Peanut Brittle and aging December 9, 2021

Before I get into the peanut brittle story let me offer you a MP3 to listen to of an interview at my local library. They have a podcast studio and asked me to come and talk about my poetry book, “Leaf Memories.” I read four of my poems. The recording is about a half an hour.

Now to the Peanut brittle and aging. My Husband John has made several types of brittle for family and neighbors. He has it down to a science. I assist with the prep, and breaking and packaging of the tasty treats.

On the days he makes the candy, the house has a sugary smell that you can almost taste. It hangs in the air for hours.

This year, the process didn’t go as smoothly. John’s cooked candy was dark and tasted burnt. He tried several batches with the same results. He decided that he had bought an off brand of Karo syrup and that must be the reason for the ruined candy.

He was able to produce several batches of peanut, cashew and pumpkin seed brittle with some success.

When we went to buy more syrup, the shelves were bare. When we saw the syrup in a small store, we grabbed it!

Having two bags of peanuts and one of cashews, John decided to attempt the peanut brittle again. During this cooking, the two glass thermometer were fogged and were difficult to read the temperature of the candy mixture. Again even with three thermometers, the candy was still overdone.

Again, John looked at the Karo syrup, but it was the name brand and was what he had used in the successful batches of brittle.

As a last resort, he rechecked the recipe closely. In all the years of making the brittle, he had put the vanilla, water and baking soda mixture in just before done at 300 degrees.

He had forgot the correct time to put in this mixture and was adding it at a much lower temperature, causing the candy to burn.

Following the recepe, the cashew and peanut brittle came out perfectly.

As we age, our memory may tell us incorrect information or think we can do a task without checking. We had four batches of ruined brittle to prove that this is not a good idea.

I find that I have started to check and re-check directions even if I am sure I remember. Sometimes I am correct and sometimes I am wrong. This is Just a price of aging. I called it muddled thinking.



Breaking Brittle

a large round brittle piece,

When cool, breaks into small tasty sections,

loose peanuts left for squirrels.

copyright 12/9/2021

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