Monday, October 19, 2015

October, Witch City, & the Neverending Story of the Caramel Apple Forest

and so it begins...
It's not quite a month since my last dispatch, but man oh man, has it been a busy not-quite-a-month. First, let's just get this out there:  we have a sister shop in Salem Ma.  It's October.  I'm delirious.


This month has been really fun, exciting, and intense.  I've been able to do my favorite thing, making candy, but also have had the opportunity to do some other things, mostly around my book .  On the 10th, I did a chocolate making demo and book signing at Williams Sonoma  in R.I. (my home state).  It's a beautiful shop, and I had a really lovely crowd there.  Probably the best part about the whole thing was I got to troubleshoot a truffle recipe an attendee was having difficulty with.  When I was able to explain what the problem was, I swear, I actually saw a light bulb go off over her head.  It felt really good to connect in that way over one of my favorite subjects.  Also, we sold some books, which was excellent.

A couple of days later, I did an interview on local TV (here in Gloucester).  The show "Writer's Block" has been hosted by John Ronan for 26 years.  John's an old friend of my husband's, and a lovely fella.  We had a great time talking about the book and such.  It was a bit surreal to be introduced as an author -- I'm still getting used to that.  The actual show will air December 17th; I hope it looks as fun as it actually was.

In October, with the Salem shop in full swing, the shop here in Gloucester really starts to feel like a factory:  constant production, long hours, many hands making the work flow smoothly.  For me, it's about heading into work in the dark, and leaving work in the dark, too -- and that's fine.  Making hay is hard work.

I'm pretty proud of the caramel recipe I've been tweaking over the years.  It is exactly the caramel I always want to eat.  Probably about 8 years ago, our longest running manager in the Salem shop, Jennie the Boots, basically nagged me into adding caramel apples to our repertoire.  It was a truly brilliant idea. It is crazy how many of those babies we sell.  Right now, I feel like pretty much all I'm doing is cooking caramel and dipping apples into it.

Dark out.  
Also dark out.
This is actually really cool.  Early in the morning (when I can hear myself think), I sometimes take a second to think of just how many people have enjoyed our apples, turtles; all of the stuff we make here with our own hands.  Somehow it makes it not seem so dark out.

I'm going to sign off now, there's a batch of caramel on the stove that will not be ignored.  Before I do, I'm going to take a second and think about all the people at Turtle Alley that make the work so much fun, and make my days so much easier.  Graham, LeRoy, Amy, Kathleen, Hannah, Brandy, Bree, Julian, Fiona, Natalia, and Zoe:  thank you.   I couldn't do it without you, and wouldn't want to!

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