When I was four or five, I went running to my mom, sobbing, because I had accidentally done something terrible to the document my sister was typing on our Mac computer. It was a huge desktop thing that took floppy disks and had an equally huge modem, and back in the day cost my parents ten thousand dollars. It turns out I had just closed the document. On the black and white screen.
When I was six, we used to listen to our Walkmans. We could get FM radio on them and cool stuff like that.
When I was eight, my sister and I used to put cassettes in the boom box and tape record songs on the radio that we liked. We were pioneers in what is now known as music burning. Oh yeah.
When I was nine, I used to go down to the record store and buy twenty dollar CDs with my allowance money. My all time favorite was Savage Garden.
I also was the fastest typer in my computation class when I was nine. I could type 59 WPM. Beat that, Mavis Beacon.
We also had real cameras and had to take film to CVS to be developed.
Sometime in the 90s I remember my uncle having a bag phone. No, that's not a cell phone the size of a bag. It was a literal car phone, totally from another planet.
When I was 13 my family got our very first cell phones. Metallic blue Motorola flip phones with black and white screens. They were so dang cool.
We also had dialup internet that made funny noises while connecting, AOL (friendly voice reminding you: "You've got mail!") and PPPs and crap like that. Eventually we transitioned to wifi and bought Apple's router (the Airport… I still don't understand why it's called that), but we still got disconnected from the internet when a call would enter.
When I was 15, a crush/friend/boyfriend told me that soon CDs would be obsolete. I thought to myself, Who the heck does he think he is predicting the future of CDs? And furthermore, what would this world be like without them? What will come next? Well, turns out he was kinda right. Although it seems mighty future-predicting of him to make such a statement years ago.
In high school we started downloading illegal tunes on LimeWire before it was busted and we burned CD mixtures (not cassettes) to listen to in the car.
Soon Myspace was replaced by Facebook and we no longer took photos of ourselves, arms extended with kissy or emo faces, using our 1.9 megapixel cameras.
We got iPods (with black and white screens) and no longer listened to boomboxes.
iPods were constantly getting upgraded, as were cellphones (thank goodness flip phones are no longer in style), laptops, and Facebook.
My mom learned about Twitter before I did. Then there came Badoo, StumbledUpon, Pinterest, and SocialCrap. I made the last one up. We no longer chatted on AIM but rather opted for the more stylish Skype. We dared evolution by teaching ourselves to text with both thumbs at the same time. Who knows, maybe future generations will be born knowing how to text.
iPhones, iPads, tablets, readers… I feel like it was yesterday that I begged my mom to buy me a hot pink portable CD player that had "princess" splashed across the cover in gold. Or that we had to rewind VHSs so painfully slowly. Or that we really had memberships at Blockbuster. We actually used to order things through magazines, using forms that you mailed in. The closest thing to online banking was calling your bank, and you spoke to a real. living. person. We used to get spam to our real mailbox, not our inbox.
When I was a kid, my sister and I played in the dirt. We made mud brownies and hid in the bushes. We biked to the playground and didn't text mom and dad to say we'd be home a little later than planned. We read real books and could feel with our hands the weight of the paper and smell the ink on the pages.
There was no 3G (or 4G!) network to be able to compare prices or find our way with the GPS. We relied on the good old-fashioned Rand McNally! Chain mail was delivered to our doorstep, as were newspapers.
Today the only thing that really connects me to those days is the fact that my grandparents send me newspaper and magazine clippings. My mom jokes and says that it's their version of her sending me links online.
I don't complain about how convenient most things are now, and I love being able to have Google Maps help me find my way when I'm on a mission searching for a bakery. I love being able to download movies and music and search for whatever I feel like on Wikipedia instead of Encyclopedia Britannica (which was really expensive, too!). I remember fondly playing ancient computer games with my sister and communicating via Walkie Talkies.
Who would have known that so much could happen in so little time?
3 words: Make. These. Crêpes.
Caramel Apple Crêpes
p&q original. Caramel sauce adapted from Smitten Kitchen
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp salted butter
⅓ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 lb apples of your choice, cored and sliced or chopped (I used organic Pink Lady apples and didn't peel them)
Ground cinnamon, optional
Freshly whipped cream for garnishing, optional
To make the caramel sauce, add the sugar to a medium saucepan (at least 2qts) and stir with a wooden spoon over moderately high heat as it melts. Have the rest of the ingredients ready, as the caramel can quickly burn. Keep stirring until the sugar turns smooth and darkens to a medium amber color. Don't let it get too dark. Add the butter and stir constantly until completely melted. Lower the heat and slowly add the heavy cream, stirring constantly. The caramel will hiss and bubble; this is normal. Stir until the sauce is completely smooth and then set aside. Reheat gently before serving to thin it out again.
To make the caramelized apples, melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar and stir to incorporate. Add the sliced or chopped apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-12 minutes, depending on how large you have cut the apples. They should be tender and brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.
To assemble the crêpes, place caramelized apples in the center of a crêpe. Fold in the sides, and drizzle on the caramel sauce. Top with a little ground cinnamon and/or freshly whipped cream if desired.