I got up early this morning, even before the sun came up. A part of me wanted to acknowledge the beginning of the day, now that they are getting longer. Yes, we celebrate the new year at the end of the month, but honestly, it feels to me as if the wheel has already begun a new turn.
There are a few things that I know I’ll never see in my life. One is a total eclipse of the sun. The other is the winter solstice at stonehenge. It’s the second that has the potential to haunt me, but I know someone was there, bundled against the cold, held in the arms of the one they love as they and a handful of others, acknowledged the universe affirming that all things change, even as they stay the same. Sometimes . . . knowing others have seen is enough.
It’s about eleven as I write this, and I’ve already been busy in the kitchen, making a new stewpot of cranberry tea and pan of sugared pecans. One is my husband’s mother’s recipe, and one is my grandfather’s–it’s a blending that seems fitting today. After finishing my online morning work, I do believe I’m going to find a place in the sun and sleep until it moves and I’m again in shadow.
It took another cup of sugar and a few hours, but I got something that could be eaten this time! Sea Foam Candy. I have a few ideas on how to make it even better, but that’s for next year. I do believe I’m about all baked out.
This is the recipe that I used. http://www.cooks.com/recipe/7p1qo3g7/sea-foam.html The dipping chocolate was a pound of semi-sweet chocolate chips, an ounce of bakers chocolate, and an ounce of paraffin melted over a double boiler.
If you made treats as well, drop a picture on my FB page so I can see them! https://www.facebook.com/KimHarrisonsHollows?ref=ts
My attempt at sea foam candy may have looked right, but I am clearly going to have to try to make it again today. The baking soda didn’t give it enough bubbles to lift the candy long enough for it to solidify. Either that, or I didn’t cook it long enough and it collapsed before it solidified, or the Karo syrup was old, which is a distinct probability since I think I moved it twice over the course of five years. Or perhaps the heavy day made a difference. Or the tablespoon of molasses I put in. I know better than to modify candy recipes, but the Karo syrup was really heavy and it needed to be cut with something. I’m also wondering if the instructions to add the vinegar and then cook it to 300 might be off. The chemist in me is thinking it should go in after taking it off the heat, right with the baking soda.
The chocolate covering it, too, wasn’t right, but I blame the vague instructions of “dipping chocolate.” I know what they mean, but I don’t have dipping chocolate. I have cocoa, and bittersweet, and paraffin. My “dipping chocolate” never got hard enough to handle. But I can fix that.
I’m a big believer in eating your mistakes, but it all went into the trash after I tried to eat a piece and it almost pulled out my tooth. I’m trying again this afternoon with fresh Karo syrup, a drier, cooler day, and my own recipe for “dipping chocolate” from another recipe I use all the time. Not to mention a bit of knowledge to “whip it, whip it good.”
Do I sound annoyed? Maybe a smidge. I hate throwing food and effort away, but even though sea foam candy is a treasured treat with lots of memories tied to Christmas, I’ve never made it before. It usually takes me a few tries at anything to start showing any signs of success.
So if I get my work done early enough today, I’ll give it another go. Tomorrow, pictures.
No snow. I’m so bummed. We’ve been spoiled the last few years with a white Christmas. But Guy is liking it, hoping to get out on the road on his bicycle this afternoon. Blahh. This means we’re going to have a cold summer. I know it. Although . . . I will admit I’ve been enjoying the mild temps as much as anyone else.
I put some time in this weekend to make up a candy-cane tea cozy, which sort of helps get me in the mood if the decorating, baking, and lights don’t. (grin) This year, though, I’m making stars as my knitting go-to. Soon as I have a few, I’ll take a picture. They are easy to whip up and don’t need a lot of thought.
Book work is moving as expected this time of year, which means slow. I did dialog on Friday, which pretty well gets the chapter sketched out without putting in the effort in of actually writing it. It is okay as it is, but it bugged me all weekend, and I think I’m going to change the setting from an apartment to a more vibrant lunch room. I’ll have to drop the secondary-character development I put in, but putting them in the middle of a lunchroom has a much better chance of slipping world building and involving more than two characters. Since I’m at dialog, it’s not too big of a shift and it won’t slow me down much. Still, it’s going to mean a few more hours at the keyboard today. Good thing it’s Monday.
So, I’ve gotten up to about page 33 in the back burner work. I’ve given up on trying to take this slow, and I’m just going to do what I feel like. It goes contrary to everything I tell people when they are looking for advice, but since what I feel like is usually six hours M-F, not two hours twice a week, I don’t think it’s going to matter.
Page 33, brings me to the end of chapter three, and all ready Roy is now Dylan because I wanted to change William (tech guy) to Riley (tech woman) and it’s a no-no to have two people with the same first sound in their name in the same book. It’s not a big deal, but if you can avoid it, do so unless there’s a reason for it. (like all of Jenks’ kids having the same first sound.) Trice (young girl snot) has become Walt (young boy snot) and though I ache to be letting such a great name like Trice go, I’m really liking young snot as a boy. The girl was cool, but the boy is charming. He’s got such a great ego, much like Jenks, I’m afraid. Even Jo’s boss has had a name change from Bob, which truly was nothing more than a place holder, to Lloyd, which captures his attitude perfectly.
If you look for names, check out this website from the Social Security office. I’ve used it for years. It has practical information about how a name has changed in popularity for over 200 years in some cases, but mostly I like it because they are real names and browsing about doesn’t get you diaper ads in your news feed. http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/
I particularly like doing a search by year. If I want a dignified name or one for an older character who was born in the 30’s, I do a search on the 1930’s, and if I want one for a younger person, I hit the 2000’s. You can even search by area, making your character’s name very southern, or eastern, or west coast.