Roasting the Perfect Marshmallow in Cannon Beach, Oregon
Flame sidles up the underside of the driftwood; a shivering crackle, as a new log catches. Our marshmallows, skewered by twigs, rest on the rotisserie of a few warmed rocks. Every thirty seconds, we turn them; their skins glow golden. To achieve the perfect coating of crisp, browned skin, we have to watch them attentively. Visitors who earlier threw footballs and splashed in the Pacific now huddle around their scattered fires. Bonfires are a summer night tradition on the Oregon Coast. From behind our backs, water scatters into broken wave. Former castles and mounds of sand have turned into a smooth, darkened plane. Haystack Rock—the pirate rock from The Goonies—sits humped among the waves; the sun bleeds light onto the darkening Cannon Beach. We tend our marshmallows with the dedication of priests. I pull mine from the fire and take it scalding between my fingers, slip the charred skin off the body: on my tongue mingle crisp, burnt sugar and an aftertaste of salt.