Making caramels is a Christmas tradition that I love. For the past several years, I've made caramels for teacher gifts and friends The process is long, but the results are fabulous. In fact, I believe the Mr C made straight A's in junior high because of my caramels (it might have had a little to do with the grades, but you never know.) Let's just say his "teachers" might have cried when he graduated 8th grade.
This year, I wanted to share the joy with caramels with a few friends and decided I'd pretend to be Martha Stewart and host a caramel making session in my home. Let's just say that things did not go as expected.
Try as we might, the ladies and I did not end up with a successful batch of caramels.
We had all the right ingredients, we measured and stirred, and watched the temperature on the candy thermometer just like you are supposed to. The first batch turned out hard as a rock and the second "double" batch might have worked as caramel ice cream sauce, but not as something you could wrap up and give away. I even tried to put them in the fridge to harden them up which not only did nothing for the texture of the caramels, but resulted in one tray spilling all over my fridge.
Now I could count this up as an epic failure. Proof positive that I should not be a cooking teacher and that I should just give up my hopes of a vast empire of crafts and cooking. OK, maybe I should give that dream up, but the morning was anything but a failure. I spent the morning with friends and shared with them a love of making homemade goodies for friends and family. I was able to encourage them to step out and try something new. We learned together that failure in the kitchen is just that, a mess up. All that was really lost was a few simple ingredients and a little pride.
Plus, I got to learn how to take my new refrigerator apart, removing the shelves, figuring out the veggie drawers and I rearrange a few things to make it even more efficient for our family.
The funny story we have to tell about our morning of caramel making will last much longer than a batch of caramels Of course, today I had to prove to myself that I haven't lost the caramel making touch and I made a double batch for the junior high teachers. Hey, I'm no fool I want Miss M to have straight A's too!