witticisms by Jess Witty

November 09, 2009

Since we last spoke...

we did a little bit of this... and made a little bit of that. And that's just the beginning. In the midst of our home ringing with the lovely sounds of hacking coughs coming from 3 out of the 4 of us {#5 now has a lovely cold to go along with the rest of us sickies and I'm on week #3 of my cough... nice}, we had a *super* fun Halloween weekend. We're actually really not big into Halloween. However, we didn't do Halloween so much as just spent the entire weekend together doing fun family things. We carved pumpkins just for the heck of it, and made the classic Little Smokie/biscuit "mummies", and even tried our hands at homemade caramel apples. Country Living made me do it. (Be sure to read the recipe below... the caramel temp is incorrect in the recipe through the link!) Can I just say... homemade caramel... yeah, it is like the most underated candy item of all time. Cause it is good, people. Goooooood. And if you have extra caramel, for the love of all that is sweet and sugary, whatever you do... do NOT throw it out. Do you hear me? I made a half recipe to cover 6 apples and still had some extra caramel just staring lovingly up at me from the saucepan. It should come as no surprise to you that my first thought was, "Huh, I bet that would taste good on some homemade popcorn," but seeing as how the caramel was already cooling and there was no fresh popped popcorn just sitting around right at that moment, I went with the much-quicker-yet-slightly-brilliant-and-still-extremely-yummy plan of just dumping the caramel out onto wax paper in little piles and letting them cool. After that I just wrapped them up in some little rectangles of butcher paper and gave them a home in a mason jar. I have visited them often. But I digress. After we dipped the apples and let them cool a bit, I took the apples and the kids out and tortured them with had a little photo shoot. And can I just say, apparently caramel apples are just the thing you need when you want cute kiddie pics. Little miss didn't even get to eat one and she seemed to enjoy herself, anyway. I actually made little brother hold the apple first without eating it. And he did. Seriously. For a few seconds, anyway.
And then it was big brother's turn. And he cooperated, too. I'm sorry, but 3 kids, 3 cute pictures, all in one day... whoa. It was like the perfect storm of all picture taking attempts.
That pretty much made my weekend. And that was all before the trick-or-treating. And to top it all off, who knew that 2 chefs (big and little brother) and their lobster-in-a-lobster-pot (little sister) would get you all the way to the grand prize at the costume contest?! Dude... I think that made big brother's *year.* I didn't get any super cute pics of the kids in their costumes this year, but I did want to show you what I did with one of last year's pics. It just seems like such a shame that they get all dressed up and too darned cute but then you (and they) only get to enjoy it for a short time. I loved little brother's costume last year so I made a fall frame for it so we could enjoy it until the Christmas decorations went up. I just pulled it out this year and I'm so glad I have it! (The 2 little chefs also had hand-drawn curly mustaches this year, too!)
I frame our family Christmas picture each year and set them all out each Christmas... our living room is sort of a retrospective of Christmas' past during the holidays. I love seeing how everyone has changed over the years. I'm contemplating doing that with the Halloween pics, too. Hmmm... might have to whip something up for this year now. Do any of you do anything special with your Halloween pics? And, as a sidenote... I'm already planning next year's costumes! Yeah... I know... crazy. But still. This time, we're all going to get dressed up. I think the kids will love it if we all get in on it. So... I'm already on the search. And what, exactly, am I on the search for? Why, let me tell you. One large black jacket and black wig. One blue nightgown. One green fairy dress. Have you figured it out yet?) And one green tunic with matching green leggings and green felt hat. That's right, kids. We've all agreed on... Peter Pan! Yes, even my husband. He's a team player. Come on, he gets to be Captain Hook... that is totally cool in an evil-bad-guy sort of way. Definitely thinking his costume will be the hardest. I did already score a deeply discounted pirate hook and patch. We also already have an alligator costume for little brother which was the costume that got this whole idea going. I did *not* score the size 18 month Tinkerbell costume I was hoping for, nor the with with the big black curly hair, nor the perfect pirate-y jacket. So, if you have one to lend or send, or have a lead on where I can gather some of this stuff up now for cheap, let me know! I'm thinking I can make the Peter Pan costume pretty easily and super inexpensively, so I'm not so worried about that one. I figure if I start collecting things now, putting this little scheme together will be pretty fun and easy. (Feel free to remind me I said that next October when I start freaking out about it!) Later, friends!

Caramel Apples

12 crisp apples 1 1/3 cup(s) dark corn syrup 1 1/3 cup(s) granulated sugar 1 1/3 cup(s) light brown sugar 1 1/3 cup(s) heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt 3 tablespoon(s) butter 3/4 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

Line a baking pan with a generously oiled sheet of parchment paper. Push a candy apple stick into the core of each apple.

Combine the syrup, sugars, heavy cream, and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F – about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla. Let cool for 6 to 8 minutes, until caramel thickens to a toffeelike consistency.

Dip and gently swirl the apples into the caramel and place on the prepared baking sheet. Let cool completely.


Lisa said...

My kids want to do the Peter Pan thing as a family next year too! We should compare notes.

Disney store had a few of these costumes out this year, so you might be able to find some clearance items, perhaps a wig.

Also, don't under-estimate the ease of a Wendy nightgown. A little cotton with a casing at the top and ribbon drawn through it will work nicely. I think a simple sewing job, with a stitch-witch hem will be pretty easy.

Lisa said...

Authentic Tink costume on "sale" right now. I doubt it will get any cheaper, but fairy things should be around on clearance right now too.


Lisa said...

Ha! Search no further. For a mere $200 (on sale from $495!), you'll have the perfect Captain Hook costume.


You'll have your costumes for the next....let's see...80 years.