I love Christmas, I really do. But I’m not ready for it. Not for candy canes and glittery pine cones and red ribbons on the ends of the aisle. I’m not ready for the ghost and goblin decor to be heaped haphazardly on a clearance rack by the checkout while pine boughs and Santa hats flood in from the back room. It’s Halloween this week, thank you very much, it’s Thanksgiving in a month, and there are several beautiful weeks of autumn between now and then.
And for you big-budget stores, I’m really not ready for jingle bells and dancing elves to adorn your circulars & commercials.
So in defiance of the ever-earlier Christmas season, I offer these treats that scream “Halloween!” loudly enough to drown out the dancing elves, at least for the next few days.
I speak, of course, of caramel apples. It’s no wonder this treat is a classic: a tart, crisp apple enrobed in a sheen of chewy honey caramel is one of the greatest joys of fall. These apples are Pink Ladies, my favorite variety, and they hail from this year’s annual apple-picking trip, which has become a cornerstone of every fall for me (my little blog is named after it!)
Most of the other breakfast-y treats I’ve posted here are warm, savory treats: they tend to revolve around potatoes, eggs, or bacon. You might assume that I eat these hearty country breakfasts every day, when in truth, breakfast is usually more of a poached egg and apple sort of affair.
But maybe there’s a happy medium. Something hearty and tasty, but quick enough to pack before I run out the door in the morning. How about some homemade granola?
This granola is not boring. This granola is not bland. This granola is full of oats and almonds and coconut, all toasted together on an ugly old cookie sheet.
So far I’ve posted lots of wholesome (sort of), savory (mostly), meal-type recipes for your reading & eating enjoyment.
It’s time for something truly unnecessary, but totally worth your time.
Too difficult, you say? Surely must be… handmade candy is wildly expensive, so it must be a complicated, time-consuming challenge that only fabulous cooks can achieve after years of training, right?
Here’s the secret that gourmet candy companies don’t want you to know: many candies are deceptively easy to make. Really. A big pot, a wooden spoon, and a candy thermometer (you can find one for less than twenty bucks at a home goods store, maybe even your grocery store’s baking aisle) comprise the bulk of the equipment list.
Of course, you’ll need some ingredients. Candy with no ingredients would be, well, gross.
Of late, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with integrating honey into my cooking. In my continuing quest to eliminate non-local foods from my diet, white sugar is going to be a major challenge. It makes an appearance on the ingredient list of almost any recipe, but it only grows in like, three US states. (Is that redundant, US states? Please advise.) Anyway, unless I plan to move to Florida, Hawaii, or Louisiana, the odds of finding sugar cane at my local farmers market are slim at best. Honey, on the other hand, is fashioned by busy little bees all over the place.