c o u n t e r  s e r v i c e

Issue Two: S'Mores

Issue two: S'mores



The summer of 2016 in the Northeast was a goddamn beauty and a beast. With the temperatures hanging above 90 for way too many days and calendars filling up weeks in advance — and weddings. All the weddings. It was like I was constantly sweating and running and laughing and eating and drinking bubbly or Daiquiris. So I'm psyched about the official onset of Autumn. I’m not dragging out the decorative gourds or ordering pumpkin spice lattes or breaking out the knit sweaters or making sure I only drink red wine, but I am getting pumped for cute jackets and stirred cocktails and S’mores.

I was at a wedding in Jersey a few weeks ago, and a clutch move on the bride and groom’s part was to have a S’mores station after dinner. Not only did it bring that potentially perfect dessert into play, but it also meant there was a fire pit (see: the ideal hang out spot during Fall). As I was loading up a stick with some mallows, I overheard someone (obviously not with me) say “no no, I don’t like S’mores, thanks.” I snapped my neck quick and hit my friend with some side-eye.

“I don’t think I want to be friends with anyone who doesn’t like S’mores,” she whispered. I can’t say I’m going to have that on my set of interview questions when hanging with new people, but how can you not like S'mores?

Imagine: a graham cracker — not too crunchy or so stiff that when you break it you get those crazy crumbs, but not too stale (no one likes a soft Graham), maybe say one that’s from a package that’s been open for a day or two — with a piece of dark as hell chocolate that’s been sitting at room temperature (or, perfect temperature being when you put it in your hand, there’s a little that’s melted on your knuckles.) There you are, sitting on a log on the beach with the sound of small waves high-fiving the coast in the background, holding a stick or twig reaching into the fire keeping you in a t-shirt on a night that would normally require a hoodie, with a marshmallow on the end, barely in the orange tip of the blaze.

Now, cooking that marshmallow is a topic of heated debate. Do you slow roast? Golden brown? Char, eat that carcinogenic outer layer and dive back in for another few rounds? Do you have patience, until you don’t and it catches on fire at the last moment? My ideal — no matter what the technique — is to have the marshmallow hot enough throughout that when it hits that chocolate it starts to melt. Firm but not crispy graham cracker, melting chocolate, warm marshmallow, graham cracker. Lean back on that log, maybe prop a hand into the sand. Look up at the sky and find some stars that you might not be able to see in the city life that you probably live, listen to your friends debate which cooking method is the best for marshmallows, and maybe hear them argue over who is going on the next beer run. Feel that Fall breeze nip your back, but have that fire warm your front and dive into that S’mores.

Tell me: how can you not like S’mores?

— Josh Hamlet



The Summer Hustle
by Lexie Roth

Summer. Expansive growth. Flowers and humans tilting their heads to the sky synchronized with the desperate need of energy from the sun. Sweat, cold beer, sandy sheets and that weightless feeling of submerging your body into water. Reset button. That dusty ripe taste of a sun-gold tomato falling off the vine, lemon verbena sun-tea and way too many iced coffees. Oysters with lemon and horseradish fresh as the ocean, paella cooked over a fire with lobster broth and beer and wine poured on by friends. These are the reasons I keep coming back. 

I have lived on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer since I was in the womb. As each year passed, my parents figured out a way to stay, just a little longer, just a little longer. Crash with friends, rent another house somewhere, stay in a shitty motel down island for a night, anything to have one more lobster roll, one more pile of steamers dipped in butter, one more dip of smoked bluefish spread and to get our hair salty again.


Classic Pairings
by Sarah Boisjoli


Blond by Frank Ocean and Dranks
by Kelvin Uffre

When Frank dropped three pieces of art in the span of 24 hours, I was hooked. I had to listen to everything out there, I had to try to get my hands on Boys Don’t Cry (okay I didn’t get a copy, but I’m still hoping), and I had to memorize every damn line of that album. Soft. Sparse. Overwhelmingly nostalgic. Emotional. Gorgeous. I couldn’t stop talking about Blond. I asked Kelvin to have a few listens through the album and pair the feeling of the album with some bomb cocktails. I can’t say these cocktails are your typical, so maybe I should put a parental advisory on them? Or maybe we’re all adults and these are a perfect pairing. — J.H.

Ferrari Bianco
“White Ferrari” Track 14

1 oz White Armagnac
1oz fresh pressed white grape juice
.5oz Genepi
Serve in Opulent milk glass over hand cracked ice
Garnish with pearl necklace dusted in White Ferrari powder (see: above)

White Ferrari Powder
1 pint caffeine powder
1 pint powder sugar
1/2 pint citric acid


The Dishwasher
by Kate Reutersward

Let me tell you about my life without a dishwasher.

It is hell on Earth.

I want you to know that I’ve considered being constructive about the situation. I’ve looked up portable dishwashers. There’s nowhere to put it. You need room to hook it up to a water source, and our water source would either be the kitchen sink or the tub. I have space in my tub, I considered it, and passed it by my husband, but that got voted down.

The lack of dishwasher in my life is the rock to my Sisyphus. It is the eagle to Prometheus’ liver. It is Hercules’ ten tasks. I just looked up Hercules’ ten tasks to make sure I wasn’t committing some sort of blasphemy against Greek mythology, and it turns out that he was originally ordered to perform ten and then Eurystheus invalidated two of them, requiring him to perform twelve total tasks. Twelve is a lot of tasks. It’s just like when you finish washing all the dishes and breathe a sigh of relief and then realize there’s a plate and a coffee cup and fork in the other room. And you have to put them in the sink as though you didn’t just completely clear the decks.

It’s like I started at the bottom and instead of being here, I’m still at the bottom.

We washed every dish in the house last night and then we ate breakfast and we were back to square one. I am never not washing dishes. (Except when my husband is washing them, and I have to add that disclaimer, because washing dishes is something he does often.)

Have you ever tried to throw a dinner party for six, let alone eight, with no dishwasher? That’s why we carefully choose themes featuring food that can be eaten in bowls. You’re not getting a fork and knife, girl. A spoon will do.

I like platters. I like putting condiments in bowls. I like having an excess of glassware on the table. I hate the dishes. The dishes are going to kill me.

I’ve started wearing rubber gloves to protect my nails, which only adds to the effect. I am a grandma? A prostate surgeon? The scary nurse on the cover of Blink 182’s Enema of the State? I don’t even know.

I feel like some people dream of designer bags or exotic getaways. All I want is a dishwasher.

8am in SoCal
Playlist by Lizzie Noonan and Jimmy O'Keeffe

"Imagine you're in a cafe, in Venice, California, at 8am grabbing a green juice or almond croissant or cortado or whatever they do out there at 8am. That's your inspiration for this playlist... go!" — Almost exactly what I said to Lizzie and Jimmy and this is what they put out — wavey vibes, brah. — J.H. 

Young — Frankie Cosmos
Eventually — Tame Impala
Liquor Locker — Vic Mensa
Best to You — Blood Orange
Like a Dream — Francis and the Lights
Home Recording — Mount Kimble
All I Wanna Do — Kazy Lambist
Timmy's Prayer — Sampha
So Much it Hurts — Niki & the Dove
Do You Believe? — Poolside

Listen to the rest of the playlist on Spotify...

Jimmy and Lizzie are best friends from college. They both enjoy dumplings, dive bars, and bike rides — preferably together and in that order.

Until next time, you smoke shows, you.
xo, counterservice