Don’t mess with s’mores, s.v.p... unless it’s for f’mores. They are my Gallic version of the gooey, sinfully rich and highly caloric, all-American dessert that the Girl Scouts invented in the 1920s. Graham crackers are sandwiched together with marshmallows roasted over campfire embers, and chocolate. S’mores are in our genes.

I have three half-French grandchildren. Two summers ago, when California closed its schools, Covid sent the family fleeing Los Angeles to Antibes for two years. French schools reopened after six months of Zoom learning while California gave way to the powerful teachers’ unions and remained closed until...

Don’t mess with s’mores, s.v.p… unless it’s for f’mores. They are my Gallic version of the gooey, sinfully rich and highly caloric, all-American dessert that the Girl Scouts invented in the 1920s. Graham crackers are sandwiched together with marshmallows roasted over campfire embers, and chocolate. S’mores are in our genes.

I have three half-French grandchildren. Two summers ago, when California closed its schools, Covid sent the family fleeing Los Angeles to Antibes for two years. French schools reopened after six months of Zoom learning while California gave way to the powerful teachers’ unions and remained closed until this past spring.

Before leaving, the family came to us. We celebrated both the Fourth of July and Bastille Day (July 14) in Montecito, with a pique-nique de trois nations. The picnic reflected the bicultural DNA of our family — with a soupçon of Britishness thrown in for grandpa.

For the main course I made a traditional Mediterranean soupe au pistou, a no-nonsense vegetable soup often served in France for the fête nationale. A mix of ripe summer veggies can be thrown in, so long as you have fresh garlic, fresh tomatoes and basil.

Our daughter, Lucy, has a generational conniption over the boys’ sugar intake so I was stumped over what to have for dessert. In my book, dessert isn’t dessert unless it has some glucose. The boys love s’mores and the fun of roasting marshmallows over hot coals after les hot dogs, but the risk of wildfires here in California has become imminent due to serious drought. I had to improvise.

The three boys also love fromage, any sort. Even goat cheese. And they definitely like baguettes and wouldn’t refuse chocolate, any chocolate. Nutella and peanut butter are part of their approved diet. So I came up with f’mores, a gastronomic entente cordiale, if you like.

The family is now Down Under, where their papa Cédric, a talented cameraman, is finding work in a burgeoning film industry and the boys are being educated in a safe, small town. I’m going to remind both parents, as July 4 and 14 approach this year, of the pistou and f’mores on our deck, not so long ago, and suggest that their f’mores can be grilled on the “barbie” Down Under.

F’mores

26-inch baguette

8 oz goat cheese mixed with 4 oz crushed blueberries (or 4 oz Trader Joe’s Wild Blueberry Vanilla Fresh Goat cheese mixed with 4 oz of Trader Joe’s Silver Goat Chèvre)

¼ cup Nutella

¼ cup smooth peanut butter

⅛ cup coarsely ground almonds

4 milk chocolate bars (Hershey’s)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice a warm baguette lengthwise. Scoop out the soft middle. Spread bottom half with room-temperature goat Cheese. Spread Nutella and peanut butter on top of cheese. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped nuts. Cover with milk chocolate. Join halves together. Wrap in foil and bake in oven for ten minutes or on outdoor grill. Slice into 1-inch portions.

Soupe au pistou

1 ½ quarts water

½ lb green beans

½ lb canned kidney beans

3 small potatoes

3 small zucchini

4 oz vermicelli, broken into quarters

2 cloves garlic

3 fresh basil leaves

2 tomatoes, peeled and seeded

2 tsp canned tomato paste

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tbsp grated Parmesansalt and pepper

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s July 2022 World edition.