is something we should all be proud of and enjoy.

Logan County, Kansas - 2011

These are my favorite freedoms this year:

  • Freedom to enjoy my work.
  • Freedom to use my unique talents (I will let you know what they are when I get this figured out).
  • Freedom to make a difference to my family.
  • Freedom to spend time with friends and family.

Now – On to the Fourth!

We have spent far more 4th of July’s outside of the USA  than in the USA. We have been lucky to spend some of our 4th at Lake Tahoe. At times, my children knew more about South African freedoms, the red shirts in Thailand and the fall of the government in Indonesia then they did about USA history.

We have a family ritual of making  s’mores. Not a big deal in most places but imagine how you do it when you live in the remote area of Sumatra.  When we were living in Indonesia, we got to plan our whole years worth of supplies to be shipped into the country. I would carefully plan what we might need for the year and have it packed up. I would wait until the ship left the USA, got to Indonesia, cleared customs and arrived at my home – this does not work with marshmallows or chocolate bars.

We could easily pack the graham crackers, and they would arrive in Sumatra, and the expiration date had not hit yet so this was great. Sadly to say the marshmallows did not weather the heat on the docks, the long trip and the wait at customs. They were a block of melted mess that was not fluffy at all. I had packed chocolate bars in my purse, and after we had cleared customs, they went deep into the back of the refrigerator to get hard once again – melted from the long trip.

The next year we put the marshmallows and chocolate bars pre-wrapped into individual foil packages so they would go directly from our suitcases into the freezer after the long trip. This was OK but not ideal.

Those s’mores were the best my children every had, and now we have mastered making s’mores in lots of non-traditional ways. One of my favorites is still in the fireplace in the summer heat!

From “Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child”

Family rituals create closeness
My family has a series of rituals that we love. Some are tied to holidays, birthdays, and special events, but some are just around because of their longevity and fun. When your children are expatriates, often parents look for things that might connect their child to their ‘home’. Also many rituals can be based around food. We make S’mores.

OH, MY GOODNESS! Holy #3*^ What Happened to the Marshmallows!

Jet-Puffed Marshmallows are a product first introduced in 1958. It was sold as a national brand in 1959. It has more than 30 different flavors to its brand name. I want to buy the following types,

  • SnowmanMallows
  • StrawberryMallows
  • Gingerbread Mallows
  • Cinnamon Bun
  • Puffed Chocolate

There is a company called GudFud who make stuffed marshmallows. They have a royal fruit jelly stuffed marshmallows and chocolate stuffed marshmallows.


The company Artisan Marshmallows: Plush Puffs now makes many types  of marshmallows including Caramel Swirl – that is like a “sticky toffee.” Chocolate Chipetta, Maple Pecan, Peppi-Mint, and Toasted Coconut are all interesting marshmallows. Sydney’s Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean, and Sam’s Sour Lemon also seem interesting.

Don’t forget to try Hello Kitty Tropical Pineapple Marshmallows they are in the bag with a white cat holding a pineapple, dressed in a sharp polka dotted blue dress and sporting a blue hibiscus flower at her ear.

I often get lost in the USA grocery story after living abroad for so long!

I went to get our 4th of July s’more ingredients, and it is way too hard to decide what to buy. The Honey Maid Honey Grahams in a fresh stack pack seemed like a good idea since I could keep them fresh unlike those soggy ones that made it past customs in the tropics. The Hershey’s milk chocolate bars seemed like the traditional old bars that I always purchased, but they did list that the bars have allergy information because they are manufactured on the same equipment the processes almonds and peanuts.

The thing that threw me off was the “Giant Roasters” from Campfire – These were premium quality marshmallows naturally fat-free and gluten-free. I got stuck reading the package!  Did you know marshmallows were flammable? They also had a choking warning!  Now – one marshmallow is one serving and it weighs 28 grams and is worth 90 calories of which 22 grams are carbohydrates, and 15 grams are sugar.  I know it does not add up so are some of my grams both carbs and sugars!

It is the fourth of July, and I am stuck in Village Market reading packages. Chili cook-off to start soon and then the beach! Then the BBQ and then the fireworks!


Back to the fourth!

If you want more marshmallow information, please read this.

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