Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow Gets In Your Eyes

My legs are still achy.

Normally I take my sleepy Sundays to work on cooking up something curiously delicious for you.  This week I traded sleep and snacks for skis, bought a sweet, funny little hat with a pom pom and ear flaps, and spent the day whizzing and whirring circles down a small mountain in Pennsylvania.  

On the mountain I decided three things.

1.  Ear flaps are amazing.  I've been wearing my hat all throughout the much-more-stylish-than-I city of New York with a silly grin on to match.
2.  There is no better place I can think of to drink hot chocolate than in wooden ski lodge.

And, sadly:

3.  A day spent on the mountain = a day of generally terrible food.

Aside from that steamy cup of hot chocolate needed mid day to thaw out my 9-degrees-outside frozen cold toes, the lukewarm waffle fries and dry and, well...kind of crunchy ribs didn't make for much to talk about here.

So my kitchen is dark this week.  But with my legs up on the couch (and a 60% chance of 2-4 inches of snow tonight) I've thought of something you may just like to try.  Part of my little girl-world years ago included the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her little house on the prairie.  In one of my favorites stories she and her sister make snow candy; cooked molasses and brown sugar that they pour and drizzle into squiggles and swirls, which freeze hard in a pan of fresh snow.

Years ago my sister and I settled on stirring together maple syrup in bowls of white snow.  I still think about that lovely idea of homemade candy cracking and coming alive in a wintry backyard.  

So for you this week I did a little snooping around and found that recipe for snow candy.  I have yet to try it myself.  But in these gray and chilly days deep into the heart of winter, (and until I'm back on strong land legs again in the kitchen) you may just find this recipe a new reason to wish for snow days.
Or an excuse to buy yourself a hat, earflaps included.

Snow Candy

1 C molasses
1 C brown sugar
Fresh, clean, beautiful snow

1.  In a medium pot, cook molasses and brown sugar together until a candy thermometer reads between 300 and 310 degrees F.  (if you want you can test for the "hard crack" stage by dropping a spoonful of the hot syrup into a bowl of cold water.  If when you take it out and try to bend it, it breaks, you've reached the right temp!)
2.  Remove the syrup from the heat.
3.  Using a wooden spoon, drizzle spoonfuls of the syrup over packed fresh snow.  Once the syrup sets, remove it from the snow and lay on a paper towel to dry.


Michelle Darlene said...

is this Tusseyville Mountain?!

Michelle Darlene said...

well, I actually moved out of State College. No jobs there and things with Ryan were getting rough. I decided to move out before we ended up hating each other. I actually have a phone interview tomorrow for an Assistant Pastry Chef in Sarasota, FL. How's the big city treating you?

krayery said...

oh schnackles! I love those books and totally forgot about snow candy. yay for childhood memories!