Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Broken Thermometer

...home-made toffee, hard, but not so hard it can't be squished ...
I told Mary, no it would not be the same, trying to make caramels with cream that only has 10% butterfat content. I needed the 33% or nothing. This is all I could find, she opined. And she said she had to go out and get a new candy thermometer, since hers was broken. What is wrong with doing the testing in the old fashioned way, with a cup of cold water and a spoon? That is what I wanted to know.

At least at Mary’s house I could find the 1953 Candy Recipes, published by the women in the Edmonton who made enough hand dipped chocolates to build one, if not two chapels with their skill.  I couldn't even find those in Annis Bay. Mary found some real cream which unbeknownst to her was sitting at the back of her fridge. So while her children watched NetFlix, she boiled up the correct proportions of cream, sugar, corn syrup and butter. She forgot the pinch of salt so everything wasn't as it should be.  Still, she produced perfect MacKintosh toffee – she is a brilliant candy-maker.

Rhiannon had a bad day.  Her four year old friend was coming for a play date and then cancelled because the grandparents came for a visit.  It wouldn’t have mattered whether the grandparents came to visit or not, since this little girl has a hard time separating from her mother even at the best of times, but yesterday, the grandparents were taking the blame for the cancelled visit and Rhiannon was mad,  and demonstrating her disappointment with intermittent bouts of weeping.  When I had had enough, I just said, give me the phone, and I am going to give those grandparents a piece of my mind, upsetting my Rhiannon so much.  When that didn’t sooth her I said I was going to take my cane over to that house and use it to beat up on the other grandmother.  I was going to kick the woman in the shins, and if she had white hair, I was going to pull it. This only made Rhiannon cry louder.  I have no idea why I was picking on the other grandmother.  I just imagined that the grandfather was just too old to be a major player in this incident.

Tonight the family was reading from The Friend, an article on how to deal with bullies.  If someone bullies you, you should tell your parents, it said.  And if you can’t find them, perhaps tell your Grandmother.  “A good idea,” said Rhiannon.  “My grandmother would hit them with her cane.”

I hope I get old enough to buy a cane while Rhiannon still needs me to have one.   A few days ago I was telling Mary that you just have to raise your kids the best way you know how and then let the therapist deal with the aftermath when they grow up.  Mary added, and in the case of my kids, the therapist is also going to have to deal with incidents surrounding an incident called when my grandmother came to visit.

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