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's still a bit chilly, but that's alright!


Rae said...

I have never participated in a taffy pull, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun. Your description of good times spent with family really brought back some memories for me. I had an aunt and uncle whose place we gravitated to also. I recall some of my happiest memories from those visits. Thanks for sharing yours. I loved this post.

Wyn Boniface said...

I love this weather.

murphyfish said...

Great post Hermitjim,
Brought back many memories of many get togethers past and makes me look forward to similar memory making events to come.

murphyfish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Momlady said...

Messy, but yum. Experienced the same once. A LONG time ago.

Anonymous said...

I think you have a sweet tooth! I hope your food storage is really stocked with hard candy:)

Enjoy the coffee!

Anonymous said...

I think you have a sweet tooth! I hope your food storage is really stocked with hard candy:)

Enjoy the coffee!

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One, Loved this post. And of course the memories of younger years and then memories of the grandkids at their xmas of wrapping paper and the best toys ever (boxes).
Yes it sure is chilly.
Have a great day.

Kyddryn said...

Oh Mister Hermit, sir - you've reminded me of my old school...we had a couple of taffy pulls there - not much else to do during the winter in New Hampshire when the weather's foul.

One weekend, we had a taffy pull, then popped popcorn and hung around the woodstove playing, telling stories, and drinking cider. What none of the teachers/staff realized was that the cider (which we'd made ourselves that fall) had turned hard! They thought our hilarity was due to sugar and having been indoors too long! Us kids had no idea what was going on, either. Not until a fair few gallons had been consumed did they discover the true source. I still laugh at the expression on one woman's face as she took a sip - priceless!

Shade and Sweetwater,

HermitJim said...

Hey Rae...
I think that the older I get, the more some memories come back to me! I think I must have had a really good time as a youngster!

Funny how nature can let us remember so many good things, while making us forget where we left our glasses, huh?

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Wyn...
It certainly is winter, isn't it? It's good, if you don't need to go anywhere!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey John...
Good to see you this morning, my friend! Nice thing about having some good memories to fall back on, is the fact that we may get the chance to create some new ones to remember later.

Thanks for coming by today...

Hey Momlady...
Wonder why we do't do this kind of thing anymore? Seems to me that it would be a really good family activity for the winter months!

besides, think of all the great pictures we could get out o it!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Kris...
I think I'm in good shape as far as the storage thing is concerned!

Of course, you are correct about the sweet tootjh! But maybe that's thew reason I'm so sweet, ya reckon?

I really appreciate you dropping in today, my friend!

Hey JoJo...
You know, I think the boxes usually turn out to be the favorite toys, just like you said!

We always seem to find a use for them, that's for sure!

Sweetie, I sure thank you for coming by today!

Hey K...
That must have been a sight! I can only imagine the look on the teacher's face!

Sometimes those old memories can help to make us smile just thinking about them!

Hope some of the kids today will have memories like these to recall on old winter days!

Thanks, K, for coming by!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I´ve never done a Taffy pull, but it sure sounds fun!

I have a couple of friends that are just like that and one Christmas we decided that sausage making would be perfect to do. I can tell You that we also laughed all the time. People came and went all having a great time. Even if they didn´t participate themselves, the sure knew how to comment our doings.

We read the recipe wrong too. We started out with 10 pounds of mincemeat and it tasted just awful. In the end we had over 40 pounds of mince meat (they owned a grocery store back then)and it still tasted waful :-) :-) Not even our dogs wanted to eat it :-) :-)

But next christmas we did it again, reding very careful how to do it :-) :-)
Have a great day now!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
I think the sausage making was a success, if everyone had fun!

After all, it isn't what you are making, as long as the final product is laughter filled memories, right?

Hey, thanks so much for coming by today!

Anonymous said...

Странно, искал совсем не это, гугл выдал Ваш сайт, и судя по всему не зря, есть что почитать! Goodwork!