Even though southern Ontario has enjoyed a remarkable lack of snow so far this winter, it seems to me that we’ve had an abundance of dull, grey weather lately.
I don’t know about you, but the damp, dull cold makes me want to burrow in with a good book and some good food. As I let my mind range over all the wonderful possibilities, I recalled a scene from a book I once wrote but have relegated to safe storage in the cloud. In it, two women are reading the diaries of their late mother and they’re shocked to learn things about their parents’ relationship that they had never suspected.
* * * * *
Excerpt from “Isla’s Chance”
“Aw, man … just when I think things are going along okay in mom’s life, we get sideswiped by something like this.” Colleen took an apple slice from the bowl on the kitchen island where she and Laura were sitting on tall stools while reading.
She dipped the apple into thick, warm caramel sauce and then pushed the mini-Crockpot toward her sister. “You have some. I’ve gotta stop eating this stuff,” she said. “At first I was eating because it was a treat, but right now I think I’m eating to calm my nerves.” She took a bite. “There’s a whole can of condensed milk in this dip, isn’t there?”
“Uh huh.” Laura tried to look apologetic. “And a whole lot of brown sugar and butter too.”
Colleen reached out and pulled the Crockpot closer again, turning her apple slice so she could dip the unbitten end back into the caramel.
Laura pulled the pot back. “Better leave it right in the middle,” she admonished. “The stuff we’re reading right now is a bit unnerving and I need some comfort food too.”
Colleen nodded. “Mom and Dad weren’t the most lovely-dovey couple I’ve ever met, but I thought they got along okay. I would never have guessed that Mom felt like this.”
“Especially not so early in their marriage.” Laura took a thoughtful bite of her apple before picking up the diary. “But I sure am glad we have this beautiful dip to get us through the tough spots.” She shrugged and smiled. “I guess we may as well keep going. At least until the caramel runs out.”
* * * * *
Maybe you have a tough spot that needs getting through, or maybe it’s just another cold, grey day. Either way, warm, creamy caramel (in moderation, of course!) just might help, and I’m happy to share the recipe.
Race you to the kitchen!
CREAMY CARAMEL DIP
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c corn syrup
1/2 c butter
Combine all ingredients in heavy pot. Stir constantly while heating over medium heat until boiling. Serve with fresh apple slices. Keep warm in a mini Crockpot or reheat in microwave.