Thursday, December 10, 2009
Let's Have A Taffy Pull...!
I have only had one taffy pull in my life...but it was a real blast!
My cousins, Margie and Gail, lived on an old homestead outside of Jarrell, Texas. My Uncle Bill and Aunt Blanch seemed to always have a bunch of kids at their house . Their place was one of those places that folks just seemed to be drawn to, especially the young people!
Now, being true country folks, my Uncle Bill and Aunt Blanch always could come up with ways to keep everyone entertained, even in the Winter months. One of the things I can still remember was the night we had a good old taffy pull! It was my first!
You know what I remember most about that taffy pull? What I remember the most was the laughter! We laughed from the time we started...all the way to the end of the evening! I have an image in my head of all of us crowded into the living room of that old farmhouse, a fire burning in the fireplace, music coming from the old hand crank Victrola in the other room, and laughter bouncing off the rafters and ringing all through the house!
I don't know if we were laughing at ourselves, standing there with farm fresh butter smeared all over our hands and arms...or if we were laughing at the absurd picture made by all of us walking backwards while pulling the taffy with our partner, trying our best to keep the stretched out taffy from drooping down onto the floor!
Whatever we were laughing at, it was the sound of pure, wholesome fun! How about you and your group having a good old-fashioned taffy pull? I've put the recipe and instructions here, so the hard part is all done! See what a nice guy I am...?
* 2-1/2 cups sugar
* 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup
* 4 teaspoons white vinegar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup evaporated milk
Note: Use a candy thermometer for this recipe. For brown sugar candy, substitute 2 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar for the white sugar.
Mix all ingredients except milk in heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir often until sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat and bring mixture to boiling. VERY slowly add the evaporated milk in a thin stream so boiling does not stop.
Put candy thermometer in pan; continue stirring. Cook and stir constantly until mixture reaches 248° (firm ball stage). Dip pastry brush in water and gently brush sides of pan to wash crystals from sides of pan. Do this a few times while candy is cooking. When candy has reached desired temperature, remove from heat, remove thermometer and WITHOUT scraping sides and bottom of pan, pour mixture onto large platter which has been greased with margarine.
Let mixture cool until it is cool enough to handle. Grease your hands with margarine; take a small portion of the candy and begin pulling. Use only the tips of your fingers to pull. Candy should be white in color and no longer feel sticky when it has been pulled enough.
Twist each pulled strip slightly and place on waxed paper. When all the candy is pulled, cut each strip into 1-inch pieces. Wrap each piece in waxed paper and twist ends.
If you can resist eating all of the taffy, a mason jar or any other container with a tight fitting lid can be used to store the left over candy! But be warned...with the holiday visitors coming over, it may be hard to count on any being saved for long!
If nothing else, this could be a good way to create some outstanding holiday memories for everyone involved, especially the kids and the young at heart!
Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside...it's still a bit chilly, but that's alright!