Friday, January 29, 2010


"a red-letter day" - a day that is very important or special

via flickr
"He liked to observe emotions; they were like red lanterns strung along the dark unknown of another's personality, marking vulnerable points." - ayn rand
On the color wheel red is the warmest of all colors, chosen by extroverts and a favorite among men. What is it about a tantalizing glimpse of scarlet that immediately snags our attention? Red tights, ruby slippers, a crimson cape, flushed cheeks, flaming lips - a bouquet of titillating possibilities to tease, arouse and inflame. A conflagrant fireball of emotions that chafe at the skin, but burn you up from the inside out. Red symbolizes fiery heat, warmth, danger, passion, lust, life, and vitality. Blood, and all the emotions that stir it. Red for love. It can also mean courage and sacrifice, or Mars, the God of War, and if you're "red-blooded", you're robust or virile.

On the negative side it can mean a volatile temper, anger, or a symbol of guilt and sin. In Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, a puritan woman is forced to sew a red letter 'A' onto her clothing, a symbolic branding for her adultery. Historically red was associated with prostitutes, for those who dyed their hair titian, and later, for 'the red-light districts'. Red is for the "blood of murder", or as a sign of warning or danger. In the 1950's fear of communism, or 'the red scare', swept through America. The phrase "the Woman in Red" was originally coined for the infamous Ana Cumpănaş who fingered John Dillinger to the FBI in 1934. She'd promised to wear red to help the FBI identify the bank-robber, resulting in his shooting death outside the Biograph Theater. And in 1963, Jean Hill became the "Lady in Red" when she witnessed John Kennedy's assassination, she was wearing a long red coat. And what's more iconic than Dorothy's ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, the stuff that dreams are made of, or Little Red Riding Hood and her scarlet cape, a warning to innocent girls to beware of wolves who are "hairy on the inside" (Company of Wolves). And the matador's red cape capable of winding up the fury of a raging bull, or Superman's cape that allowed him to "leap tall buildings in a single bound."

Red Hots are small cinnamon-flavored candies created in the early 1930's by the Ferrara Pan Candy Company. They were originally called Cinnamon Imperials. Over the years Red Hots were added as an ingredient or toppings for desserts, giving a new spin or twist to some of the more traditional recipes.

Blush Apple Pie
5 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 slices of pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup red hots (red cinnamon) candies
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp shortening
pastry for double-crust pie (9-inch)
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. In a bowl, combine apples, redhots, and pineapples. In a small bowl mix sugar, flour, and salt. Add shortening.
  2. Add to apple mixture and stir gently to mix. Pour into pastry lined pie plate. Cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges.
  3. Bake at 450° F for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350° F and bake for an additional 35 minutes.

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