When you hear the whole story, you will immediately be able to deduce that the mistake was in my trusting a faulty recipe. Allow me to explain...
The tale began innocently. I had a plethora of delicious apples comfortably resting on a blanket of colorful leaves on my back lawn. Meanwhile, a recipe for carmel apples from Cooking Light Magazine comfortably rested on my sparkling, speckled, kitchen counter.
Fate? I think not.
Jay was having friends over for game night and I thought it might be fun to try the new recipe. Having never made carmel before, and certainly not a "healthy" version, I had no idea of the peril involved.
Of course, I had to start them before dinner, so the carmel layer could be done cooling by the time I wanted to experiment with my own additional layers (white chocolate & cinnamon/sugar is my traditional favorite). All was going according to plan, until...
Once all ingredients are mixed together, you are supposed to let the concoction boil for 45 minutes (did you catch that? FORTY-FIVE minutes) until it reaches 235 degrees Fahrenheit. At least, that's what the recipe said.
So, there I was, happily getting my hamburger preparations underway while waiting for my golden bubbly goodness to reach the required temperature. I was just about to throw the burgers on the grill, and I double checked my thermometer rigging to see how much progress we were making.
The temperature read 234.5 degrees.
I probably should have known better, BUT and it had only been boiling for 15 minutes. "Gee," I thought, "that last half a degree must be super tricky, if it's going to take 30 minutes to get there." And outside I go (in the cold) to put the perfectly formed patties on a heated grill. I come right back inside and what's this I smell?
I run to the stove, and notice the temperature is now 244 and my beautiful carmel color is now the color of hopelessness and wasted energy. I frantically take it off the stove and hope that maybe some stirring could fix the problem? Perhaps the new deep color is only on the surface?!
And I quickly recognized that this sticky concoction was slowly turning into a rock. Terrified of transforming my pan into an oversized paperweight, I rushed to the garbage to dispose of the molten lava. The longer it had to cool, the harder I had to scrape to get it off the pan, off the spatula, off my fingers. Finally, satisfied that I should be able to safely hide the remainder of the evidence down the drain, I squirted some soap in the pan and began filling it with hot water in the sink. Disappointed, I watched the happy frothing rapidly increase and slide down the outside of the pan when it hit me.
I ran outside, hoping to save our dinner, but sadly, all 4 patties had been severely charred.
Emotionally exhausted, psychologically dejected, and totally disheartened, I served the crunchy burgers for dinner anyway. Jay was a trooper and ate it with out grimacing all while convincing me to persevere. He offered to do dishes so I could run to the store and replenish my carmel ingredients.
Again, things are going smoothly. Sugar, water, corn syrup, nicely dissolved. Slowly adding the half & half, vanilla and salt. Things appear to be going well.
This time, I hover.
I'm a helicopter, waiting, watching for a potential rescue.
Did I just read that right?
I give up.