You scored as A coloring book. Children love you–and so do many adults. They find you approachable, simple and friendly, all of which perfectly describe you. Instead of throwing big words around, you communicate in the international language of pictures. In order to be as open as possible, you present yourself simply, allowing those around you to customize you to their liking. Sometimes this results in you turning into a primitive masterpiece, and other times you resemble a schizophrenic’s daydream. So long as the one talking to you understands you, you’re happy. Zen and the art of crayon-sharpening.
A coloring book
A paperback romance novel
The back of a froot loops box
An electronics user's manual
A classic novel
A college textbook
How did this happen? My sweet little girl hardly paid attention to the characters on “Sesame Street” as recently as Friday. Today, she’s an addict. At dinner she rubbed her tiny little fingers together and chanted, “Em-o, Em-o, Em-o.” Rockford is giving her a bath right now, and I can hear her up there: “Em-o, Em-o, Em-o.” Which is cute, but I fear for our future. Please, friends and family, if you love me, don’t give her one of these.
We invited some people over for a Halloween party this evening. Only a pirate and a ninja showed up. It could have been awkward, but they set aside their differences and we had a very nice evening.
Oh, and people whose “moms were in town” or “had to work late” or “contracted Hantavirus“? You missed these:
Making the caramel requires the use of a clip-on candy thermometer, which should be tested for accuracy before starting. Attach it to the side of a medium saucepan of water, and boil the water for three minutes. The thermometer should register 212 degrees if it doesn’t, take the difference into account when reading the temperature. 1 1-pound box dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 medium Granny Smith apples
Assorted decorations (such as chopped nuts, dried apricots and dried cranberries, toffee bits, mini M&M’s and candy sprinkles)
Melted dark, milk and/or white chocolates
Whipping cream (if necessary)
Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan (about 3 inches deep). Stir with wooden spatula or spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 15 minutes.
Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236 degrees, stirring constantly but slowly with clean wooden spatula and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into metal bowl (do not scrape pan). Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel; cool, without stirring, to 200 degrees, about 20 minutes.
While caramel cools, line 2 baking sheets with foil; butter foil. Push 1 chopstick into stem end of each apple. Set up decorations and melted chocolates.
Holding chopstick, dip 1 apple into 200 degrees caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. Place coated apple on prepared foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.
Chill apples on sheets until caramel is partially set, about 15 minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple; return to foil. Repeat with remaining apples.
Firmly press decorations into caramel; return each apple to foil. Or dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations.
Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week.
Bon Appetit, October 1999