Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Adventures in Taffy

To go along with a language arts lesson, Lizi and I made salt water taffy today. I have never made taffy before. I'm not even really familiar with the whole candy making, soft or hard ball stage thing. I have no candy thermometer. All I had to go on was the recipe in the language arts book.

So we set out to make taffy, me and Lizi and our recipe. We gathered ingredients, put them in the pot, boiled and stirred until we saw what we deemed a hard ball stage. We poured it into our buttered pan to cool till we could pull it. We watched and waited until we thought it was cool enough to handle. This stuff was hard as a rock. We pried it out of the pan and broke it up. It tastes like some sort of butterscotch candy, so it wasn't a complete loss. We named it "salt water crunchy."

After I put Lydia down for her nap, we tried again. We boiled only till soft ball stage this time, even though the recipe called for hard ball. Then we stood over it and watched it and poked it till we thought maybe we could handle the stuff without third degree burns. I buttered my hands and picked up a handful. This was the gooiest, stickiest stuff I have ever had the misfortune to put my hands in. It was as if it bonded to my hands at the cellular level. Pulling was not working. So we stirred for a while, then tried pulling again. Turns out Lizi was better at the pulling than I, so I turned that over to her and started wrapping. They taste good, and I think they look like candy you might have bought a hundred years ago, which is cool. All's well that ends well.

Oh, the photo is by my blog photographer, Lizi.


Jenny said...

Hi Kim
I love your blog. I got some great ideas from your blog to email my daughter to do with the boys. It sounds like you had a great time with the taffy. My family shared a great story of making taffy with my mom years ago. She invited some school kids and had a taffy pulling party. I guess they really had a great time. People still talk about today. Talk to you later Jenny Johns

Kim Payne said...

Hi Jenny,

What a brave mother! She must have been more experienced at taffy making than I. And thanks for the kind words!