Monday, January 16, 2017

A day in the kitchen

Have you ever made peanut brittle? Did it turn out right? 

We've had a large bag of raw peanuts sitting on the kitchen counter since Christmas...a gift to Poppy from the manager of the deer processing plant.

Poppy wanted peanut brittle. If you will shell the peanuts, I'll make the candy. Friends, this turned into an all day job.



Here's what went wrong...Didn't cook the stuff quite long enough to begin with. When the baking soda was added, the boiling candy doubled in size, almost boiling over and had to be quickly poured onto the large buttered pan. Of course it did not become brittle, it cooled down to the texture of sticky taffy.

Nothing to do but to boil it again. It took Poppy's arm muscles to pry the sticky stuff from the pan and wedge it into a bigger pot. Pulling out three more pots, I rigged up a makeshift double boiler. Darned if I wanted to stand for an hour stirring this mess until it became liquid again. 

Poppy was so sure that too many peanuts kept the candy from becoming brittle. Recipe called for two cups. I argued that the peanuts had nothing to do with cooking the sugar, Karo syrup, and water to the right temperature. Nope, he still argued that the candy had too many peanuts.

So, while the sticky mess slowly melted, I went on line and found a simple recipe for brittle using just sugar, water, and a little salt for the base...at this point we were out of Karo syrup. (making another batch would spread the peanuts thinner) So, I measured and put the mixture on the stove to boil. When this had boiled for about three minutes, I added it to the almost melted candy...then stirred and cooked the whole shebang until it turned a rich golden caramel color...then pulled out a bigger bread pan, buttered it, and poured on the boiling candy.



Did it become brittle? Nope! But we have four bags of peanut brittle with the texture of pralines...very sugary, very sweet. I love it! Poppy doesn't like it. He says he can't understand why it didn't turn out right...IF I followed the recipe!  :[   Okay, I will shell the peanuts and YOU can make a GOOD batch of peanut brittle. How bout that?

Talk about a pile of sticky pots and pans, spoons and spatulas! Instead of using my little red dish pan, I filled the sink with hot soapy water and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. ..Finished up and out the front door I went, into the fresh air...and got myself busy doing something fun, like cleaning out the goat barn!

A friend once said to me, "a man has no business being inside the house". 


While out and about yesterday, I bought this...for Poppy.

and this...


for me...a new kitchen rug to stand on, if I ever decide to cook again. :)

Thanks for listening. I needed this! 

Love,
Henny 


Note to self: buy a candy thermometer






32 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, this was funny. You have more patience than I. I also remember someone saying to me..."I believe in marriage, I just don't think you should have to live in the same house. Next door makes more sense."

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  2. I felt your pain - I could just see all those pots and pans and the mess. And I think candy is the most persnickety thing you can make. What is it with men and peanut brittle? That's what I buy my husband every Christmas and I suspect it's his favorite gift!

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  3. Oh no. What a drag, Henny! The mere thought of peanut brittle makes my dental work hurt! I like the cute rug!

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  4. Making candy is always so hard, because it seldomly gets hard like it should. What a mess.

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  5. My grandmother used to make brittle and taffy. I know at some point you test it by dropping some in cold water; but I was never smart enough to really pay attention.

    I think you came up with a good alternative!

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  6. What a day you had! I haven't made peanut brittle for years, but switched to making it in the microwave long ago. You only use one bowl and don't have to stand there stirring and stirring. I have a large glass measuring cup with a handle that I made a note to use next time instead of a bowl. I read my recipe and looked on allrecipes.com to see comments there, and the tip about the measuring cup was mentioned. I love the All Recipes web site. I frequently look up recipes to see if I get any ideas to change things up or when I try something new - like roasted Brussels sprouts. There are lots of comments that clarify things a lot and give hints that other cooks have come up with. I can just see you standing there in the kitchen cleaning up that candy mess. It brings back bad memories from years gone by. Not fun! I hope you have a better day today.

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  7. Oh Henny, that is quite a story! Had a similar experience making fudge. I buy my fudge now!
    Have a good week!

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  8. Dear dear Henny! I am so sorry that your peanut brittle didn't turn out the way Poppy was wanting it to, but you certainly did your best. But at least after the re-do it turned out the way you like it. :) I surely did not envy you any of having all of that mess to clean up...scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing. Did you give Poppy his turn at scrubbing? ;) You were very thoughtful to pick up that box of peanut brittle when you were out. I have made peanut brittle but it has been years ago.

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  9. Dear Henny, As a teenager my mother told me that you cannot make a good 'brittle' is the humidity was high. That also holds true for making fudge. You poor dear--what chore it is to clean up after boiled sugar. However, all that hard work indicates you're feeling more energetic.
    I love pralines. Enjoy. Sandy

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  10. Oh that is wild. I have never tried peanut brittle I have a friend who makes it and it is delicious. Oh well we live and learn. Love your new rug.

    Take care and Love you bunches!

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  11. Peanut brittle is something I've never attempted. Oh my! What a predicament. Yes, the bought PB is the way to go from now on! Blessings to you today.

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  12. Wow! What a fiasco and a messy one at that! I can just imagine what a job cleaning all those pans was with the syrup residue all stuck and hardened onto the insides. I love your friends slogan----it should be cross stitched on a sampler and put up in your kitchen. It's perfect!

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  13. I used to make a three gallon pickle jar full of peanut brittle every Christmas, but when it pulled out my husband's dental cap, he no longer eats it, so I've stopped making it.
    I used the microwave method, one bowl, and afterwards soak in automatic dishwashing detergent and it melts away, so not much clean up.
    I must admit, yours looks delicious.
    ~Jo

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  14. Peanut Brittle is something DH likes (me - not so much). We got some as a Christmas gift this year and he finished the tin on his own. I find it's not good for my teeth... and since I hate going to the Dentist, refuse to eat it (and have no plans to ever try to make it). But kudos to you for your efforts!

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  15. Our neighbors made peanut brittle at Christmas and gave us a bag. It was wonderful, but when they told us of how hard it was to get it just right and all the work they went through . . . well, let's say I decided it was out of my ball park. I don't want to work that hard for candy . . . I'll just accept a bag from her at Christmas, LOL.

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  16. Your "failed" peanut brittle looks so tasty! Your efforts to make it made me grin, I must admit. It's funny when it happens to someone else, right?
    Years ago I went to visit a friend who had made caramel fudge especially for my coming since she knows about my sweet tooth. Well___ it would not set. So we sat at her table and ate it with spoons!!

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  17. Oh my! Bless you Henny - you deserve a treat after all that mess! I've only made peanut brittle once and used the microwave recipe. Even that did not turn out very good. Next time I will buy it!

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  18. Oh what a time of it you had with the peanut brittle!! At least it tasted good.
    I've never tried making it but then I don't care for it anyway.
    Love your new kitchen rug.

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  19. Oh, dear, what a project. I'm not much of a peanut brittle eater but pralines? Now that's something! I think you were quite smart to buy a box of brittle while you were out. Much easier! And less messy.
    Last night The Writer made an egg dish in a bread pan (?) It was tasty but I scrubbed and scrubbed the pan, let it soak overnight, and this morning had to take steel wool to it. I think your friend was right about men in the house!

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  20. Yes a candy thermometer will help you, candy making is a tedious process. I bet your Brittle is easier on the teeth:)

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  21. Peanut brittle is one of my favorites. I know that it's hard to make.

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  22. I have never made peanut brittle! I have to admit my teeth don't take hard sweets like that anymore. I'm more of a pie and cookie gal actually. :)

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  23. Ha ha. Oh mama. I can imagine. I bet it is good. Try it in ice cream for a low cal snack.
    Love you!!
    ~your most adorable and yet troublesome child

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  24. This is so funny! Since you did most of the work, including the clean up!, I'm glad YOU like the candy even if he doesn't. Seems fair to me.
    Tom has a recipe for peanut brittle made in the microwave. It usually turns out well, but the trick is to get it cooked long enough and hot enough.

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  25. Oh my, Henny! My thoughts during your whole post was having to clean those pots! I love the taste of pralines and I probably would have preferred that to the brittle! I hope your husband appreciates you! LOL

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  26. Well I had to laugh! I can so picture the mess, been there done that. Well not exactly the same, but close enough that I can relate! I have pulled crowns off my teeth eating that sort of thing, so I'd have to pass, since I HATE going to the dentist!

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  27. Ha, I had to laugh too. How sweet of you to purchase a box of brittle for your man. ;-)
    I have never made it, not sure I will, sounds like a mess. ;-) Ha!
    Carla

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  28. Oh, gosh, I have wondered about making peanut brittle. It was my least favorite candy when a kid and now it is one of my favorites. I do think you should have your Poppy try making it. But in our house, it would have apt to have been Roger trying making it. Before his stroke.

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  29. I dont remember ever making peanut brittle but I do make homemade pralines from time to time. I love pralines and if your brittle tastes like that........then I would say it's a success!

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  30. First of all Happy Birthday to ELi! My boys are 3 years old also. Oh, how I remember those fat and fluffy clumsy pups! You just can't get over that kinda cuteness. As for the making of the Peanut Brittle, more power to ya! I would never go to that much trouble, but I would certainly join in on the eating part.

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  31. I like a woman who buys a red rug when she needs a candy thermometer. Throw caution to the wind when you stand on your red rug!

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  32. My oldest daughter will never live down her peanut brittle experience. Instead of using corn syrup, she used corn oil! Talk about stirring! And of course it never became candy! :)

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