Caramel for Carmel

Dessert | Recipes 4 4 Comments

My little story begins with my husband and I picking up some Craigslist finds in a nearby city.  We left most of our furniture in California when we moved to Maine and have little-by-little been finding the things we need to make our home more functional.  After picking up a desk at someone’s house, we headed to the local Habitat ReStore.  On the way, my husband asked, “OK, what exactly are we still looking for?”  I listed off a few things and then I just started to pray aloud, “Lord, lead us. You know what we need to have in our home. So, let us find things that are useful and beautiful and that would be a blessing.”

We chuckled a little, because it has been my habit to pray before shopping, especially at thrift stores. (Like the time we were having about 30 people for Thanksgiving and I only owned 8 plates. I prayed that God would give me matching dishes at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Now I have 30 matching plates with red edging from a Chinese Buffet that had just gone out of business. But, I digress….)

At the Habitat store we found some great things that we needed for our bathroom remodel. As my husband looked through building supplies and random tools, I looked through the books and housewares. And then I saw her. St. Therese was staring at me.  A 2.5′ x 1.5′ lithograph on tin of St. Therese.  It surprised me, because I haven’t found a lot of Carmelite things here.  But, the church I attended in Los Angeles was Carmelite.  I smiled. It was 74.99. This was not part of the budget for today.  So, when my husband asked if I had found anything great and I replied, “Well, that framed print of St. Therese….” I didn’t expect much.

St. Therese, the Little Flower

But, today is Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s feast day. So, I should have known better.

After adding up all the things we had to buy my husband went and got the print. He asked the store manager, “Can you give me a deal on this?” The lady said, “That is something my mom picked up in her garage-saling heyday. We aren’t even Catholic. It just sat in our attic forever. But now my father is cleaning stuff out to sell.  I have no relationship with her.”

“My wife does,” my husband replied.

“You can have it for 49.99,” she replied.

My husband set it down. I wasn’t surprised. It still wasn’t in the budget. He paid for our purchases. On the way to the car, we passed the manager of the store just going to her lunch break. My husband again said, “You sure you can’t give me any better deal on St. Therese?”

She said, “Is this for your baby?  OK, how about 39.99?”

My husband bought it.  My heart was overflowing. On today of all days!

When I got home I showed the kids the print. They thought it was super cool. Then I reminded them that today was Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s day and that St. Therese is one of the most famous Carmelites. The eight year old said, “Mmmmm, caramel, yummy.” The six year old added, “I think we should celebrate with some caramel ice cream.”  I said, “We don’t have any caramel ice cream.”  So, my 14 year old made a batch of caramel. And we got out the ice cream we had left over from a birthday shindig last week. And we celebrated Carmel Day with Caramel.

Life is good.

Moral of the story: Always pray before you go shopping.

Now hanging in the front hall.

Now hanging in the front hall.



1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup raw milk

1/4 cup raw cream

4 Tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Heat the brown sugar, milk, cream, butter and salt over medium heat, whisking gently until combine. Boil gently for approximately 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla, stir and cook one minute more.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Poor into a jar or bowl. We liked this still warm on our ice cream. But, you can transfer it to refrigerator after it is cool.

Caramel for Carmel

  1. What a great find! 

  2. I love that story! I love when God’s in the details. And I’ve been looking for a good caramel recipe so I’ll try it!

  3. Georgina - July 17, 2015

    Happy for you Daja 🙂  When the desires of our heart find fulfillment, life becomes a little bit sweeter.  Enjoy!

  4. What a beautiful story! I am totally going to start praying more intentionally before I go thrifting now! 🙂 So happy to come upon your blog via the CWBN!

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