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Cider, caramel add to autumn anticipation

By Staff
Mom's Corner with Michelle Blaylock
Hello! This week I have a couple of tips given to me by readers to share.. The first one is from S.K. She tells me that before going to bed she makes a list of what she needs to do the next day. She says she sleeps better knowing that she isn't likely to forget something important! The second tip is from N. E. She tells me that before going to bed, she makes sure to put her laundry in the dryer.
The next morning she folds and puts away!
Thanks for sharing!
Well, it certainly is feeling like autumn! At this time of the year my thoughts always turn to things like hot chocolate, hot apple cider, caramel apples, apple pies, and . . . Well, you get the idea!
My kids love hot chocolate. (OK, so what kids don't!!) It's good plain, but try adding some of the flavored creamers available for coffee to your hot chocolate mix. It really makes it special! You can also add warm milk to the hot water to make the hot chocolate have a richer flavor. I also usually make their hot chocolate using hot tap water. It's warm enough to please them, but not too warm to hurt them. This also a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about measurements.
Show them how to measure their own liquid for their hot chocolate. This gives them a feeling of accomplishment, not to mention that before too long they can do the whole thing themselves!
My "Hot Apple Cider" recipe is from my mother. (She had 7 kids!)
Momma's Apple Cider
1/2 gallon of apple cider (I recommend pasteurized.)
1 orange (cut several slits in it to allow the juice to seep through)
1 tbsp whole cloves
3-4 cinnamon sticks
Sugar to taste (I omit the sugar. I like the cider tart.)
In a crockpot or a large saucepan mix all the ingredients.
Slowly warm to desired temperature. Make sure to refrigerate leftovers.
Another way to do this recipe is to use a percolator type coffee pot. I can't imagine fall without apple cider!
This is another great educational opportunity for your children.
Let them taste the apple cider cold (if pasteurized) and warm. Ask them questions like which way do they like it best? Why? What do they think makes it taste different?
I love caramel apples. Unfortunately, I am allergic to the peanuts on the ones in the stores. So I have to make my own. I found it easier and less wasteful if I made a "Caramel Dip" instead of dipping whole apples. My caramel dip is very easy. After melting your caramel, add sour cream ( 1/2 – 3/4 cup per package of caramel) to it. The sour cream will keep the caramel from getting hard after cooling down. Your definitely have to refrigerate the caramel dip. The kids enjoy this as an after school snack. I make it up ahead of time and refrigerate it. I also cut up the apples and sprinkle them with "Fruit Fresh", but you can also use lemon juice to keep the apples from browning.
My apple pie tip comes from my mom.
She always added "Red Hot" candies to her filling before adding the top crust. It adds a bit of zing to the pie!
Fall is a wonderful time to introduce your children to so many things and give them opportunities to learn and think!! Try to challenge them by asking "why" questions.
One time when one of mine was about 3; we were living in Indiana. I asked her why she thought the leaves changed colors.
After giving it a little thought she replied, "Well, God must have gotten bored with green and decided to scribble."
I hope you're enjoying the fall weather!
Please send me your tips and favorite recipes to Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640. bod Bless!