Impatiens seed pods do this amazing thing: at your brief touch, or sometimes light pinch, they explode like a coiled spring, shooting their seeds willy nilly for future propagation. What a brilliant stroke of evolutionary insight to develop a seedpod that is so fun to help along on its way to take over the world. It's a weed, but we keep some right by our woodshed door for fun.
I knew that this very precious person, who I have not seen in about 9 years, would just love them. And look at the delight in her face. She got to meet her godson, Sylvan! And if you were wondering, yes, this is the immensely talented Carrie, of Pink Crow Studios. Go check out her work on Etsy, your brain will explode like a little seedpod at the awesomeness there. Being with the pieces in person and seeing all the layers of the in-process pieces with my own eyes was very special.
I trucked Carrie all around town, to places I knew she'd love, like Boynton McKay, with its funky pharmaceutical shelves and bottles and great floor---not to mention, delicious eats. We did the annual All-School Hike up Mt. Battie, and overheard some wonderful tidbits of children's conversations ("where's your buddy?" "I don't have one." "What, they're letting you roam around free???") And these two little gnomes, best friends in kindergarten, who held hands most of the way, and muttered under their breath that they'd like to get past "these slowpokes" (that would be us, by the way). They did eventually, and then we got to look at their cuteness, even better.
At the top there is this lovely look-out tower with a cool staircase.
roiling autumn sky
cute little Camden, Maine
And, finally, pictures of the Caramel Apples that were my nightmare, for sale at the school's Harvest Festival. Oh sure, I just signed up, thinking hey, I know my way around a kitchen, how hard can it be? I made a test batch, and it turned out OK. But I was grumping and grouching over this batch...first the caramel wasn't cooked enough, too runny...so I had to cook it some more. And what about all that caramel that just runs off and puddles? Even putting the apples in the fridge (on greased, waxed paper, another brilliant modification I discovered), did not prevent the slow cascade of caramel. My husband, ever the helpful teacher, was offering all these lovely hints I could try, and I nearly bit his head off. Thank goodness Carrie was there for support and to make me laugh, not to mention to prevent some spousal abuse that might have resulted *if*he*did*not*shut*up*
So OK, these were my best shot, and if I do say so, the caramel itself was pretty kickin. A little drop of vanilla and some salt rounded out the flavor nicely. I have tossed the recipe out because I never intend to make another caramel apple in my life.