Thursday, July 04, 2013
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Happy July 4, everybody! Several hours ago (still on July 3) I heard what I thought was thunder. But no, it was fireworks.
What, may I ask, is the deal with having fireworks before it is even July Fourth?? Tuesday night, July 2nd, two people couldn't come to our crit meeting because they had to go to the fireworks. on July SECOND? Huh? What am I missing here?
Next thing you know, July 4th will be celebrated on the first Monday in July. Why bother to have it on the actual date? Nothing else is. WHatever happened to Washington's Birthday on Feb 22 or Lincoln's B.D. on Feb 16? Or Martin Luther King's birthday on January 15? Maybe we should just memorialize 9/11 on any old Monday closest to the actual date. Cheesh!
Tonight, to amuse myself, I thought I would try recreating a taste from my college days in Massachusetts: Hood's Java Crunch ice cream. Does anybody remember that flavor? It was the best and there has never been anything like it, since. It was coffee ice cream (hence the Java) with bits of chocolate and toffee crunch. I found a sort-of recipe on line but first I had to make the toffee. Since I wasn't in the mood to make a mess, I looked for an easy one and found this fabulous one that you can make in the microwave. Really! The only caveat is that you have to watch it to make sure it doesn't burn. Ask me how I know. The recipe-writer said it took 12 minutes in his microwave. Well, it took only 8 in mine. The first batch went beyond 8 minutes and ended up in the garbage. Not to be deterred, I tried again. I added a bit of vanilla. Yum yum and quick! Try it.
MARK'S MICROWAVE BUTTER TOFFEE
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. roughly chopped pecans or almonds (I use pecans)
5 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
Rub inside of a large GLASS (this will not work in anything
but glass, no ceramic mixing bowl with the stick of butter,
and put remaining butter in bowl. Pour sugar directly on
butter in bottom of bowl; try to avoid getting any sugar on
sides. Add salt and water. Microwave on HIGH power until
syrup is toffee- colored, (our microwave takes 12 minutes 15
seconds to achieve this color). Place nuts on a non-stick
cookie sheet (if not non-stick, butter cookie sheet
slightly). Pour hot syrup over nuts. DO NOT scrape bowl onto
candy or candy may crystallize. I scrape remaining syrup out
on another part of the cookie sheet than where the candy is,
as it is still a good cook's treat! Let candy cool. if you
are in a hurry, place in freezer for a few minutes. Melt
chocolate, and brush over top of candy when it is cool. Let
chocolate set, again putting in freezer if needed. Break
into pieces. NO ONE will ever guess that this only takes
about 30 minutes to make, and that it was made in the
microwave! Makes 1 pound of candy.
Then I made the ice cream and threw in the toffee bits. Caffeine is beginning to wear off now.
By the way, thanks for all your comments, suggestions, and emails about the dish towels and hankies. Will follow up with those of you who emailed me. Meantime, hope you have good weather on this 4th of July, 2013. I plan to be indoors, somewhere.
at 2:03 AM