There’s Never an Oompa-Loompa Around When You Really Need One

Earlier this week, Justin came home with a note from his teacher asking for each of the children in the class to bring in an “Apple” item at the end of the week. It could be anything from apple slices to apple juice to dried apples. (I suggested Apple Beer! What’s funnier than a room full of drunken kindergarteners!?!?) These choices were too simple for my son! Instead, he informed us that he wanted “an apple cake with white frosting, sprinkles and a worm coming out of it.”

I thought “Why not?” He had something specific in mind and there was no real reason why we could not oblige. However, (after further thought) I realized that this was about to become MY homework assignment due to lack of time, Justin’s waning interest, and GWE’s travel schedule. After some intense negotiations with Justin, we settled on something a little easier…or so I thought.

Justin liked the idea of Caramel Apples with Gummy Worms. The plan was to use the apples from MOGWE’s garden, dip them into caramel, and then stick multi-colored gummy worms all over them. Easy, right? Nope.

Did you know that caramel dip doesn’t work when making caramel apples? It’s not thick enough. So, after a second trip to the grocery store, I picked up caramel candies. According to the instructions, you are supposed to put 28 candies and a ¼ cup of water into a crock pot for an hour to an hour and a half (for 8 apples), wait until thick & syrupy, and then dip! I tripled the recipe to make sure I had enough, but I forgot to take into consideration that I would need to triple the time it would take to cook. I turned the crock pot on at 7:30pm. By 10:30pm, I still had a pot of brown, sweet soup. Uh-oh!

11:00pm – brown soup…

11:30pm – brown soup….

12:00am – brown soup…

12:30am – brown soup…

1:15am – A MIRACLE OCCURRED! After nearly six hours of heating and cooling the caramel, it was finally thick enough for the apples to be dipped in.

Then, problem number 2 arose…the gummy worms were too heavy for the caramel to hold them in place. Solution: I jammed each one onto the stick so it looked like they were coming out of the bottom of the apples. (I get my best ideas at 1am!)

At 1:30am, the caramel…the apples…the gummy worms…and I – went to bed!

I would like to thank Justin’s kindergarten class for giving me a new “transferable skill.” I can now make caramel apples! All I need is the ability to guess your age/weight or make funnel cakes and my transformation into a “Carny” will be complete.

Interesting fact #1: Fresh apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air.

Interesting fact #2: Johnny Appleseed’s real name was John Chapman. And, the only surviving tree planted by Johnny Appleseed is on the farm of Richard and Phyllis Algeo of Nova, Ohio. It is named “Rambo.”

Interesting fact #3: I will never make Caramel Apples ever again!!!!

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