I love Halloween.
It’s not just the spooky movies, the happy kids begging for fun-sized candy bars or the overgrown teenagers decked out in costumes that would get them kicked out of any respectable bar any other time of the year.
I love Halloween because it officially opens the harvest season and months of socially acceptable gluttony.
It’s not just the candy, people.
Through the end of the year, we can look forward to turkey dinners with warm rolls and pie, and awkward (and probably risky) office potlucks, as well as festive holiday parties with grocery store deli trays, sugar-topped cupcakes and enough booze to keep the lawyers busy until around June.
(Let me be the first to throw this warning out this holiday season: Don’t drink and drive.)
And we still have a few weeks of decent weather, which means time for more tailgates and barbecues before the temperature plummets and nobody wants to leave the couch until mid-March.
This time of the year also includes a lot of time-sensitive treats — things like pumpkin spice, dried cranberries, pecan pie and hot apple cider really only come around this time of the year.
Order pumpkin pie poolside and see if you don’t get stares.
My best treat to have this time of year also tends to only be seen this time of year — the somewhat out of favor, nearly forgotten candy apple.
Sometimes you can find them on the menu at a concession stand, but they’ve mostly been replaced by deep-fried candy bars, cookies or whatever was fished out from between the couch cushions.
Realistically, like eggnog, fruitcake or colored, hard-boiled eggs, you can make a candy apple any ol’ time. Thanks to advances in agriculture and a worldwide supply chain, apples are available year-round. The recipe isn’t too complicated, but almost nobody bothers with making candy apples at home.
I don’t think many people are making caramel apples, either, even though kits are widely available.
The practice of making candy or caramel apples has fallen out of favor, though I admit both are sort of a hassle. They can be messy, aren’t always as aesthetically pleasing as you might hope, and there’s a definitely a risk of burns.
Candy apples turn up at the grocery store in limited quantity and are usually marked down after Halloween, which is too bad.
Nothing bridges the space between the spooky season and the season of sugar plums like a crunchy, tooth-destroying candy apple.