Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmasing Around the House

Busy, busy, busy! I'm supposed to be starting a new job soon. Any day now. It's urgent. This is a high-priority project. Any day now.

While I wait I have plenty of time for Christmas Crafting! First, the knitting.

I finished and felted the green slippers.

They turned out bigger than I wanted. I started another pair with a slightly finer yarn.

Hopefully these will be the right size. The picture doesn't show the color very well. The body of the slipper is a very nice blue and turquoise. I love the blue and black together. I'm not sure I'll want to give these up.

Most of my time has been spent making Christmas candy. I love making candy and there's really no other time when it's appropriate to make candy. So for Christmas, I make so much candy that I'm sick of it until the next Christmas.

For the past few years, I've made chocolate covered cherries. The recipe I've been using says to make a dough out of powdered sugar, corn syrup, and butter; wrap the dough around the cherries; and dip them in chocolate. Then, as the cherries set up, the dough turns to liquid. There are several problems with this recipe. 1) Sugar, sugar, and butter don't really make a dough. They make a sticky mess. So mixing up the dough and wrapping it around the cherries is very difficult. 2) The dough never really turns to liquid.

So this year I applied some Brenda logic to the chocolate covered cherries. My mom gave me her chocolate molds and two of them are chocolate covered cherry molds.

Aren't they beautiful? I coated the sides and bottom of the molds with melted chocolate. After the chocolate set up, I put a cherry in each mold along with some sugary syrup. (I used the dough recipe but with half the powdered sugar and about half a tablespoon of liquid from the cherries.) At first I was a little worried. The syrup didn't taste very good and I was having trouble getting the chocolates out of the molds. But once I figured out how much syrup to use in each mold, they started turning out very nicely. And once you get the chocolate and the cherry and the syrup all together, they are oh! so good.

Since the cherries went so well, I decided to be still more adventurous.

That is a plate of home made peppermint patties! This recipe also calls for a sugar mixture which you knead until it is dough-like. The sugar mixture made by the recipe was not at all knead-able. So I dumped it on the counter and worked in more and more and more sugar until it was dry enough to handle. It's not like more sugar is going to make it taste bad. I then rolled out the dough, cut out circles, and dipped them in chocolate. I rolled the dough pretty thin since it had so much sugar in it. That was a wise choice. I ate two of them and got heart burn like nobody's business. These too, are oh! so good.

After sampling the candies, James added several names to the list of candy recipients. Which means I have to make more. I've got 5 days to finish all this Christmas madness. I'm not sure it's possible.


At December 14, 2005 12:19 PM, Blogger Joy said...

The chocolate covered cherries look professional! Bravo for Brenda-logic.

Candy-making sounds really tricky! The closest I've ever come to making candy is making fudge and caramel corn. Those are very forgiving recipes.

I am envious of all your free time.

At December 14, 2005 1:28 PM, Blogger Brenda said...

Actually, it's not that tricky. I make it more difficult because I can't do anything the way I'm told. It's more time consuming that anything.

You shouldn't be too envious of my free time. If I didn't have all this candy to make, I would probably be freaking out because the new job hasn't started yet and I already quit the old job and why won't anyone call me back and my last paycheck is this week and I think I might have spent too much for Christmas.

At December 14, 2005 2:17 PM, Blogger brooke t. higgins said...

I like the blue/black slippers very much. Do I remember that blue yarn or am I creating memories in my head?

Your cherries do look professional. Brooke likes chocolate covered cherries, yes she do. Yes, yes, yes, she do.


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