WHEN MAMA MAKES SOME CANDY – AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD #11

When the days start getting shorter

and the frost is on the ground,

and the dogs are getting furry,

and the woodpile is a mound,

Near the woodstove cats are lounging,

and the chores have all been done,

we all sit around the table,

while we read our books for fun.

Then one night after the dishes

have been washed and put away,

mama puts aside her darning,

and then gets up and says

What a night for making taffy!”

and you can see our ears perk up,

I shout “I’ll fetch the sugar!”

My sister says “I’ll get the cup

(the one we use to measure things),

and a wooden spoon to stir it up.

mama take out cider vinegar,

I pour molasses in the cup;

into a big old heavy pot

go all the needful things,

and mama stirs til its boiling up,

and then –well here’s another thing;

you have to cook it without stirring

for what seems like the longest wait,

mama tests  a bit in water

till we see it holds its shape,

then we pour it on the platter

and we have to let it cool,

we butter up our fingers

’cause we’re nobody’s fool,

then sis and I pull taffy

till it stretches and its grand;

mama cuts it into pieces

with her scissors and she hands

over all the little pieces

to pa for him to wrap

in wax paper and he twists them

and gives each little piece a snap;

we’ll eat a few small pieces

just to see if they are sweet

mama’s homemade taffy

is the best thing you can eat.

 

TO MAKE MAMA’S MOLASSES TAFFY

YOU WILL NEED:

2 CUPS UNSULFURED MOLASSES

1 CUP SUGAR

2 TBSP BUTTER

2 TBSP APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Butter a platter or a baking sheet. In large pan combine all the ingredients. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and cook, without stirring until the mixture reaches 250 degrees Farenheit (the hard ball stage) on a candy thermometer or until a small amount  of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a ball that is hard enough to hold its shape, yet is pliable.

Pour onto the platter.  Have squares of wax paper on hand. let the cooked taffy cool until its barely  cool enough to work with ( if it gets too cool, you can warm it in a 350 degrees oven for 3-4 minutes).  Coat your hands with butter.  Now start  pulling. Working fast, pull a lump of candy between the fingertips of one hand and the other until its about 15  inches long.  Now double it up and pull again. Continue pulling as in step 1 until candy is porous and hard to pull.  Stretch candy into a rope about 3/4″ in diameter. Cut with greased scissors into 1″ pieces. To prevent sticking, wrap each piece individually in a piece of wax paper; twist the ends to seal. Keep wrapped candy in a tightly closed tin.

Sandra Lee Smith

Originally posted June 11, 2011,

Updated September 18 , 2018

 

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