How do you know when something is special to your family? Is it a recipe written down on the pages of dogeared and oxidized books? Is it an object hidden away for discovery by later generations? Or is it a memory or joke that comes up every holiday when just the right people come together? We all have memories, traditions, and special items that we believe should be passed down and kept close so that their power and import is never lost.
It can be pretty hard as we fill up our digital clouds to keep space for the physical objects in our home and the stored memories in our minds, but we do it because that is what makes us human - to understand the past and keep it for the future.
Last weekend, my daughter and I set aside some time to be together and try something new - we made candy apples. It is fall after all! The farm stands have been brimming with New England apple varieties: McIntosh, Cortland, Baldwin, Braeburn, etc., etc.! We chose McIntosh (since they are perfect for little mouths ;) and Granny Smith apples. She helped me set-up the apples with sticks poking out of the top and lined them all up ready to be dipped.
We added all of the ingredients to the saucepan and waited as the candy thermometer rose ever-so-slowly through the candy stages: Thread (235 degrees), Soft Ball (240 degrees), Firm Ball (250 degrees), Hard Ball (265 degrees), Soft Crack (290 degrees), and finally Hard Crack (310 degrees).
At the Hard Crack stage I had my daughter pick the apple to dip, and then I rolled the hot liquid sugar over the apples one-by-one to a surprisingly beautiful and satisfying result! Once done and cooled, we each tried a candy apple and a new seasonal favorite was born.
The Cabot’s Candy tradition is very much the same; an idea becomes a family recipe, tested, copied and passed down from generation to generation delighting other families visiting the seashore of Provincetown, Massachusetts year after year. New ingredients are tried and new favorites become old ones and the process begins again. We are always trying new things and adding them to our growing list of family recipes. If you stop by in the summer, winter, spring, or fall you will always see your old favorites and some new things too! For a taste of our fall tradition, check out our maple taffy, made with quarts of the good stuff from Vermont. Keep up with us and say hello by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram. You can also check out what is going on in the store and factory by visiting our homepage.