The seasons here seem to follow the calendar really well.
So when much of the country starts to cool off at the beginning of September and we are still having temperatures in the 90s every day, I know our time is coming...
the first day of Fall here was marked by an abrupt drop in temperatures, gray skies, and light drizzle. It has been absolutely PERFECT, and we've been celebrating with good smells, our traditional caramel apple dipping, pumpkin bread, and lots of time outside in the anticipatory gloom.
Everyone at our house just seems plain excited to be alive.
Making caramel apples together is something I look forward to for months!
And yet, when it comes time to actually do it, I am a little more snappy than I probably should be. We have to work quickly because the caramel starts thickening rapidly as it cools. Everyone wants to be dipping at once, and the younger ones are grabbing apples and rubbing them on their faces or in their hair. The caramel is sticky and drippy and has to be managed carefully. Excess caramel pools around the bottom of the apple which makes them less-than-beautiful, so I am always trying to scrape goopy caramel off the apples as the boys finish dipping them. The apples need to be rotated as they are cooled in front of the fan, and sometimes bubbles inexplicably appear all over the caramel's surface as it cools.
As a result, there is a lot of coaching and instruction given hurriedly as we work, and it's not always in the most patient tone.
All these attempts to create fun traditions and memories sometimes lead me to wonder if they cause more trouble than joy. In the end, I hope they will remember more of the good times and less of my impatience.
Our fridge is now full of apples, finished with a white chocolate drizzle and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon/sugar--the more gloppy, imperfect ones for us to eat, and more beautiful ones packaged up to give away in an attempt to spread Fall cheer.
I guess I just need to remind myself that the gloppy, imperfect apples end up being enjoyed by our family. And more apples for eating is a good thing!