So that the sweet tooths of the house (my own included) would stop gnashing
at me about how little we have on hand to please (and also to rot) them, I
boiled together three half-batches of rock candy early this afternoon:
peppermint, anise, and cinnamon. Can you tell from the photo that I’ve
never made rock candy before?
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Alone on a plate, a tingaling is not the most eye-appealing treat of the
season. But what of it? What their presentational aesthetic lacks is
recovered ten times over in their flavor. These are indulgent, easy cookies.
Just like I do every year (it is customary), I mixed together a batch of them
the other day. When I was a kid, these were a sure bet: a seasonal staple.
They were in all of my grandparents’ kitchens (or cookie tins, elsewhere
positioned) at the holidays. These simple cookies are, for me, like a portal to
another time and place. By scent alone they relocate me in Sheboygan, Wisc.,
fill my head with strong impressions of that happy, recurrent scene that played
out year after year throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s.
First, the family recipe:
1 – 8 oz. bag of butterscotch chips
1 – 6 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips
1 – 4 oz. can of chow mein noodles
1 – cup salted Spanish peanuts
When I made them the other day, however, I used the following combination
for a double-batch:
2 – 8 oz. bags of butterscotch chips
1 – 8 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips
2 – 6 oz. bags of chow mein noodles
2 – cups dry roasted peanuts
Combine the crunchy noodles and the peanuts in a medium bowl. In a
glass dish, melt the chips into a liquid. I did this using a medium
setting in the microwave. Pour the melted chocolate and butterscotch
over the dry ingredients in the bowl. Stir it together until
everything is covered. Spoon the mixture onto parchment, wax paper, or
aluminum foil, and let cool.
gobstuff archive at E.W.M.–a well of alimentary delights–would not be
complete (nor ready for The Food Network to sponsor) without this recipe in it.
During the summer of ’00, I spent six weeks in Xalapa, Veracruzana, studying
language and culture at the Universidad de Veracruzana while on excursion from
UMKC, the institution from which I took my MA in Aughtgust of aught-aught
(language requirement completed). Typical arrangements: in pairs, students were matched with
families. I lived with a family on the south side of Xalapa, maybe two miles from the Universidad’s space near the central district; out the family’s dining
room windows, we looked toward
during most morning and evening meals.
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