Posted Online: Oct. 29, 2013, 9:39 pm
Thanks, Sue, for starting the caramel-apple tradition
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By John Marx, firstname.lastname@example.org
MOLINE -- As I strolled through my company's distribution center, I could see the box. It was covered to protect the valuables inside.
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For years, Sue Gramling has been surprising Moline Dispatch Publishing Company employees with her amazing caramel apples.
"Sweet,'' I said. "It's 'that' Monday.''
Thursday is Halloween, and 'round these parts, the Monday before Halloween means one thing: caramel apples.
Not just any caramel apples, but the juiciest, most perfect caramel apples to ever fall from a tree and into a pot of tasty caramel goop. I have spent 28 falls with the Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, and for as many as I can remember, Sue Gramling has provided the building -- top to bottom -- with the aforementioned delights.
It's like yummy with a capital "Y.''
I am aware it is not right to expect someone to be gracious enough to do something like this, but I have come to expect caramel apples every fall from Sue. If my memory is correct -- and it has its share of foggy days -- the caramel apples arrive the Monday before Halloween.
In some worlds, those who do something as wonderful as what Sue does every fall will walk about expecting you to recognize their generosity. This is not -- and I cannot emphasize this enough -- the case with Sue, who heads our company's data processing department. To thank her, you must find her, because she is busily taking care of her duties to keep our company boat afloat.
Not wanting to invade her working space, I have never asked Sue, a 40-year veteran of the Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, how long it takes her to prepare a hundred-plus caramel apples, or how she delivers them without staffers knowing they are coming. I don't have the heart to ask what goes into making the best-tasting -- and I have had my share of them -- caramel apples on the planet. They are Rachael Ray-Martha Stewart TV good.
Sue might have some special science to her carmel apples, but I'm guessing it's more time, patience, feel and care. She finds the best carmel-holding apples, the kind of carmel that stays gooey for days, and is wildly accurate with her dipping and placement on the wax paper where they rest.
And let us not forget the secrecy with which she works. I work Sundays, have since they gave me a key, and I have never seen Sue slip in to place the caramel apples around the building. But first thing on caramel-apple Monday, they are here. There's a lot of Santa Claus in Sue's approach.
I am aware of the caloric content of these morsels from heaven, and I am keenly aware of the work that goes into consuming such a delight. It is also not lost on me that dentists cannot wait for caramel-apple season.
And that's OK. Dentists be darned.
Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309 757-8388 or Jmarx@qconline.com