Last night I made the spiced pecans and baked the chocolate tortes and bought the apple cider and was glad my part in Thanksgiving dinner was done. All but the glaze on the tortes, no biggy.
Only, I hard-crack-staged the sugar syrup and those pecans were right at the edge of too caramelized. Crunchy, though, and I really liked them, but there was a bit of fussing while someone here was trying not to be unhappy but they just weren’t quite…
No problem, I can make more.
No I couldn’t. We didn’t have enough sugar. We always have sugar. (Can you make this with that grainy organic Trader Joe’s stuff? Better not experiment and mess any more with his family’s tradition.) You know what this means, don’t you? We had to go to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving.
I toasted more pecans, but that was the easy part. We put it off and put it off and finally headed to Costco about an hour before they closed.
It was actually less crowded than a typical Saturday, to my great surprise–but even better, people were being mellow. Clearly anticipating the next day’s meal and company, and people seemed to be picking up that one last thing they’d forgotten.
There was one mom with a crying one year old and a toddler and she–the mom–absolutely melted when I pulled out a Peruvian finger puppet for each of her little ones, an orange lion with a furry mane and a vivid green octopus with a hat. Handknit as always.
So. The tortes got glazed. The pecan coating got done to the soft ball stage only, the way Richard likes it: because after I got the 1/2 c water/1 c sugar/1 tsp cinnamon boiling, there could be gadgetry involved and there is no better way to get a geek to take over than putting electronics into the process. He put a glass thermometer on the side and with the laser thermometer in his hand pointing constantly at the center of the pot he compared temps and kept up a happy running chatter and soon announced, There! It’s 238!
Okay, so I put in the vanilla (one teaspoon) and stood back as hot steam burst forth, and then–hey, you have to put in the *pecans immediately now, honey, not just admire them.
Right, right, and he dumped them in and stirred hard and it takes some doing at that point. Finally, he poured them onto the cookie sheet the pecans had been toasted on.
See? To softball stage and it comes out like this!
I grinned. He preferred his and I liked mine and Aunt Mary Lynn will be quite happy to have both. Trust me.
(Meantime, it’s 9:50 pm and 33F already and the mandarins are covered, too, tonight. It is COLD out there.)
*Fanny Farmer says two cups. I put in closer to four. Stretch that sweetness across as many nuts as possible as far as I’m concerned.
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