Baked Sunday Mornings: Toying with toffee

I was but a wee lass when I started making toffee. My sister, about five years older than I, was in her early days of home ec class (do kids still take home ec class?) and came home one day with some stapled sheets filled with all sorts of candy recipes on them — hard . . . → Read More: Baked Sunday Mornings: Toying with toffee

Baked Sunday Mornings: Dipping in the lightest caramel

I made the Vanilla Bean Caramel Apples from the Baked Sunday Mornings recipe roster a little ahead of schedule. It was mid-October, and I was in full fall-enthusiasm mode. It had been many years since I had made caramel apples, and I was itching to get to it! And here’s one observation: amid all the . . . → Read More: Baked Sunday Mornings: Dipping in the lightest caramel

Baked Sunday Mornings: Whipping up a homemade marshmallow

I’ve never made a marshmallow. It seemed like one of those impossible kitchen possibilities, like spinning your own cotton candy or pulling taffy. But I have EATEN a homemade marshmallow, made by my confectionary/culinary/baking-maven friend, Elaine, and it was a heavenly thing, a world apart from the store-bought versions. It was cloudy soft, sweetly vanilla-laden.

. . . → Read More: Baked Sunday Mornings: Whipping up a homemade marshmallow

Dancing with ‘sugarplums’

Just what are sugarplums, anyway? According to Clement Moore’s classic holiday story poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” children had visions of them dancing in their heads. And sugarplum fairies flit magically in the most well-known and traditional of holiday ballets, “The Nutcracker.”

When I have done my own envisioning of what a sugarplum might . . . → Read More: Dancing with ‘sugarplums’

Gathering a bouquet of floral flavors

If something has a flower flavor, I’m on it….like a bee. Recently I was exposed to some delightful imported Italian sodas flavored with, of all things, elderflower! I could not resist. It was a beautiful taste, slightly peachy and as soon as my little fingers could do their walking, I was looking for this . . . → Read More: Gathering a bouquet of floral flavors

Keeping the fire with cinnamon candy

Throughout my childhood, I was treated to a tale of candy. The imagination can almost act as the proverbial “candy store,” and I was the kid who went there, as my parents recounted a magical place. Next to a local movie theater, there existed a candy store where the proprietor not only made all the . . . → Read More: Keeping the fire with cinnamon candy

Creeping into a playful spirit with chocolate mice

Sometimes I think my fun is done.

I know that sounds fatalistic. I know I have joys and things to enjoy ahead. But as far as true, hilarious, tickle-me, laugh-out-loud pleasure — like the fun of childhood — I at times feel I’ve entered into a phase of adulthood where that is less-likely, though . . . → Read More: Creeping into a playful spirit with chocolate mice

Remembering sweet treats from a sweet neighbor

I put up my tree recently, and as with many a Christmas tradition, this ritual sent me back — footsteps clearly marked despite the drifting snow of thoughts flurrying in my mind — to trees of the past. Of prickly cedar trees whose feathery branches could barely bear the weight of tinsel but whose smell . . . → Read More: Remembering sweet treats from a sweet neighbor

Popcorn and a Movie: Finding hope in horror

One dark night, a long time ago, I sat down on the couch by myself after a very rough day, probably one of the worst in my life. I’d been handed down some news so devastating that it seemed insurmountable. My life was different from that point on. I no longer knew myself. Whatever rug . . . → Read More: Popcorn and a Movie: Finding hope in horror