Direct quote: "I don't think I'm going to be able to swing any tasty treats for people this year, sadly. you'll have to be satisfied with our delightful personalities."
Our gracious pal Beth replied, our presence is presents etc. etc..
NONSENSE. I KNOW WHAT YOU PEOPLE REALLY WANT.
Anyway, it was a lie. Despite a not-holly-jolly end of year at work, tasty treats were made and given. I drafted my mother-in-law into transforming her kitchen into a candy lab and the long-suffering Chris into rolling caramels in wax paper despite his sad manual dexterity (he did a great job . . . years of experience at the food coop proved helpful!). Thanks is also owed to Ashley, whose efforts in 2009 provided the inspiration.
We followed the instructions to the letter, as I tend to do with all candy recipes since candy-making is, after all, chemistry. This recipe cooks the caramel at a low temperature, bringing it to the proper stage over the course of 40 minutes or so. For us, it took almost an hour, but we doggedly pursued "firm ball" stage. We were rewarded with smooth, impossibly buttery result, topped with a sprinkle of my fleur de sel
hoard stash from Paris.
We had a fine holiday here with Chris' family. The highlight was listening to an audio recording that Chris' parents had made of Chris and his little brother Tom opening gifts on Christmas Day, 1984.
Here we are (Chris is not pictured), listening to the tape and laughing until we cried as Tommy screamed his head off ("THIS ONE'S MINE TOO!!!" "How do you know?" "THE TAG ON IT SAYS 'CHRISTOPHER'!!!") and Chris played with one gift at a time, making thoughtful comments about each one and offering to share the contents of his stocking with his little brother. Chris' parents are on the tape too, enjoying the chaos and trying (vainly) to interest the boys in the more scholarly gifts in the shadow of Star Wars and He-Man. I marvel at what conscientious, loving parents they are and always have been and feel lucky to spend many holidays with them now.
I may not get to post again before the year ends, so I hope you all had just the kind of 2012 you wanted. Catch you on the other side in 2013!Posted by jess at December 26, 2012 8:41 AM | TrackBack