Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet and Glassy!

Christmas traditions are huge thing to my family. There are just some things that are so good that they don't need to be changed. Not that I am against change - it's healthy and natural, but when it come to holiday traditions, back off!! Food is a big part of Christmas in our clan and not just any food - the sweet stuff!

Growing up, we had the privilege of spending alot of time with my maternal grandparents, Peepa and Meema. Unfortunately, I never got to meet my paternal grandmother and my grandfather passed away when I was 8, so Meema and Peepa were very much a part of my childhood.

I come from a VERY long line of amazing cooks. (Me, well, apparently that gene skipped a generation.) Meema every year, without fail made two things for Christmas: #1 - The most amazing, melt in your mouth AND in your hands, fudge you could ever eat. #2 (and my personal favorite) - THE best peanut brittle to ever grace the face of the earth. So, after I grew up, got married, and had kids, I decided it was time for me to attempt making brittle, and not just any brittle but, Meema's Peanut Brittle (I think I just heard angels sing...)

Sadly, my sweet Meema passed away 15 years ago, prior to my marriage, and all I have is her recipe to go by. I watched her as a child make this stuff, but things are different now. Her stove was an antiquated gas stove and her pots were so worn down you could almost see through the bottoms of them. She had a system, a pattern, an eye for when to put certain ingredients in at just the right time. Me, I am doing good not giving myself 3rd degree hot sugar burns.

Last year, I made my best batch yet! I was so excited. I didn't care about any of the presents I had bought for my precious 91 year old grandfather, Peepa. I just wanted to give him the peanut brittle that I had made. It was one of his favorite things that Meema made, but no one in our family has attempted it and gotten it like her's because it's so blasted hard to make! I waited with baited breath as he took a bite, and MMMMM'ed with yumminess!

I had done it! I had found the secret to Meema's brittle. Do the dance of joy! So, me being the gluten of punishment that I am, blurted out, "It tastes like Meema's doesn't it!?!" He just grinned at me and said, "Nope." I busted laughing. I love my Peepa. He's never been a liar! He said he loved the taste of it and it was close, but there was a soft, bubbly, crunchiness that Meema's had that mine lacked. (Oh, don't worry - I didn't get my feelin's hurt - he wasn't being ugly. He, in fact, is really is rooting for me to get it right!) Truth be told, it was a little like eating small shards of glass - I seriously don't know how his "falsies" made it through!

So, this year, I take the challenge up once again to find perfection and send it to the judge of all things sweet, my Peepa. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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