A Backyard S'mores Party: Learn From
My Three Mistakes

Gatherings from The Kitchn

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Yesterday I showed you the backyard S'mores party we threw for my sister's birthday. Today, just in case you're inspired to throw a similar party, let me share three mistakes I made. The more you know, right?

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While the party was super fun, there are three things I would do differently next time:

  1. Choose a cooler day or have the party after sunset.
    This isn't rocket science: campfires are better when it's not 90°F! Surprise surprise. The day of the party was hot, cloudless, and humid, and we lit the fire at 7pm while the sun was still bright. Standing in front of a fire was literally the last thing I wanted to do. It was still an enjoyable party, but I wish we would have started later or had it on a cooler day. We all were much more comfortable after 8:30pm.
  2. Set up an extra table for S'mores assembly.
    As soon as our guests got going with their S'mores I realized we had neglected a key part of S'mores-eating — the assembly! There was a table loaded with fixings, and a fire for the marshmallows, but no good place to take the marshmallow off the fork and put the S'more together. This is sticky business, especially when trying to juggle a hot fork and two graham crackers, and it would have been better to have a big table covered with a plastic tablecloth for S'mores mess. We quickly brought out a stack of big paper plates and people used those for assembly on the lower tables.
  3. Have a spot for the hot, sticky forks and skewers.
    After people roasted their marshmallows, where were they supposed to put their hot skewer or fork? They leaned them up against the fence, or balanced them precariously on a low table, leading to lots of tumbles and dirty, grass-coated skewer tips. In hindsight, I should have brought a tall bucket or bin for stashing the tools in between roasting sessions. I might even have filled it with water to get the forks rinsed off and cooled down.

While we didn't think about sticky S'more assembly or marshmallow-y forks, we did have wipes for hands, which were used extensively, and a lot of bug spray, which made the summer evening a little more comfortable.

Do you have any tips for better backyard parties? Especially in the summertime when it's hot, sticky, and buggy?

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