The Cheesecake Factory has a new cheesecake flavor. It's called Toasted Marshmallow S'Mores Galore. It tastes as decadent as it sounds, and I think it's one of their better cheesecakes. It's comprised of Hershey's chocolate cheesecake, with chocolate frosting on top, a thick blanket of toasted marshmallow draped over the cheesecake, crumbled graham crackers sprinkled throughout, one artfully placed graham cracker square, and whipped cream. The toasted marshmallow blanket is sweet and thick, and is deliciously rich, especially when mixed with the chocolate cheesecake. The cheesecake itself is a smooth, rich chocolate, and the frosting on top is a bold accent of chocolate flavor. There seems to be more whipped cream than usual with this flavor of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, and the fact that the whipped cream is sprinkled with graham cracker fools you into thinking you should eat the mound of whipped cream as if it were ice cream or mousse. This cheesecake, for lack of a better word, is quite yummy! It is, however, extremely rich and I could only finish about half of it. Bring a friend when you try the S'Mores Cheesecake!
S'mores are definitely a summertime treat. To be honest, I never actually had s'mores growing up. We had plenty of toasted marshmallows, toasted over barbecues with charcoal, sometimes just browned on the outside, sometimes toasted until they were charred and black on the outside, and gooey and almost liquid on the inside. Those were the best kind. It wasn't until I was much older that I found out that some people went the extra step and brought graham crackers and chocolate into the mix. I think I prefer just the toasted marshmallows, to be honest, probably because they play such a large role in my summer memories. I see the point of adding the graham crackers and chocolate, but it's the toasted marshmallows that really mean summertime for me.
How many of our childhood memories end up defining who we are? I have a memory from early childhood that I know played a significant part in defining who I am. I was around seven or eight years old. I had written a poem about the American flag. Someone in my household thought it would be a good idea to send it to the President. The President! Well, we mailed him the poem. And one day, there was a letter in my mailbox with a return address that said "The White House." And it was addressed to me.
It was a letter from President Gerald Ford, thanking me for sending him my poem. I remember getting the mail, and seeing the crisp white envelope with the words "The White House" on it, and feeling so excited. I actually got a letter from the White House! From the President of the United States!
It's been quite a few years since that letter arrived. I don't remember what the letter actually said, and I don't even remember the poem that I wrote. But I do remember how I felt when I got that letter. Besides being excited, I felt really important, like something that I had done really mattered. I'm not sure who's idea it was to send the letter, or what the intention had been. Quite possibly, my mother or father just thought it would be something fun to do. It actually had a much bigger impact, and left me with the feeling that great things can happen when you put yourself out there. Whoever thought that the President would write to me, a girl living in a small suburb of New York, who hand-wrote a poem in pencil on some lined paper? But he did.
I'm really thankful to my parents for that moment, for showing me that anything is possible. Why not send a letter to the President of the United States? Why not do something, be proud of something, reach for something, no matter how unreachable it may seem? It was a good lesson, and it's a lesson worth repeating I think. For kids and for adults. For all of us.
Have a great week. And invite a friend to share some of that S'mores Cheesecake!