Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Apples weren't the only thing that caught my eye at the orchard on Monday. On the counter, conveniently located by the store register, and sealed in these snack-sized bags for $1, were a basketful of red hots. Loads of red hots. Seeing them made me a little nostalgic. My mother used to have a mason jar full of them on our kitchen counter. Every once in a while she would make baked apples with a handful of red hots tossed into the mix. They turned the apple flesh a vibrant red and made them smell and taste of spice. My friend, Elizabeth, adds them to her homemade applesauce, and let me tell you - one bite makes you feel like you should go out and stew a pot for yourself to keep on hand for whatever ails you: chicken noodle soup's fruity cousin.
You know where this is going. One of those little bags found its way home with me. Other projects have kept me from kicking off an apple/red hot-fest in my kitchen. But, my fingers keep finding their way to that zip-lock bag. I sneak the candy a piece or two at a time, enjoying the hot zing on my tongue before the top coat melts and I'm left with a small smooth drop. Each time I open the bag, it's as if I'm ushering in the best of fall: the joys of color, heat, and spice. Now if I could just get around to cooking the apples to go with them. Hmm...