Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I have been serious Slacker Mama on the Blog Front lately! But I am still here...just been so super busy with moving logistics and business adventures and taking care of all these dang kids, and most recently, gathering supplies to make:

Caramel Lady Apples
(ok, I admit it...its from the Martha Stewart website...)
12 small apples
2 cups hazelnuts or almonds
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter

1. Wash and remove stems from apples. Insert sticks (from small branches or popsicle sticks). Chop nuts and set aside in a bowl.

2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, cream, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Continue cooking 10 to 12 minutes. Fill large bowl with ice water. Remove pan from heat and plunge into ice water briefly to stop cooking.

3. Dip apples into caramel, coating the top and sides with a spoon. Roll bottom in nuts and set on wax paper or tray decorated with colorful leaves.

Now if you are in Germany, perhaps you have had the fun experience of going down to Kaiser's, like I did today, and searching the shelves (just to kill time) for corn syrup. I couldn't find any, though I was impressed by their assortment of sugar in various formats. So, if you have to improvise like I will have to, here are a couple of options...either make your own dang corn syrup (2 c. white sugar, 3/4 c. water, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, Dash of salt. Combine all ingredients in a heavy, large pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put cover on it for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook until it reaches soft ball stage. Stir often. Cool syrup and store in a covered container at room temperature. It will keep for about 2 months. Makes almost 2 cups.) or just buy a package of caramels and melt them over medium heat (ghetto, but that is what Mama Jens is gonna do).

So tonight my daughter and I will make these for Halloween and she can take them with her to the kita tomorrow for their Halloween party. These are super duper organic kids that eat sugar maybe three times a year so these caramel coated apples are gonna be a hit (if I can smuggle them past the teachers that is).

A couple of random things to catch up:

The fall...its amazing. Warm and sunny and this sparkling quality to the light.

The Getting Rid of Things Project is going well. A couple of pieces of furniture have made their way into different hands. I like. We sold our trusty blue Ikea couch on Ebay last night for €5,50. I am happy someone will come to our house and take it away themselves, but I have to admit I felt a rush of nostalgia (this was our first couch bought together as a married couple, this is the couch I liked to take naps with my first born on when she was just weeks old, this is the couch we sat on while watching the children play in the bathtub, etc.) as I watched the auction close on Ebay. Let it go. Just let it go. Gone.

Baby number two turned one a week ago. Of course she had no idea what was going on, but she enjoyed having Happy Birthday sung to her over and over and over. She also just discovered her nostrils, so that has been pretty entertaining. She doesn't pick, however, she just sticks her finger in there like it is a convenient little finger resting place.

The older one is reading!!!! I have been working with her on this pretty consistently, and I am pleased to say that it worked and it didn't take very long.

Okay, time to go collect sticks for my caramel lady apples.