Sunday, September 23, 2012

We were just curling up for a nice read on a rainy evening last summer when the tornado siren cut through the rush of the wind in the trees. We grabbed Oolong the cat, Newton the dog, Hillis’ pet mice Stormageddon Dark Lord of All and Jareth, our knitting, our computers and our books and tramped down the basement stairs. Shortly after we’d settled, made sure that the mice were out of reach of the cat and the cat was out of reach of the dog, the lights flicked off and the howl of the wind generator was silenced.

Our basement has improved since the years it was a pit with random rubble walls (one including a mysterious thigh bone) and a dirt floor, but it is still windowless. Our senses registered only the floor under our seats, the wall at our backs, and the roar of wind and rain. It was eerie. Dave and Hillis booted up their computers, but without electricity, our wireless router was down. We used the light of the computers to see our knitting.

Hillis found the weather report on her Iphone, a confirmation of what we already knew, but reassuring all the same - some contact with the outside world. No all clear siren sounded, but after about an hour, Dave ran out of patience and went outside to adjust the downspouts and redirect water from the basement floor. We ventured upstairs, lit a dozen candles and continued reading on a rainy evening.

When the electricity came back on at 6 A.M., we discovered the narrow path of the wind through our woods. Tree after tree fallen, like a trail of dominoes, before the chicken coop, after the chicken coop and through the orchard. This years apples were the only real casualties on our farm. Some trees lost many apples; some trees held their apples, but broke under the force of the wind.

We harvested the last surviving apple from a tree that didn’t survive the wind this afternoon and stored enough for many caramel apple sundays.

Caramel Apple Sundays
1 tart apple per person
Caramel sauce (either store bought or from scratch. I've included my favorite recipe below)

Chop one apple into each bowl. Drizzle caramel sauce over it and enjoy.
If you need ice cream for the "sunday" part of this dish, slip a scoop under the chopped apples.

Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cream
1 t vanilla

Bring butter, sugar and cream to a boil. Add vanilla, remove from heat and beat until smooth. Serve warm or cold. This sauce is thicker when cooled. Refrigerate left overs.

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