my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

December 20, 2010

let's start with friday....

i was going to post about how crazy and awful last week was for me, but i just don't feel like dredging everything up to talk about it (first no heat then frozen water pipes then burst water pipes). so instead i've decided to move on and i'll talk about my weekend instead, starting with friday.

so, a friend came down to visit on friday, which was nice and slightly unexpected. we, me and him and hubby, all hung out friday night, drinking adult beverages and watching adult comedy shows and just acting like grown ups. it was super nice, and not something i get to do too often, what with dealing with people who are seven and younger for most of my day.

saturday we had a birthday party for lumpy, as he turned six on friday. we went bowling, which was fun and amusing. of course my boys decided half way through the game that they were tired and hungry and wanted to stop, but we made them play the whole way through. i'm trying to teach them that it's not good to start something if you're not going to finish it, especially when you are playing a game with somebody. it's hard to teach life lessons to kids, but if i get to bumper bowl while doing it, that makes things easier on me.

after we were finally done with bowling, we all went back to my dad's for the actual party. really, it's hard to call it a party when my boys were the only kids there. i think it was more of a birthday gathering for the family. one day i'd like to throw lumpy an actual party, invite kids from school and everything, but with the holidays all around, it would take a lot of work and planning and i just wasn't able to do it this year. that and i have no idea who he'd want me to invite simply because every time i ask him who his friends at school are, he can't remember names, or he gives me a different list of kids every time. and his teacher never sent a class list home so i'm not exactly sure how many kids are actually in his class.

so anyway, i did the best i could for him on saturday, i tried to make his birthday feel some what special. i even made him a replica of the portal cake from the video game portal (don't know? then google it), though that morning he told me he really wanted a transformer cake after it was way too late to make him one. still, the cake was delicious, and not a lie!

saturday night the boys stayed with my dad and i was able to wrap the rest of their christmas presents. sunday morning my hubby and i went out and bought all the little things i want to put in their stockings, so i actually think i'm done with all my shopping. all i have is a few things left to wrap and then i'm all set for saturday.

let me just say that it is so weird to think that christmas is on saturday. like it seems like it's so close, i can't believe it's less than a week away. and yet i'm already done with present buying, there are just a few little odds and ends of things i need to finish. so in that respect, i can't believe i have so much time left. it makes me wonder if i forgot anything, because i still have time to fix it. though with my luck, if there is something i forgot, i'll remember on friday and have to rush around and fight the crowds to get it finished.

speaking of getting things finished, there is one thing i need to do this week that i purposely left until the last minute. this week is candy week! yup, i'm finally making all the christmas candy that i've been planning on doing all month. i didn't want to start too early, because i wanted things to remain fresh, but now with the big event only a few days away, i've gotten started.

i actually started making candy yesterday. i knocked out two types of fudge yesterday afternoon while my boys were still out and about with my dad. in the evening we went to my moms' house so my hubby could watch football with people who actually care about watching football. as in my moms and sister and not me. no, i stayed in the kitchen and made chocolate peanut butter meltaways. and dinner. and then after dinner came the fun of making peanut brittle.

every year i make peanut brittle for christmas. and every year i burn myself. honestly, that's why i only make brittle once a year. no matter the precautions i take, i always burn myself. the problem with making brittle is cooking the sugar to the right temperature without burning it takes alot of time and diligence, it's almost an hour process of standing near a stove and watching a pot boil. but i make that candy because the people i love really love the stuff. i watch my thermometer and stir and try and keep the kiddies away. the very end is when things get somewhat dangerous. the reason brittle is so brittle and not just a crunchy toffee is because at the very end you dump in a little bit of baking soda. the soda reacts with the hot sugar and everything bubbles and foams, and you have to stir quickly and then dump the mixture on a baking sheet so you can pulls the candy into a thin, uniform mass to break when cool.

it's the process of mixing the foaming sugar that burnt me last year, but it was the dumping onto sheet trays that got me this year. i'm as careful as i can be, and yet i always burn myself. the worst is that the sugar is up to 300 degrees at that point, so it's much worse than just a scald from boiling water or steam. now i have some very nasty looking blisters on my hands, but i know i'll heal. from all the jobs i've had in various kitchen, no one was lining up to give me a job as a hand model, and the scars from these burns will blend nicely in with all the rest. weirdly enough, my hubby really freaked out and said i'm not supposed to make peanut brittle anymore, though by next christmas he'll forget my burns and only remember the deliciousness of the candy. and hopefully next year i'll remember why i don't make the stuff with him around, i have enough trouble with the kids in the kitchen, i don't need his over protectiveness hovering behind me. all he needs to do is eat and enjoy. and wash the dishes when the time comes.

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