Friday, October 14, 2011

Food For Thought ~ Carmel & Apples

On a recent shopping trip, I was thrilled to find that my hands-down, absolutely, no-doubt-about-it, juiciness-running-down-my-chin, favorite apples were sitting there and smiling at me from across the produce area.  Those scrumptious Honey Crisp beauties were most certainly calling my name, if only I could have heard them over the plaintive voice of my three year old who was also calling my name.  Repeatedly.

"Mom!  Mom!  Mom!"

As soon as I solved the dilemma of the un-openable ziplock snack bag, I made a beeline for the apples and filled my bag.  Their sugary sweetness truly is sweet enough, but then another display caught my eye.


Mmmm ... what a delightful treat to surprise the kids with!  And one I wouldn't mind either.

As I stood in the kitchen later making the carmel dip for the apples, my mind was whisked away to another fall.  Another carmel apple dip treat.  Another sweet memory ...

We three girls sat in our dorm room trying to focus on homework, but succumbing as usual to talking, giggling and painting our nails.  As the wind buffeted the trees outside, we sat on the floor, sipping tea and chatting about classes and classmates.

The lights flickered once and then went out.  The entire campus was plunged into darkness.

We could hear playful screams up and down the hall.  The blackness of night called other students out into the grassy common area to run and yell.  We could hear the mumbled voices of our Residence Hall Assistant making his rounds and encouraging students to settle down.   The power outage had really brought out the craziness of the students!

Debbie fumbled around at her desk and lit a contraband candle.  The soft glow gave off just enough light to see the outlines of the furniture in the room.  A moment later I could hear the mini-fridge's door close and a giggle from Debbie.

"Well ... if we can't study ... who wants a little snack?"

There was the rustle of a package being opened and Debbie handed us each paper towel.

"Here are your apple slices.  Let me find a spoon."

In a moment, Debbie, with the help of the candle, made her way to where we were seated.  In one hand she held a spoon.  In the other hand was a tub of carmel dip.

As we sat on the floor, dipping our apple slices in the sticky goodness, we began talking again.  Knowing us, our conversation wandered from deep spiritual questions about salvation to the new aerobics instructor and her relentless routine of squats and on to boyfriends and boys who were just friends.  Our friendship was sweetened as we shared our hearts there in the darkness around that tub of carmel.

Too soon the lights popped back on.  The stereo came to life again and the alarm clock on the dresser began flashing 12:00.  Our mandatory study break had come to an abrupt end and it was time to get back to work.  We sighed.

And then we laughed.  

In the light of the lamps we discovered something the darkness had hidden.  As we had generously slathered our apple slices in the carmel, we had also inadvertently slathered our hair!  Each dip of the sugary goodness had left a trail of carmel!  What a sticky sweet mess we made!

As I unwrapped each carmel square in preparation of our own apple dip, it was a treat to reminisce back to that fall night years ago.  Even with that night being 18 falls ago (gulp!), I still remember the sweetness of the carmel and the company and the conversation.

God calls us to that same sweet company and conversation with Him.  In Psalm 119 we read a little bit about the sweetness of God and the benefits that come from time spent with Him.

102 I have not departed from Your laws, 
   for You Yourself have taught me. 
103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, 
   sweeter than honey carmel to my mouth! 
104 I gain understanding from Your precepts; 
   therefore I hate every wrong path.
(Psalm 119:102-104, editing mine)

As we spend time in prayer with Him and in reading His Word, we will discover the truth of Psalm 34:8.  We will "taste and see that the Lord is good!"  And we'll want to share that goodness with those around us as we walk His path!

Here's a little sweetness for you ...

Carmel Dip Delight
1 package carmel squares, unwrapped (plan this time into your preparation ... about 5 minutes!)
2/3 cup evaporated milk

All ready for dipping!

Put the carmel and milk in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat on high for one minute.  Stir.  Heat on high for another minute and stir again.  Heat one more minute on high and then use a whisk to combine the carmel and milk.  It will be quite watery until it begins to cool.  Of course you can dip any old apple, but I'd recommend a Honey Crisp!

Here are some picks from our recent dipping:

In spite of eating the carmel while sitting around our well-lit kitchen table, the kids still ended up with an awful lot of carmel dribbled down their chins, smeared across the table and, you guessed it, dripped in their hair!

Day 6:  Me, Myself & I
Day 9:  I Heart You
Day 13:  Handmade with Care
Day 14:  Food For Thought ~ Carmel & Apples

1 comment:

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