Hot Dogs and Marshmallows
While fire pits are often enjoyed as a way for a group of friends to sit around a fire and spend time together joking and telling stories, they can also provide for some wonderful traditional family time. We didn't have fire pits when I was a kid, but I do remember camp fires when we went camping as a family and evening picnics on the beach or on the rocks by the ocean with a fire to sit around. My dad would make the fire, and my mom brought a picnic basket with hot dogs and buns and skewers. I know grilling is popular today, but nothing compares to watching the hot dog turn brown over an open flame. Then after the hot dogs, out would come the plastic bag of marshmallows. This was one of the big challenges when I was a kid. How to hold a skewered marshmallow over the fire at just the right height that would make it deliciously browned without letting it get close enough to the flame to catch fire. The challenge is so not much skill as patience, which most kids aren't very good with when they are thinking about how good that treat is going to be. I almost never succeeded in browning the marshmallow since my impatience inevitably took the puffy white dessert closer and closer to the flame. It turns out that marshmallows seriously combustable; it also turns out that they are seriously delicious when they are charred black with gooey sugar on the inside. Even the scolding by parents who never failed to point out that this was not the proper way to do it, could not dampen the joy of the experience. If there is point to this blog, it is to remember how much kids love a good fire and what a fire pit can do to bring a family together. One more thought; I am a grandfather now, and I still would rather cook a hot dog over an open fire than any other way.