I don’t recall the first time I ate a caramel apple. I remember the first time I tried to make my own. A college girlfriend and I unwrapped all the caramels in the package, put them in the saucepan to heat, and initially followed the recipe on the bag. But the recipe barely calls for any water and we were sure that couldn’t be right. We added water till we considered it sufficient. We then discovered we had a lovely sauce but the mixture was way too runny to cover the apples—a life lesson you might say. (Maybe several life lessons: consider following the directions before embarking on a project; when you make a mistake, use it to some advantage! The sauce was lovely for dipping apples. It did not go to waste!)
I have made many such apple treats successfully since then and probably purchased about as many as I have made. There is just something about the crispness of the apple and the sweetness of the caramel that gives me such pleasure. My mother had a similar delight. I recall so many times my mother declaring, “Oh, I just love a tarty apple!” We always smiled when she said it. She truly took such pleasure in that small act and so predictably responded with the same comment every single time.
In the midst of all that we deal with in our daily lives and in the world around us, we surely need to identify those little comforts which bring us miniature bursts of something akin to joy. Last year I spent a lot of time in airports, going through the frequent hassles air travel entails. I often found caramel apples available for sale and took the opportunity to indulge. I would sit at my gate to await my flight, eat my caramel apple and count my blessings.
Chadwick Boseman, who concealed his cancer for several years before dying, tweeted: “Inhale and exhale this moment, and thank God for the unique beauties and wonders of this day.” What a great reminder!
So I urge you to take care of yourselves. Seek small pleasures. Inhale and exhale this moment……And, if you are so inclined, eat an apple!
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
P.S. Hope’s Café Bonus: melt an 11 oz. bag of caramels with 3/4t. vanilla extract, and 1 T. water over low heat, stirring constantly. When melted, insert wooden craft sticks in four washed and dried Granny Smith (or other tart—“tarty” 😊) apples. Dip in the mixture and set them on buttered waxed paper. You may sprinkle nut pieces, mini chocolate chips or other add-ons as your taste and creativity allow. Then set in refrigerator for caramel to harden a bit. Enjoy…and count your blessings!