1. Is it really necessary to use a pastry brush and water to brush down the sides of the pan as you make caramel? I do it, but every time, I wonder if it's really necessary. The one good thing is that at least it keeps me by the pan and not wandering away, only to burn it.
2. I made a caramel sauce last night that tastes really good. (1/2 cup water + 1 cup sugar, boiled over medium heat until golden brown; slowly add 1 cup warm heavy cream; let simmer for 2 minutes, and remove from heat and add 1 t. vanilla) Anyway, it ended up really runny, even though it tasted great. Would it have thickened up if I would have kept it simmering a while longer once I put the heavy cream in it? Or was it just meant to be a thinner sauce? It did thicken up some once I let it rest, but it's still pretty thin.
3. What is "light cream"? I've seen recipes that call for it, but every store I've ever been to has had only heavy cream and half and half. I know that half and half is half milk and half heavy cream, so I didn't know if that was considered light cream or not.