This is my first Christmas as an official “Mrs.” I have a strong desire to please the husband’s family by providing unique and thoughtful Christmas gifts. This year, as newly-weds, are finances are pretty tight. Though Chris and I would love to buy several gifts for each family member, we just can’t. It’s very sad, but that’s life. Instead of purchasing lots of gifts, I decided to spend time making a few of the gifts for our family.
*SPOILER ALERT* I should warn you, that if you are a male family member you should stop reading now or you will discover what should have been your Christmas present this year.
We all know that men love to eat. I’m always jealous of how much they can eat and get away with it. If I ate all my husband did, I would gain 100 pounds! I decided that I would make some special Christmas candy for the gents in the family to show how much we love them.
Knowing I’m not Betty Crocker, I did my best to prep for this extreme candy making experience. I’d made candy with my mom growing up, and it was never too difficult. I didn’t have any doubts I could pull it off. So, I gathered all of my supplies…visiting several grocery stores I might add. I double the recipe to make sure I have enough. Last night, I take on the challenge of making candy.
My first mistake was not reading the recipe entirely. I had every ingredient that I needed. But, I realized when I started cooking that I didn’t have parchment paper (what is this ??) and I did not own a candy thermometer. After a quick call to my mom, she explained the “old fashioned way” of telling the approximate temperature of the candy you are cooking – the ball test. Pushing my worries aside, I gathered a new sense of confidence and started stirring my ingredients.
A pour of this and a dash of that. My mixture smelled delicious! I timed everything perfectly, paying careful attention to the colors, the smells and the textures. Candy making is a tough business guys! My pan was greased and Chris helped me slowly combine the sugars with the cream. What the recipe said would take around 20 minutes, took me a total of 1 hour. But, I didn’t let that put a damper on my evening. The first batch was a success! It was delightful, rich and creamy, and left in the baking pan to set overnight.
The recipe also overestimated how much candy one batch would make. I prided myself in purchasing enough ingredients for two batches, because there are too many men in our family for just one batch. With such a successful first round, I knew the second batch would be a piece of cake.
Barely referring to my recipe I poured and stirred. I heated and waited patiently. I prepared my pan on the counter right next to the first batch. I’m stirring and smelling and smiling! One hour goes by and the second batch is ready to set as well. With great technique the candy is poured into the pan. I begin to clean up the mess I’ve made, very excited about how my candy making turned out. Content that I’d finished the last of my Christmas projects.
As I’m washing the dishes and utensils I’d just used, Chris sat at the table on his computer, the puppy near my feet waiting for me to drop crumbles. All is well.
As if a firework went off in our kitchen, pieces of glass fly in every direction, I’m screaming, our puppy is barking, and Chris jumps to his feet.
“What was that!?” We both look at one another.
Then I turn to check on my candy, and this is what I see:
The glass baking pan holding my beautiful, delicious candy has busted, shooting pieces of glass and caramel all over the kitchen and dining room! No joke, it was EVERY where! The candy proceeds to drip down the counter onto the floor. Chris helps me clean up and vacuum. I also sweep and mop. My perfect second batch of candy (and the last of my ingredients) had to be thrown into the trash can. My heart sank.
And that’s not even the worst of it. I turn to find Suruchi puppy. She is sitting in the middle of the glass licking her brand new bone we bought her for Christmas. The bone is also covered in caramel and glass. We also had to take her bone and throw it away. Those sad puppy eyes were the worst. I wasn’t sure she would ever forgive me.
Somehow, the heat of the candy caused the glass pan to burst. Even though it had sat on the same counter top as the first batch. I just had to count it a loss.
At the end of the night little Suruchi had forgiven me. She came to snuggle in my lap and fell asleep snoring. I promised her a brand new bone this morning. She says she wants one shaped like a candy cane.