I've spent most of this year wondering and complaining about where the time has gone and now that the new year is so close, I find myself wishing it was already here.
When did time speed up? I can remember sitting in school and thinking the clock would never reach 3:30. Or sitting at work and thinking the clock would never reach 5:00. The days just seemed to drag on and on and on. Somewhere, somehow, time reversed itself and I find myself wishing that it would just slow down. A day seems like a minute and more often than not I'm asking myself where did the day, week, month and even the whole year go? Am I the only one who's noticed this?
Another nasty storm hit since my last update, we got off lucky this time, other parts of the state had 12-18" of snow on top of the sleet and ice that fell. Over 500,000 families were without power again, some for over a week.
Things got very hectic after Thanksgiving and I've neglected e-mails, phone calls and most everything trying to meet deadlines. Worked until 3am this past Saturday morning and shipped the last packages that afternoon. All that was left was my Christmas baking, I had grand plans of relaxing the rest of Saturday and baking Sunday and Monday to ship on Tuesday.
My poor brother and sister have been cookie/candy-less all year for one reason or another and there wasn't a chance I was letting them go without for Christmas. Then I find out the post office is saying the last day to ship and have it there by Christmas is Monday. Oh no! Now I have to cram 2 days into one. Kick myself back into high gear but of course, in keeping with my year, anything and everything that could go wrong did.
My brother has been asking, whining, pleading, begging for some English Toffee for oh, probably 4 years now. I was determined to make it this Christmas. I don't really have a recipe for any, so I combed the internet. Oh yeah, did I mention that during these conversations about the toffee he kept throwing in comments about how good See's toffee was? I had my sister bring some when she came last summer so I could try it, we don't have them here.
So, recipe in hand, I fix it, have it poured on the pans but am wondering why in the world it's not setting up. I know my candy thermometer is working correctly and know I cooked it to the right temp. I continue on, melt the chocolate topping, chop the almonds, am half way done sprinkling them and notice an odor. Not one I want to be smelling either, the almonds are stale. Pop one in my mouth and blech, they are staler than stale and of course, I don't have another bag. And wouldn't you know it, this is part of what makes See's toffee so wonderful, according to him anyway. The toffee may not be setting up but the chocolate is doing so rapidly so I race for a spatula to scrape it all off. Finally get every last crumb taken care of, cursing myself for being so diligent about crushing every little piece to smithereens. With no almonds in sight and no, I'm not going back to the store for more, I find some cashews and use them instead. Toffee is still not setting up. I crossed my fingers and moved on to the next batch....
Peanut Butter Balls. That's what my family has always called them but I think they are also known as Buckeyes in some parts of the country. No mess, no fuss there, I've been making these as long as I can remember. Done, I'm taking them to the freezer (yes, they freeze very well and in fact, that's where we store them year round - take a couple out and let sit for 10 minutes or so and they are good to go) when the next drama occurred. To get to the freezer, I have to go from the kitchen through the laundry room to the garage. 2 doors, one opens in, the other out. I know very well that opening the door to the garage quickly will create a draft that makes the other door slam back into it. I'm moving at light speed and that's exactly what happened, with the index finger of my left hand caught in between. About the equivalent of slamming a car door on it. Could I be lucky enough that my finger was pointing the right direction even? Heck no, I won't say anymore.
Later, with things under control again and on some lovely pills, my attention is back on the toffee. Something on the recipe catches my eye. This recipe called for heavy cream instead of water. Only 1/4 cup. I had poured the entire 1/2 pint in and now realize why it's not set. Groaning, I think I just can't make this again, I now have lost time to make up. But it's still so soft I can't even cut it. Decide to throw it in the refrigerator and worry about it later, maybe my brother is going to be doing without yet again. Go back to it later to find it's hard enough to crack into pieces but it's not permanent, the longer it's out, the softer it's getting. Have several people try it, one a die hard "I don't eat sweets" and all proclaimed it was wonderful. We'll see what my brother says but I doubt seriously I will ever make it again, he can just call See's and order some. LOL
Amazingly, the rest of the day and into Monday went without another hitch, or at least, nothing worth mentioning. Didn't get quite as much baked as I wanted but you know, those lovely pills have a way of making it seem like it's just not a big deal.
Peanut Butter Balls
Death By Chocolate
Peanut Butter Blossoms
I know some of you are laughing out there, this year has been one drama after another, you're probably wondering what this new year will bring. Well, I'm on strike. No more falls down the stairs (how many was it this year? I can remember 3 times, perhaps it was more), no more slammed fingers, no power outages, no hospital visits or stays, just no more. I would like, and wish for everybody else, just one drama free year, month, week, heck, at this point, I'll even take a day! :)
I'll stop here and be back with other news and stuff in a few days.
Labels: Baking, Blathering