Sweets For My Sweet (posted by Lani)
First of all just let me say that truthfully, sometimes I think that this sister-sister thing isn't just a blog. The circle cloth you made for Mom? In yellow and white? Yeah. My February cloth for her is a circle cloth, in yellow and white. I'd attach a photo, but the cats are REALLY insistent about helping with photography today so you're going to have to wait.
Next, my car! Go, Subaru of America -- I got my car back on Wednesday with a new turbo and new short block, all covered under the warranty. Given that I'm only 2,000 miles short of the end of that warranty, I'm counting my blessings that this happened now and not a few weeks from now! Essentially I now have a new engine; I went on and had them do a lot of additional service to the car including replacing the timing belt since the engine was already out of the car, so this baby should be good for a nice long time now. They made me sweat a bit about it, but honestly once I got them the last of my maintenance records they were very quick to reassure me that everything would be covered, and to get the work done for me. My faith in my Subarus is entirely intact!
And finally, some photos of what I did last weekend. I was a bit bored, what with snow and carlessness and all, so I decided to try my hand at making candy (with somewhat mixed, but overall positive, results). Here are the fruits of my labor:
That plate includes divinity, caramel brittle (my first batch of caramel didn't quite turn out the way I had planned!), homemade marshmallows, homemade marshmallows wrapped in caramel (I've decided that my middle initial E stands for Excess, not Elizabeth), and ... wait for it ... tiramisu truffles. Yes, they ARE as good as they sound.
I learned a LOT while doing this, not the least of which is that because the boiling point up here near 9000 feet altitude is lower, you have to cook sugar to a lower temperature than you otherwise would. My first attempt at caramel to wrap the marshmallows resulted in caramel brittle; even my second attempt was much stiffer than I intended. This will obviously require further experimentation!
I also learned that I will never, ever buy marshmallows again, because they are dead easy to make, incredibly delicious, and they melt into the most fantastic fluff imaginable on top of hot cocoa. I learned that divinity is stupidly easy to make up here where the humidity was hovering around 20%, except that it sets up insanely fast so that next time I'll be making it in a pan instead of trying to make little swirly drops.
And finally, I learned that Steve and Jim can eat more candy than you would think possible for two relatively skinny guys, and that it makes them very happy for me to play around with candy-making. Shocking, right?
I've spent this week, and the first day of this weekend, trying very, very hard not to catch the plague that one of my coworkers brought back to the office from her vacation, which includes a high fever and a racking cough and which is decimating our office. I think maybe I've beaten it off; if that is indeed the case, tomorrow I'll be making (a) The Cake, and (b) chocolate-sauerkraut cupcakes. Yes, I did say chocolate-sauerkraut. I'm debating on peanut butter frosting or caramel frosting, although a kielbasa topping was suggested by Jim, who as you may guess is somewhat skeptical about this project. I'll keep you posted.
EDIT: Sock Summit! I had planned to go last year but the signup filled up literally in seconds, and I wasn't able to get a spot. Frustration wasn't the word. I'd LOVE to go with you though ... let's see how they handle signups this year.