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Ten Neat Things to Do With Apples

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This is the list I started to work on last week when I got distracted by the history of apples. Now that you know how we came to have such wonderful apples, here's some things you can do with the bounteous harvest.

1. Bacon Apple Pie

You are, no doubt, very familiar with the basic American apple pie. Spice that recipe up with some bacon! Mission Hills Life has a recipe for Bacon Makes Everything Better Apple Pie, shown here, and a bonus recipe for Maple Bourbon Apple Pie with a Bacon Pecan Crust, if you want to really go all out.

2. Apple French Fries

It's just a raw red apple, but carved carefully, it becomes a reasonable facsimile of a serving of McDonalds French fries! Not that any kid will be fooled, but it may put some fun into eating fruit.

3. Bacon Apple Martini

The Bacon Apple Martini is made of bacon-infused vodka, applejack, apple cider, amaretto, and maple syrup, garnished with candied bacon. I believe that gets the message across.

4. Churro Apple Pie Waffles

If you can't decide whether you want a churro, a waffle, or some apple pie, make them all together! Churro waffles combine the cinnamon crispiness of a churro with the ease of waffles. Add apple filling, either canned or baked from your fresh apples, and you have Churro Apple Pie Waffles. Get the complete recipe at Chica Chocolatina.

5. Caramel-Apple Jello Shots

Here's a treat for an autumn party: Caramel-Apple Jello Shots. The jello contains hot cocoa mix, caramel, and vodka. The apple provides not only taste and crunch, but a container for the rest.

6. Ultimate Caramel Apples

The first obvious difference in these caramel apples from Cooking Classy is that they are coated with chocolate (white or dark) as well as caramel -and sprinkles. But it's homemade caramel, which the recipe explains how to make. That preservative-free buttery taste makes all the difference.

7. Apple Roses

Apple Roses are as tasty as apple dumplings, but also artistic enough to impress. This recipe is translated from Greek. When it says slice apples with a mandolin, they mean mandoline, or a food slicer. The short story is that you boil thin slices of apple to make them soft (and sugary, while you're at it), then arrange the roses atop your cinnamon-sprinkled pastry, and finally bake them.

8. Drunken French Toast

Nick at Dude Foods puts apples into his Drunken French Toast recipe. Start with beer bread, mix rum with your eggs, and top it with whiskey-soaked apples!

9. The Apple Puzzle

David Israel made a video to show you how his grandfather used to carve an apple with just four cuts to make an apple puzzle.  The kids will marvel over this, and then eat it!

10. Apple Dolls

Making apple dolls is an American folk art. All you do is peel an apple, carve a face into the fruit, and let it dry thoroughly. The dried apple will resemble an elderly version of the face you carved, so when you add a body and clothing, you'll want to make them age-appropriate. Or not, if you want to go against the traditional grain. Oh, yes, you can also carve hands and feet for your doll, and add them to the body and/or clothing when dried.

Bonus: Demonstrate Gravity

Remember the story about an apple falling on Sir Isaac Newton's head? That incident supposedly led to his discovery of gravity. This video compilation pays tribute to the concept. To celebrate Gravity Day (which was Monday), General Electric invited Vine users to record an apple drop, and then they strung the best of them together. Pay no attention to the fact that the apple changes color often. The whole idea is that it DROPS.

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Animals
25 Benefits of Adopting a Rescue Dog
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According to the ASPCA, 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year in the United States. Although that number has gone down since 2011 (from 3.9 million) there are still millions of dogs waiting in shelters for a forever home. October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month; here are 25 benefits of adopting a shelter dog.

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fun
How Urban Legends Like 'The Licked Hand' Are Born
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If you compare the scary stories you heard as a kid with those of your friends—even those who grew up across the country from you—you’ll probably hear some familiar tales. Maybe you tried to summon Bloody Mary by chanting her name in front of the mirror three times in a dark bathroom. Maybe you learned never to wonder what’s under a woman’s neck ribbon. Maybe you heard the one about the girl who feels her dog lick her hand in the middle of the night, only to wake up to find him hanging dead from the shower nozzle, the words “humans can lick too” written on the wall in the dog’s blood.

These ubiquitous, spooky folk tales exist everywhere, and a lot of them take surprisingly similar forms. How does a single story like the one often called “Humans Can Lick Too” or "The Licked Hand" make its way into every slumber party in America? Thrillist recently investigated the question with a few experts, finding that most of these stories have very deep roots.

In the case of The Licked Hand, its origins go back more than a century. In the 1990s, Snopes found that a similar motif dates back to an Englishman’s diary entry from 1871. In it, the diary keeper, Dearman Birchall, retold a story he heard at a party of a man whose wife woke him up in the middle of the night, urging him to go investigate what sounded like burglars in their home. He told his wife that it was only the dog, reaching out his hand. He felt the dog lick his hand … but in the morning, all his valuables were gone: He had clearly been robbed.

A similar theme shows up in the short story “The Diary of Mr. Poynter,” published in 1919 by M.R. James. In it, a character dozes off in an armchair, and thinks that he is petting his dog. It turns out, it’s some kind of hairy human figure that he flees from. The story seems to have evolved from there into its presently popular form, picking up steam in the 1960s. As with any folk tale, its exact form changes depending on the teller: sometimes the main character is an old lady, other times it’s a young girl.

You’ll probably hear these stories in the context of happening to a “friend of a friend,” making you more likely to believe the tale. It practically happened to someone you know! Kind of! The setting, too, is probably somewhere nearby. It might be in your neighborhood, or down by the local railroad tracks.

Thrillist spoke to Dr. Joseph Stubbersfield, a researcher in the UK who studies urban legends, who says the kind of stories that spread widely contain both social information and emotional resonance. Meaning they contain a message—you never know who’s lurking in your house—and are evocative.

If something is super scary or gross, you want to share it. Stories tend to warn against something: A study of English-language urban legends circulating online found that most warned listeners about the hazards of life (poisonous plants, dangerous animals, dangerous humans) rather than any kind of opportunities. We like to warn each other of the dangers that could be lurking around every corner, which makes sense considering our proven propensity to focus on and learn from negative information. And yes, that means telling each other to watch out for who’s licking our hands in the middle of the night.

Just something to keep in mind as you eagerly await Jezebel’s annual scary story contest.

[h/t Thrillist]

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