the call of the wild: lakes, loons, and s’mores

September 4, 2012

Yesterday I woke just before dawn to the sound of loons calling. I’d heard them the night before too, and the nights before that, as I fell asleep in my tent. There’s something so reassuring about the beautiful, mournful wail of the loon – the haunting lullaby of the wild.

I was fifteen kilometres down a lake or two, one beaver dam, and two portages into Killarney Provincial Park in Northern Ontario, and just over 700 kilometres from my home, on a Wild Women Expedition. This was my second trip with the all-women outdoor adventure company, who are less about ‘women going wild’ than they are about getting women into the wild.

Tonight I was back in my kitchen in Kingston, still thinking about being out on the open lakes, about finally being able to stern a canoe, about swimming in crystal clear water, about campfires in the evening, about owls calling during the night, and loons and whippoorwills, about beaver dams, full moons and jack pines, and thick mist hanging over the mornings.

I was also thinking about the fantastic S’mores we had around the fire on our last night. S’mores have gone upmarket since I last had them years ago. We made them with premium extra dark chocolate and they were wickedly good. So tonight, feeling the loss of the lake and the eight women I was canoeing with, and missing the call of the wild, I made a batch of S’mores Bars. Not quite the same as S’mores made around the campfire but a pretty soothing alternative.

I looked at a dozen or more recipes online, before using a combination. Most of the recipes call for Marshmallow Fluff. I can’t bring myself to actually buy this. It seems hypocritical to have a shopping cart full of healthy things like organic greens, yoghurt, honey, apples, dark chocolate – and a jar of Marshmallow Fluff. I know that marshmallows aren’t exactly under-processed – but still – they seem more excusable than a jar of Fluff, particularly in combination with graham crackers and dark chocolate.

Also, most of the recipes call for an awful lot of sugar. I’ve cut the amount drastically – so that you can actually taste the chocolate. I served the squares warm with rich vanilla ice cream. I’m thinking S’mores Bars would be fun on a dinner party menu.  They’ll keep me going until I get back onto the water again next summer.

 S’mores Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups mini marshmallows

2 cups DARK semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s Premium dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease a 9 x 13 inch glass baking pan.

Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture to form soft dough. Press ⅔ of the dough into the baking dish. Sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Spoon or somehow place the rest of the dough over the top. I used my hands for this. It does not need to be evenly covered – clumps of dough are fine.

Bake until golden brown – about 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares as desired.

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  • Reply laura mechefske September 5, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Amazing pics – both the food and the wilderness 🙂
    Now I just need an excuse to bake a batch!


    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Perfect potluck dessert – makes a big pan and who doesn’t like S’mores? xoxox

  • Reply Jennifer Smeltzer September 5, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Not sure which photos I like better. The recipe, or the wild.
    Another fine entry!

  • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Thanks Jennifer! I love them all- the wild – the wild women – and the s’mores!

  • Reply Elly September 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    So glad you had such a good time on your trip, mumma – looks beautiful. The s’mores look great too (especially with ice cream!), any thoughts on a chocolate-free alternative?
    Love you!

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Elly – I’ll try them with butterscotch & peanut butter chips for you. Oh and walnuts. And then drizzle homemade butterscotch sauce over the icecream. YUM!! next time you’re home…xoxoxoxo

      • Reply Elly September 6, 2012 at 9:46 am

        Yum! Sounds amazing! 🙂 You’re the best, mumma!

  • Reply Jessica September 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    ahahaha oh my god Lindy you should totally plan a ‘women going wild’ event! it would definitely be a highlight of my life.

    • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      totally ready to ‘go wild’ Jess – let’s do it! xoxox

  • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I LOVE Cronk Lake!
    And yes – nothing more gorgeous than the call of a loon – except perhaps – the call of an owl.
    Don’t worry about your waist-line Kendra – you’re beautiful in every way.

  • Reply Michelle September 6, 2012 at 6:41 am

    I’ll take the call of the wild and pass on s’mores for now. Even though they look really good I have a lot of waist to get rid of before next summer. Maybe next summer I’ll be naughty

  • Reply Lindy Mechefske September 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    nice Michelle – you’re gearing up to be a wild woman?

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