Fwd: Pulled Candy
- Thanks to all for the recipes and tips for making pulled candy.
In return I am sharing my sister's story about pulled candy.
Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Norma W. Tomb" <norma.tomb@...>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> Date: September 30, 2011 10:13:46 AM EDT
> To: Trish Cobb <turniproots@...>
> Subject: Pulled Candy
> Thank you sooooo much for the Pulled Candy Recipe! It sounds exactly like Mother's and, you are right, she did not use vanilla. Your connections are wonderful.
> Here is what I wrote several weeks back about my recollections:
> Candy from my Youth
> In many ways i was so lucky to have been the firstborn to my parents. They were still young and full of fun. We lived in a small town in an old house that had been divided into two apartments. Our side of the house was entered from the front door into a large hall. A turn to the right led one into the living room. Behind that was the bedroom that my parents and I shared. It had a stove in the middle of the floor with a stovepipe that ran up the chimney.
> Directly behind the bedroom was the dining room and directly behind that was the kitchen, small but adequate. I remember the stove had a micah window in front of the flame on the kerosene burner.
> My earliest recollection of candy was the "pull candy" or taffy that my mom made with the help of two teenaged girls who lived next door. They were always fascinated with my pretty, lively mother and were always visiting with her, sometimes to her annoyance as she never knew when they would be hiding somewhere in her house.
> One day she suggested to them that they make pull candy. I didn't know what it was but it sounded exciting. Mother mixed sugar and vinegar and maybe some water? I was too little to know exactly what she put into the pot, but I remember the pungent smell of the vinegar heating on the stove over the micah burner. I could sit for long stretches watching the blue and amber flickers behind that thin piece of rock.
> The candy cooked and the girls stirred. Soon they spoke of testing it for doneness. What did that mean? Much discussion ensued and a cup of water was prepared and set nearby. Every few minutes one of the girls would dribble a bit of the sweet mixture into the cup of water and everyone would inspect it. Is it hard? Did it make a ball? No, it floated to the top. Cook it some more. I, being the littlest one, always got to taste the bit of sweetness in the cup before fresh water was added and a new test began. This procedure was repeated several times until it was finally declared done.
> The girls cleared the table and spread sheets of waxed paper across it. The buttered platter was presented and the hot mixture poured into it, rolling to the edges of the plate and slowly cooling. Then we just had to wait until it was cool enough to handle. My patience was flagging. This was a long process. I watched the flickering burner go out. Conversation was lively so the girls and my mother were enjoying themselves.
> Finally, they began to gather up the whole mass of goo and I watched in amazement as two of them began pulling on opposite sides of the mass and stretching it to nearly breaking. But they always stopped short of that. Then they would fold it back into a more concentrated form and start pulling again. Candy strings were everywhere, all hands in the kitchen were buttered and sticky. The candy became whiter as it was filled with air and stiffer as it was worked. The pulling became harder until finally it was too hard to pull. By this time, also, the entire kitchen was sticky .
> The candy was laid in a long coil back on the waxed paper and left to harden. Wait? we have to wait some more? I could hardly stand it.
> In a while the candy hardened to a brittleness that was in no way flexible. My mom grabbed a heavy knife and began whacking away, cutting the candy into manageable pieces.
> Is it done, yet, Mama?
> Yes, honey, you may have the first piece.
> Oh, so sweet, so tangy , so hard to bite. I just had to suck on it .
> That was the best candy I had ever had.