“It was her love of life that carried her through everything. The middle of the road was never for her — it bored her. She wanted the pinnacle of excitement.” Liza Minnelli
I think a lot of us have mothers that once upon a time could be referred to as “forces of nature.” I think Judy Garland was one such force. Perhaps a loving whirlwind? I wouldn’t know, she died when I was very tiny. But, I can sense that aspect of her from her daughter’s quote.
I’ve got a black velvet opera cloak of my mom’s I can’t bear to part with it, although I have worn it…never. This time of year I miss her especially. She used to let me take a shears to the hem of her old “dress up” dresses and I would blithely trim off a foot of some incandescent fabric to fashion it into a Halloween costume. She would safety-pin it to fit, and cinch the gown in around my waist with a wide velvet ribbon, and I’d be off to the trick-or-treat races.
And, lest we forget, the things that came out of her kitchen this time of year…delicious…
(note, working with caramel is hot business, be very careful , do not get any simmering syrup on you because it burns like the dickens)
Okay, here we go:
6 super sweet tart crisp apples (I like Fuji), 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup dark corn syrup (the devil’s own, but, remember, you only eat this once a year), 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Wash the apples well, dry them, remove the stem, stick a skewer down the center, and set aside on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
In a saucepan simmer together all the other ingredients—except the vanilla—until a candy thermometer placed in the syrup reads 245º. Take it off the burner and add the vanilla. Dip the apples, one by one, into the syrup. If they aren’t coated completely you can spoon syrup over them while you hold them over the saucepan. Give the apples a little twirl to even things out, then place on the waxed paper to cool. Mom used to also roll them in chopped pecans, but I prefer them straight up.