The sights and smells of certain delicacies always stir up pleasant childhood memories, those times when life and the world around me seemed a bit more carefree. Caramel apples would be on the top of that list of “happy memory” foods.
Growing up in a rural Arkansas town has its advantages. Take Halloween, for instance. My best friend and I would comb the streets of our hometown on that night, dressed in our store bought costumes complete with a cheap polyester blend dresses and hot plastic masks. Yes the princess and the witch were knocking on doors, ready to cash in on coveted sweets, sweets that rarely darkened my door any other time of the year.
Hey, my momma was a health nut before it became cool!
One old lady on Main Street always made caramel apples. Wrapped in plastic and sealed with orange and black string, I would always hold it up to my nose, inhaling the sugary, buttery smell. The first crunchy, sticky bite was a taste of sheer heaven, tart, and yet at the same time, sweet. The apple being large, I was usually unable to get to the core, but I sure did try!
Of course, nowadays, due to some crazies out there who decided that these sweet treats are a great disguise for horrible pranks, caramel apples have been replaced with seemingly safer prepackaged goodies.
It’s disappointing, of course, but, instead of focusing on the negative, I allow myself and my family the joy of visiting candy stores, such as Kilwins in downtown Little Rock, where the confectioners produce, what I consider, tasty works of art. There, between scrumptious bites, we share old stories while simultaneously creating new ones!