Leading up to Halloween

A couple of weeks ago we had relatives from Philadephia come down to visit. It was a lovely fall day and we went to The Crab Claw for lunch and picked crabs. We sat outside by the water watching what was going on in the harbor. It was lovely.

Our friends have an eight year old boy and I was impressed that he was was game to learn how to pick a crab. But his interest flagged and he became fascinated with the claws and how they worked. And then, because he’s an eight year old boy, he wanted to make something with the claws. Clever kid. I doubt they lasted until Halloween.

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We’ve lived in this neighborhood for eleven years. When we first moved here we got 30-40 trick or treaters in the two hour time slot allowed by the town. If you turned your porch light on kids knew they could knock at your door. I began to keep track of how many kids showed up so I’d know how many bags of candy to buy. Having those little candy bars around after Halloween is a problem for me. I swear they call my name. Mala, Mala, Mala. I know I could just throw them in the trash, but that would be only after I had picked out the kinds I liked the best.

By three years ago we had 6-10 kids and two years only four. That was way too much leftover candy. So last year we didn’t put the porch light on and we won’t again this year.

I hear from people who live in the center of St. Michaels that they get hundreds of kids. I’m not kidding. Hundreds!  I guess that’s where all our kids go now. I miss seeing the little ones, but I don’t miss that spooky voice in my head reminding me where I’ve hidden the leftover candy.

Coming Up: my adventures with leaf castings with cement.

 

 

Caramel Apples with Nuts and Chocolate

We have new next door neighbors. The house had been a rental for the eleven years we’ve lived here and it’s wonderful to see this couple dig in to make it their own. One of the first things they did was remove a row of Leland Cyprus along their back fence. That will give me some much needed sun in a back section of my garden although I will no longer be able to cut cyprus branches from the back of that hedgerow to use in my winter windowboxes.

This weekend the neighbors borrowed our chop saw for two days and this is what they brought over to say thank you. The presentation was incredible and the caramel apples are fantastic. Kerry and Renee – you can borrow our tools anytime.

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I liked the Halloween color contrast between the colorful apples, the chocolate and the caramel. I guess you can get these clear cellophane bags at the craft store. I’m lucky if I get cookies for a neighbor on a paper plate and covered with Saran. I really should try to do this better.

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I cut the apples into slices so they would be easier to eat, although that might have been a BIG mistake.

Here’s the recipe as best I could figure it out from my neighbor’s description. I think she’s one of those cooks who doesn’t always follow a recipe.

6 craft sticks

6 cold, crisp apples (caramel sticks better if apples are cold)

1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped

2 tablespoons milk

Chopped mixed salted nuts

Dark chocolate bar, melted

Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top. Butter a parchment covered baking sheet.Place caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave 2 minutes, stirring once. Or melt caramels slowly on stove top. Allow to cool briefly.

Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated. Place on prepared baking sheet to set. Place in refrigerator to cool. Before caramel becomes totally cold, roll in chopped salted mixed nuts. Return to fridge to cool.

Melt dark chocolate and drizzle over apples. Store in refrigerator.

They Come In Out of the Rain

The Romance in the Pasture continues as a visibly pregnant wife was seen standing by the fence. I have a feeling this gestation will be brief as it would be pretty boring to see the wife pregnant for nine months.

pregnant wife by fence

Then we see her and her husband under the tractor. Oh, wait, that’s not her husband. He’s on the porch petting the dog. It’s the repair guy under the tractor with the pregnant lady. Hmmm. Is there a backstory here? And didn’t they check the weather forecast? Hurricane Joaquin is on the way.

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I drove past several times with the two of them on the ground in the pouring rain as we got the feeder bands from Joaquin. “Get your wife inside,” I thought, and drove on.

This morning I drove to Easton and was going to stop for a photo on the way back. By that time the couple had taken shelter. Or maybe the wife has gone into labor.

The tractor is still awaiting repairs. I noticed the wheel was chained to the fence. I suppose so no one steals it. And that tool box must be full of water.

tractor without wheel

And last night on my way to my Working Writer’s Forum in Easton the tractor was gone. We’ll keep watching how the story unfolds. Anybody want to suggest names for the baby?

I wonder if the cottage will be decorated for Halloween? Will the couple wear costumes?

Google tells me that the trendiest Halloween costumes for 2015 include Wendy Davis, and Donald Trump. Whatever happened to Star Wars, The Minions, super heroes, and  Disney princesses? Or pirates and ghosts? What do you think the couple in the pasture will wear for Halloween?