On this day, back in 1990, Apple Day became a tradition in the UK, so for my friends across the pond, Happy Apple Day! Nearly forty years prior to this, in the United States, the caramel apple was invented and is now a popular signal of autumn here, so that’s what I doodlewashed for today. This type of apple treat is pretty self-explanatory, but for those unfamiliar, you simply jab a wooden popsicle stick in the top of an apple, melt some caramel, insert apple into it, and pull out gooey goodness. Sometimes crushed peanuts are added, but I never liked them that way. It was texture issue. Granted, this isn’t a particularly healthy version of an apple, to be sure, but it was always part of a fun celebration of some kind where such thoughts were happily tossed out the window.
It was just a year ago this month that I doodlewashed my first apple ever. In that post, I discussed my childhood aversion to apple bobbing. For this post, I’m pleased to report the caramel apple tradition includes nothing but the happiest of memories. Although, they could easily be made at home, my most memorable encounters with these apples were at various autumn fairs and harvest celebrations. Unique events painted with fall colors and full of new experiences. Biting into a caramel apple was a delightful, yet messy experience. The crisp crunch and tart taste of the ‘Granny Smith’ apple was a perfect combination to the sweet taste of melted caramel. They were super sticky, though, making it possible to yank out your baby teeth if you weren’t careful. But, this simply meant an early visit from the Tooth Fairy and money under your pillow, so I never heard of a single kid who was disappointed to find a tooth stuck inside that goo.
This is another of those memories that makes me try to recall the last time I’ve actually tried it. I think it must have happened again when I was an adult, but I can’t remember a single time that it did. The closest thing I rememeber eating was a snack pack I used to get at work that consisted of apple slices and a tiny tub of caramel sauce. While it tasted good, it lacked any of the experience of a real caramel apple and just seemed too civilized. I think the reason I recall so many childhood memories is because I truly miss them. I miss the days of jabbing my whole arm into a cereal box to recover the prize inside. I miss going to the fair with my parents and feeling so impressed by things I’d never seen before. And I miss those messy “uncivilized” treats that made my childhood so much fun, back in the perfectly carefree days of caramel apples.