Last week, our neighbor stopped by for a quick visit. As soon as he walked through the back door, he shot me a quizzical look through the cloud of gnats that was swarming my head.
“Dammit, Shay, are you still not bathing with soap? I thought that was only a summertime policy.”
“It’s not me, stupid,” I said, although I couldn’t be totally sure since I had actually lied to him about Pits and Privates being only a summertime policy; it's actually my policy year-round. I almost always neglect to lather up the rest of my body, and in fact only use soap for my pits and privates. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a waterproof vibrator type of girl, and so showers are just so boring.
(By the way, no offense to those of you out there who are waterproof vibrator types of girls…although you probably aren’t reading this, as you are busy taking your third shower of the day. Bzzzzzzzzzz...)
I also couldn’t be sure that I wasn’t the cause of the pest influx since there were about 3 gnats currently floating around my face, while the air around his was clear.
About 5 minutes after the neighb left, though, I found the real culprit: It was a rotten, black banana at the bottom of the fruit bowl that the hubs had insisted on saving for that banana bread that he’s made exactly one time in his life. Seven years ago.
So I can totally see why he needed this one, too, to add to his hoard of 37 black bananas currently piled up in the back of the freezer, taking up precious space that could be used for my elegant frozen dinners. *Sarcasm*
*About the pile of black bananas, not about my elegant frozen dinners*
When I figured out what was causing the gnats—which were actually fruit flies (Is there a difference?)—I opened the back door and tossed the banana into the yard.
The hubs looked up from his Money magazine, an amused expression on his face that I knew was only an attempt at masking the hurt over the fact that I wasn’t showing enough appreciation for his lone loaf of banana bread made when we were still newlyweds. “Way to address the problem,” he said sarcastically.
“Um, I know,” I responded, shutting and locking the back door. Was there any other way? “Should I have thrown the rotten banana into the trash can so that the fruit flies would have scooched over 3 feet?”
The entire situation reminded me of another time we had fruit flies, and again, I had no idea why. The fruit bowl looked to be clean, with only fresh apples and bananas residing in it. So, I did what every mature adult does when she needs advice: I turned to Facebook.
You guys…I have a major gnat problem. I have no idea what’s causing them, but how do I get rid of them?
Well, first of all, let me say that when you surround yourself with complete assholes for friends and God’s blessed you with them for family members, you just shouldn’t take anything to Facebook. Because you’ll get responses like this:
Sister-in-law: CLEAN YOUR HOUSE!!
Neighbor: Better yet, MOVE.
What ensued for the next 24 hours on my Facebook page was a bunch of bullshit comments about property value going down in the neighborhood since we moved in and yada yada yada. Whatevs.
Before deleting all of my Facebook friends and starting fresh, I decided to try the advice that my sister-in-law had given me after she’d finally admitted that she had once had a fruit fly problem: Pour some wine into a small plastic cup and then cover it with Saran Wrap. Poke holes into the Saran Wrap so the fruit flies could fly in but not back out. (HUH??)
It was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard, and I told my sister-in-law that I’d rather drink my wine with a swarm of gnats hovering around my face than waste it on them with something that may or may not work. But when she told me you only had to put like a half an inch of wine into the cup, I decided to give it a go.
Of course it didn’t work. Dumbass. (I’m talking about my sister-in-law; not me.)
Soon enough, though, I found the culprit. This time, it was a caramel apple that some misguided asshole of a neighbor had gifted us in a basket. I had let my boys each eat one of the apples before putting this one, which was packaged, into the candy basket for later. However, it had promptly been covered by the multitude of sweet shit that my kids receive on a daily basis. (I can’t help it that I’ve got really cute kids.)
When I found it, I cursed the son-of-a-bitch who’d had the nerve to leave a sweet fall basket on our porch, then I tossed that mofo out the back door, too.
It’s called good housekeeping, bitches.
So in the spirit of gnats, my favorite season, and lovely neighbors and sisters-in-law whom I joke about but in reality absolutely adore (Well, a couple of the sisters-in law, anyway. There’s one in particular who can suck my phantom balls. She knows who she is), I went looking for recipes for caramel apples to share with you guys this week.
The first recipe I landed on said something about using a thermometer for getting an accurate read on the melted caramel.
Are you shitting me?
I quickly clicked off of that hifalutin “check the temperature” bullshit page.
The next recipe I saw started like this…
· Light brown sugar
· Heavy whipping cream…
Honest to God, I stopped right there. Because um, no.
They’re caramel apples, peeps, not Grandma’s spinach soufflé.
Before I could X out of that page, my eyes flickered to one of the other ingredients—dark corn syrup—and I literally started laughing out loud. As if!
I buy my stuff with the corn syrup already injected, thank you very much. I wouldn’t even know where the hell to start looking for it in a store.
So basically, what I decided to do after looking around a little bit more was to buy a couple of bags of those melting caramels—NOT the ones you have to unwrap individually, God forbid—and microwave those motherfckers. I did find a tip about adding 2 tablespoons of water to each bag before you microwaved, and I did that because that’s my type of step in a recipe.
So it goes kind of like this:
· Rinse and thoroughly dry the apples
· Poke sticks into the apples (I used leftover kabob sticks from a drunken barbeque we had 6 years ago, before kids)
· Melt the caramel (I used one bag of melting caramels, pictured above, for 6 apples) by microwaving for about 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. (Be careful when adding the water. I’m not sure if it even helped, but I do know that when I added the tablespoons, my caramel got all soppy and gross-looking. Luckily you can just kind of drain it in between the minutes that you use to melt and mix it, and it’ll still work fine. Should you use the water? It’s up to you. It didn’t end up ruining anything.)
· Dip apples in caramel
· Roll apples in some sort of topping
For the toppings, you can use whatever you want, although I made sure that sea salt was on my list. I love salt. Not only is it just plain delicious (even more so on caramel!), but it also gives me something on which to blame my perpetual gut, i.e., “Salt makes a person retain water. It’s not the 14 Chicken McNuggets that I had for lunch today making me a fatass…it’s the salt that they’re made with. Sooo…”
We also used mini Reese’s Pieces*, not because I love mini Reese’s Pieces, but because I allowed my husband, after an hour of begging, to go grocery shopping for me so that he could get an hour away from the kids. The things we’ll do for alone time, no?
Anyway, he got the wrong thing, as usual, and the Reese’s Pieces were his response to my very specific request of mini M&M’s. But I didn’t complain. Too much. (“What the HELL are these? I don’t see M AND M’s written on them anywhere!! You incompetent BASTARD!!”) (Okay, that last part—the fun quote—never happened. I have to specify sometimes for my very literal readers—hello, mother-in-law!—who take my humor quite seriously at all the wrong times and get mad at me. Really all I did was spit in his face while I smacked the Reese’s Pieces to the floor. NBD.)
I made the caramel apples with my boys, and we had so much fun. I totally suggest it as an easy, fun fall activity to do with your kids. You can see a picture of our finished product at the beginning of this post. I swear that those are our apples and not some image I stole off the internet!
I’m only letting my kids eat one apple each; the rest will be snuck into my neighbors’ house and hidden in a spot that they’ll hopefully never find.
You get what you give, folks. You get what you give. J
*The Reese’s Pieces ended up being fcking delicious on the apples. I’m not even an apple or sweets type of girl (see paragraph about salt, above), but the mixture of the apples and the caramel and the peanut butter in the Reese’s Pieces…well, it ended up being magical. SIGH. I suppose I owe the hubs an apology. But I'll wait to see if he reads this week or not...
Enjoy your apples, and happy fall!!