G. begs like a puppy for caramel corn

This is how G. and I met:

I moved to Milwaukee and started taking West Coast Swing lessons. Meanwhile, G. was taking East Coast Swing lessons in his hometown. A friend of his, D., took him to a dance event in Chicago where some people were doing West Coast Swing, and he immediately and rightly realized that it was much cooler than the dancing he had been doing. A few weeks later, he showed up in my class.

Students rotate in West Coast lessons, which means all the men line up on one side and the women line up on the other. You dance with a man for a few minutes and then move one down the line and dance with another. Over the course of an hour, you’ll dance with everyone in the class several times. Over the years, this has produced a fair number of dancers and a remarkable number of marriages.

G. is 5’6″ to my nearly 5’1″. When I got to him in line on the first night he was in class, I looked at him and said, “It’s nice to dance with someone height appropriate.” He said, “Yes.” And that was all we said.

After class, our teacher S. asked me, “Did you dance with the new guy?” I said yes. She said, “He has a lot of potential.”

I’m not sure whether she saw the light bulb that went off over my head at that moment. I knew I needed a practice partner if I wanted to get better. G. was height appropriate and had potential.

I was very nice to him for several weeks. Then, one night I said, “Would you like to practice some time?” He said, “Can I buy you dinner?” I said, “If we can practice first.”

That Saturday, we practiced, he bought me dinner and within about a month, he had more or less moved in. That was four years ago.

We still dance. We take lessons. We go to competitions. In a few weeks, we’ll attend Swing Dance America, and then Memorial Day weekend, we’ll be at the Grand Nationals.

For the past couple of years, we’ve hosted a party for our club to watch videos of the U.S. Open. The open is always Thanksgiving weekend, and the DVDs usually arrive soon after. But with me being in school, we didn’t get around to having this year’s party until Wednesday night.

G. always begs our friend W. to make him caramel corn. This year, our friend S. brought it since the recipe originated with her, and she recently retired and no longer has to work on Wednesday nights. It turns out, S. got the recipe from the back of the bag of Old Dutch Puffcorn and it’s available online. But  I’ve written it out below in case you are the type who likes all your information in one place.

You’ll note that there are only a couple of pieces  in the picture. That’s because everyone ate the rest before I thought to pull out my camera.

Old Dutch Caramel Corn

1 package Old Dutch Puffcorn

1 cup Butter

1 1/4 cup Brown sugar

2/3 cup Light corn syrup

1 teaspoon Baking soda

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Combine butter, brown sugar, and light corn syrup in a 2 quart sauce pan.

Cook on medium heat until mixture has melted.

Once mixture has melted add the baking soda. (Note: This will cause the mixture to foam.)

Pour Old Dutch Puffcorn into a large roaster pan. Pour caramel mixture over the Old Dutch Puffcorn and stir until mixed.

Place in oven for 45 minutes, stirring at least every 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven, pour on wax paper and break apart.

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