Sunday, December 03, 2006

a "Little House" experience

I love the Laura Ingalls books, and my favorite is "Little House in the Big Woods". So I was especially excited to try my hand at making Ma's maple sugar toffee, just like in the book! We turned up a small bottle of "real" maple syrup at Walmart and boiled it on the stovetop until thickened. Maria brought in a small pan of snow and we periodically tested the syrup in it. At first it just disappeared into the snow, but eventually...viola! Soft strands of toffee solidified in the cold snow. We rushed our pan of hot syrup outside to the back deck. I poured lines of syrup in the snow and Maria came behind with a spoon, twirling up the soft toffee. It was very good, and very rich. That little bottle made more than Maria, Jack and I could ever eat, and we learned that at room temperature it quickly turns back to liquid again. The mom that told me how to make the toffee also told me that if you cook the syrup until it gets grainy, it becomes a hard candy in the stock up for the next snowfall! :) Kain missed this experience because he was visiting his dad, so we will definitely have to do it again.

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