Wednesday, April 20, 2011
GO WITH THE FLOW!!!!!
This was one of those weeks where nothing has gone as planned. Now I should say that this is a pretty normal thing around here because my plans are usually not humanly possible. I mean, in two weeks I had planned on make 4 types of hard candy, 3 kinds of candy jellies and homemade peeps. All this while making Easter dinner, working, doing chores etc. plus dealing with the car accident I had a week and half ago (I am fine by the way).
So anyway I planned on making all this candy and it starts to rain...no, pour...not for a day or two, but like on and off for two weeks now... just pouring nonstop. The Potomac and the Shenandoah are flooding and needless to say my leaky house is wet inside and out (unfortunately this is also a normal occurance).
So what's the problem with the rain? Candies HATE humidity. So lets just say that I've been failing at my plans, but I am not letting it get me down.
I started my massive list with homemade peeps. I decided to make the cute like bunny marshmallows on Martha's website. I am not the best piper, but I thought that with as many times as I've made marshmallows this would be a snap. Nope, nada, no how... Much harder than they make it sound. It was such an epic fail that I didn't even photograph my attempts at the bunnies. So I regrouped quickly (marshmallows set up quickly) and decided to pipe some lovely macaroon shapes. This worked out quite nicely and I am pretty happy that I at least saved the batch.
Not to be detered, I also made another batch of regular marshmallows that I cut out with cookie cutters. This batch will hopefully get done tomorrow when I put eyes on the chicks and bunnies! Stay tuned....
So, I moved on to my jellies... I wanted to make lemon, kiwi and blackberry. We started with lemon and yet another FAIL!!!! They seemed to set up beautifully but when sugared they wept! I mean rivers of tears...so we moved on to kiwi jellies...which voila..
...look perfecto! They set up perfectly and luckily no crying here. The taste is okay. My complaint is that they are not really "American sweet". They sorta remind me of the sweets I had in Spain that are interesting but not really what I would crave. But they are so pretty! Hopefully the kids will like them better than me.
So, determined to have some lemon flavored candies I try to make a lemon gumdrop recipe. It seems to go well but a few days later and its still gummy...but its been raining and raining and raining...
Until today...its dry (but still humid as all that wetness steams off of the earth) BUT.... I end up having this bad asthma attack, go to the doctor, spend the day feeling like muck...until tonight, the breathing treatment and the steriods start to kick in and I am up for another whole-hearted try.
After my first, second and third attempts at pulling sugar I am not up for burning myself again after spending the day nursing my lungs back to health. So I make pineapple hard candy but decide to skip the pulling.
Lets backtrack a little. I found these awesome plastic Easter candy molds at an antique market a while back. Normally these molds are for chocolate, but I got them cheap so I thought that I would take the risk of them melting. I got lucky this time and they did not melt.
They came out great. Only trouble is that I cannot work fast enough and the candy started to darken in the pan before I could get them done. No worries, they just look more amber than chick colored.
I wrapped some of them, but again the humidity was affecting the chicks so I sugared some of them too. They also look amazing so I don't know which I like better.
So, overall, I guess its not too bad, but I guess you just have to go with the flow. I have dreamt up some cute chocolate egg ideas to replace the failed jellies, so hopefully I will manage to get back on schedule before its time to actually start cooking Easter dinner.
On the list are:
1. Coloring eggs
2. Black Currant Hard Candy
3. Easter Egg Chocolates
4. Finishing the peeps
Think I can get it all done, wrapped, packaged, photographed etc in time? I don't know, but its nice to give all the children in my life homemade sweets!
Happy Candy Making!
Sweet Charity ;-)