Monday, December 15, 2008

Getting busy in the kitchen...

It seems that I have fell of the edge of the blogging planet, I'm sure a lot of others have too with the holidays here. I've been in the kitchen making candy, if I see one more caramel I think I might get sick. The driving force behind all my candy making is gifts for my family. There are a total of five of us, three boys and two girls. Two of my brothers are married with four children each and one is 19 and still lives at home. My sister is married with 2 children. We normally exchange 'family' gifts each year and when you have so many people to please with your present, candy seems like a pretty safe way to go.

It's kind of fun, finding different things to make. Last year I made homemade marshmallows and they were a hit. I made them again this year and this time I made chocolate ones too, they are so good. If you have a good mixer it is a pretty simple recipe, I will try to post it on my recipe blog in the next few days. I also made caramels, taffy, peanut brittle, cinnamon popcorn and hard candy last year. Everyone loved the cinnamon popcorn too, and I would love to oblige them again with it this year but I just can't get excited about the smell of cinnamon being stuck in my sinuses for a week. If you have ever made cinnamon candy, you know what I am talking about. I tried to add the cinnamon oil to the candy outside, but I still breathed a ton of it in. The cinnamon popcorn gets baked in the oven like caramel corn so there was no way to avoid the smell going all through the house. So far this year I have marshmallows, caramels and turtles. I think that I will also make cashew brittle and (I feel like I am going to cry) cinnamon popcorn.

It's always fun to see what everyone decides to give each year. One year we got a bunch of popcorn (un-popped) from and Amish company. Last year my brother and his wife gave every family about 15 pounds of Cheddar cheese. Seems strange but I used it all and I wouldn't mind if they did it again this year! I'm happy to carry on this tradition that started in our childhood, we always got to pick out a gift for each of our siblings. Oh, the stories I could tell. We always anticipated opening those gifts, and we were never disappointed. You could always count on your brother or sister to pick out something cool, they would never get you, oh, let's say, socks.

So we carry on, as long as good fortune allows. My wish is for everyone to have a wonderful Christmas, filled with good memories both new and old. I leave you now to don my apron and wooden spoon and whip up another batch of, well, love.

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