03 September 2013

Straight Up Comfort

Life just kept on going the last few days.  You know, the life I was talking about in my last post -- the one that's sometimes just a little too real and seems like it kicks you in the gut for fun every now and again.  Life gave us a real kick in the gut last Friday.  We lost our oldest dog, Momma Dog.  She was old, although we don't know how old, and we knew it was coming.  It still feels like having the wind knocked out of you anyway.  She was quite possibly the sweetest dog in the history of the universe.  All she wanted was love.  Pure, simple love.  We all tried to give her as much as we could.  We miss her terribly and will for a while.  How we got her is a really good story, too.

My husband (before he was my husband) used to work for Papa John's Pizza as a delivery driver.  One night he delivered a pizza to a huge house in one of the fancier neighborhoods in town.  As he got out of the car, a herd of Miniature Schnauzers came running down the driveway to greet him.  To make a long story short, the owner offered to give Eric a dog.  We went back to the man's house at 2:30 in the morning when Eric got off work and I picked Momma Dog.  One look in her sad, brown eyes and I was in love.  Momma Dog had basically been a puppy mill for him and his family and was ignored because of all the adorable puppies she was delivering.  So, she wasn't abused, but she was ignored.  We made sure that every day of the rest of her life was filled with the love she wanted so much.

So, losing Momma Dog is the reason for the straight up comfort today.  I can't really explain why, but soon after it happened, I had an intense urge to coat things in caramel.  Strange things like cheese crackers (which I did not coat with caramel, but I might sometime later) and potato chips.  So I went to the grocery store, bought a bag of kettle chips, some brown sugar, and butter, then I came home and went to town.  Eric and I ate every last one of these potato chips.  They were delicious -- salty, sweet, caramel-y, crunchy, and soul soothing in the best comfort food sort of way.  Next time you're having a not so great day you should make some.  They'll make you feel just a little bit better.

Caramel Kettle Chips

Print me, Please!!!

1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
One bag plain, salted kettle-style potato chips

In a large, microwave proof bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla extract.  Microwave on high (100% power) for 3 minutes.  Stir well.  Return to the microwave and cook on high for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the microwave; stir in the baking soda followed by the potato chips.  Don't worry if the chips aren't completely coated.  Return to the microwave and cook for 2 minutes on high.  Stir well.  Return to the microwave and cook for another 2 minutes.  Spread out in an even layer on one or two cookie sheets; let cool until the caramel hardens.  Break up any chunks.  Store in an airtight container.

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