Tonight I made caramels. I just poured the caramel mixture into the pan to cool so I don't know for sure that it worked. Pretty sure!
My dear daughter is 23 years old this December. Seventeen years ago, I made caramels at around 9pm--long after the children were in bed and (I thought) fast asleep for the night. When the caramels were done, it was 10pm. I poured the mixture into the pan and went to do household chores that never seem to get done with two children ages 4 and 6. My daughter was not asleep and she thought there was this wonderful pan of candy and she got out of bed and dipped her hand into the mixture that was approximately 240+ degrees. We figure it was that hot because I had just poured it and caramels are cooked to firm ball stage on the candy thermometer (245*). It was the most horrible moment thus far. She cried for 2 straight hours. When I called the pediatrician, I was told just to run her hand under cold water--which I did for 2 hours, as I cried with her. Every time I took her hand out of the water and into the air, she would begin to scream. The next day, the doctor bandaged her hand with a huge white bandage. To make matters worse, we were taking a family picture that my parents had paid lots of money to set up the next morning in Fresno. There was no way to unbandage the hand because every time we did, my daughter screamed. Her hand was tightly bandaged for days.
We ended up taking the family picture and it was beautiful. It paid to have an experienced photographer take the picture. The photographer was able to redraw her hand so no bandage appears in the picture. I was so traumatized by the whole experience, I didn't make caramels again until last year. Caramels are one of my favorite candies. I live for the vanilla nut caramels that Sees Candies makes. I don't put nuts in my caramels. There is something so satisfying about the creaminess of the caramel that says it doesn't need anything else.
I am making caramels for a secret Santa thing we are doing at work. We were given a name (I like the person I got) and are supposed to give a small gift every day until Thursday when there was going to be a breakfast--probably potluck. Then the principal, as usual, got involved at the last minute and decided to have a breakfast for the staff. Now we have one extra day to give a gift and will reveal ourselves on Friday. On Thursday, the first day, I gave a small jar of peppermints. I am gone before the end of the day and didn't get my slip of paper until Thursday, so I went prepared. Friday, I gave her a Christmas plate of Turtle brownies. One the the things that was listed was caramel. I understand that she LOVED the brownies. And, yes, the darling daughter made them....Yesterday, I gave her a Glee CD (she loves Glee-the show on channel 40) of the songs from the season finale. Then I had people email here a gleefull Monday from her secret Santa--of course without using my name. Today I gave her red socks with snowflakes on them. Tomorrow will be the caramels and then I have to come up with something for Thursday--an extra day. The best is Friday when I give her breakfast in a bag for her last present. I bought the pancake mix that you add water, mix in the jug and pour. I added a bottle of maple syrup and a box of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. The idea is that this will only cost us $20.00 for the entire week. It was fun.
Have a great day tomorrow!