Toffee Apples

toffee apples
Chris Stefanis

Chris Stefanis

artist - blogger - author

Toffee Apples Day

Today is the day to eat a good Toffee Apple. Not only is the humble toffee apple used in Halloween celebrations but in many others.

They are eaten in Brazil at the feast of St John The Apostle. In Canada, many fairs and festivals will see toffee (or candy) apples consumed.

In France, they are referred to as pommes d’amour (apples of love), whereas in Germany they are a Christmas treat. In Israel, they are almost exclusively eaten on Yom Ha’atzmaut eve which is Israel’s Independence Day.

In the Land Of The Rising Sun, Japan, they are enjoyed along with grapes strawberries and tangerines at festivals and the like. In Ireland and the British Isles, they are, of course, eaten on Halloween.

Here is a simple recipe for a good toffee apple.

Ingredients

8 Granny Smith apples

Apples

400g golden caster sugar

1 tsp vinegar

4 tbsp golden syrup

Method

1

Put the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water, do this in batches if needed. This will remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick. Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.

2

Lay out a sheet of baking paper and place the apples on this, near your stove. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it. Use a cooks thermometer if you have one and get the temperature to 150C.

3

Working quickly, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking paper to harden. You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops as you dip and it starts to feel thick. Leave the toffee apples to cool before eating.

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Emotional Intelligence Month Is Ending

emotional intelligence
Chris Stefanis

Chris Stefanis

artist - blogger - author

Emotional Intelligence Month

As Emotional Intelligence Month draws to a close, it is now the time to reflect on what has happened in the last few weeks.

Every moment of every day, people fall in love, are unfaithful, get married, get divorced, have a new addition to the family, lose a loved one, all major events that affect our lives and how we live them.

We need to be intelligent emotionally to make it through life’s daily trials and tribulations.

If you find that you struggle to keep control of your emotions or perhaps feel “lost” emotionally, there is help available. Other than talking to your GP who may refer you to a counselling service, the Emotional Intelligence Institute offers free advice and fact sheets in the form of an educational e-learning campus.

The link to the site is here.

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Internet Day

internet
Chris Stefanis

Chris Stefanis

artist - blogger - author

Internet Day

When the internet first began it consisted of just two computers that were linked together. The internet crashed for the first time on the day it was invented. The user was trying to send a message but the system crashed after just two letters, L and O. You can see the original internet (or first ever website) here. Fabulous stuff, NOT!

But seriously, that first day led to us being able to talk and see people on the other side of the world almost as if they were in the room. And it is improving daily.

But on the flip side, the internet has been very damaging. We are addicted to our screens and would find it very difficult to get through a days work without the support blanket of our mobile phone.

In addition to this, we have lost the ability to communicate with each other.

Yes, we talk and text all the time. today’s generation would find it a challenge to actually write a letter. A new type of bully has appeared, the cyber bully. It is all too easy for anyone to write something derogatory. Then there is the person who posts regularly to social media. If they do not get any likes on the post, they feel like they are being sent to what I refer to as Cyber Coventry.

Kids are bullied by text or photos being sent to them once the “nasties” get hold of their phone number. This means that the child cannot escape the bullying at the end of the school day, as you or I may have done in the seventies.

For all the good the internet has brought, it is difficult to reconcile that with the increased suicide rate of our youths.

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Howl Like A Wolf

wolf
Chris Stefanis

Chris Stefanis

artist - blogger - author

It Is Time To Howl Like A Wolf

The wolf has been with us every day since the Pleistocene period, as far back as 125,000 years, in the form of the domesticated dog.

In the US, wolves were mercilessly hunted and totally eradicated by the 1920’s. Across the border in Canada, they lived on.

Fast forward to 1995 and our understanding of ecosystems had increased showing us that the wolf was necessary as a part of the chain of life in Yellowstone National Park. This led to 70 wolves being captured in Canada and relocated to Yellowstone. This was an effort to reverse the degradation of the fauna due to excessive grazing by animals whose predator had been removed.

There is also a landowner in Scotland who, in March this year, asked for permission to re-introduce the wolf to his land as a way of controlling the deer population.

But why howl like a wolf?

Howl At The Moon Day was started to make people aware of the importance of wolves in the wild.

It is also a great excuse to go camping and have a few beers before going outside the tent and howling at the moon. People will think you are acting like idiots, but it is really  just some harmless fun to had, especially with the approach of Halloween

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International Artists Day

Édouard Manet
Chris Stefanis

Chris Stefanis

artist - blogger - author

International Artists Day

International Artists Day was founded in 2004 by Chris MacClure, a Canadian artist specializing in Romantic Realism art.

On this day you can show your appreciation for an artist by perhaps treating yourself to one of his artworks. Or maybe treat him to lunch.

Other ways to support International Artists Day is to let others know about it. Tell your friends, tweet about it or an artist you like. Visit the artist’s website and share your favourite pieces of art displayed there on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whatever your favourite social media network is.

Selling art is not easy. especially since it became possible for an artist to have his works shown to a worldwide audience via the internet.

You may think that this increases the chances of an artist being able to sell his art. But in reality, it makes it difficult to get seen because there is so much on the internet that getting good search results is almost impossible for the average artists selling art.

The reason for this is simple. Affordability. Artists simply do not have the money to pay for an SEO expert to develop their site!

So, if you know an artist buy him or her a coffee or share their work around your social media network. That will cost you nothing but will be an immense help to the artist.

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