The web-development space I share is above beloved local ice-cream-and-donut shop West Chester Scoop. We named it "@superscoop" on Twitter. West Chester Scoop is a great ice-cream-and-donut shop: they’ve won every local “best dessert” award I’m aware of in the past year that they’ve been open.
You might not know it, but they have a bright, cheerful parlor downstairs (with a gas fire!) Here’s a panorama I made with Pano, the iPhone panorama app — the door up the stairs to @superscoop is on the right:
Like every ice cream shop, Scoop is slow in the winter. We thought they could investigate having softer lighting, comfy chairs, satellite radio, and maybe hot chocolate, hot cider, and s’mores, especially in the afternoons and evenings. This is for selfish reasons: when Kate and I have date night, I want to go sit by the fire someplace and talk, do some needlepoint, have some hot chocolate, maybe roast a marshmallow over a sweet ninja sterno hibachi (thanks for the idea, bestmochalatte!)
Okay, focusing in just on the s’mores thing for a minute: every s’mores hibachi is the same one you’ve already seen everywhere. There is great room for improvement here. For instance, what if you could toast your marshmallows over a TINY 55-GALLON HOBO DRUM? Why, the marshmallow forks could be shaped like tiny bindle sticks!
Like all ideas involving fire, this is a fantastic idea with absolutely no drawbacks.
How could this be realized? Well, cans of sterno could go into bisque containers, like you can get across the street at The Painted Plate. So @superscoop colleague Randy and I went over to talk to Chet at West Chester’s friendly paint-your-own pottery store The Painted Plate at lunchtime:
Chet agreed with us that bisque and fire is not a terrible combination (after all, many of his pieces are already tea-light holders and what have you), so we brought back an unpainted hippo to use as a tester. We thought we’d never use a hippo as a s’mores furnace, but I’d happily toast a marshmallow over this happy hippo. Here it is, holding a standard sterno can:
There are some technical considerations here; for instance, I think that I’ll put sand in the bottom of the hippo, so that the lip of the sterno can will be level with the top of the hippo (it got HOT from contacting the flame.) Also, I think it would be best to securely attach the base to a round platter, to be absolutely certain it won’t tip. But right now, I need your suggestions for sterno holders! Here are our ideas so far
- A miniature log campfire
- A miniature 55-gallon drum
- A clapped out Yugo up on blocks
- A pyramid of tires
- A pyramid of skulls
- A mountain of hundred-dollar bills
- A horrified snowman
- A ninja, either on fire or guarding a sweet pool of flames
- A nuclear cooling tower
What are we overlooking? Frankly, I’m not sure whether to stay away from kitsch (the miniature campfire is, you know, classy), or to EMBRACE the kitsch (the horrified snowman, engulfed in flames, which I’m guessing is already on sale at Spencer’s Gifts next to the “Mexican Horny Toads”.)
What does “tabletop fire” suggest to you?
UPDATE: OMG. OMG. OMG: A. VIKING. SHIP!!!