A Sticky Situation! by Arhonda Luman

“Crap!” Ok, so I should not use such an expletive in my blogging, but I felt vindicated. I splattershad a terrible mess to clean up!

I peered cautiously around the corner at my kitchen and shook my head in wonder. It looked a little bit like a candy bomb exploded. There was candy splattered on the counter,  coffee pot, toaster, fry daddy, and cabinets.   I reached for a knife, and it was a sticky mess. I reached for a bowl, and it was a sticky mess.  It took me quite a while to realize I was making messes as fast as I was cleaning them! My cup filled with Dr. Pepper was sticky, and every time I touched it, I spread more of the sticky goo. Even, the moo-moo I wore, was every bit as sticky as a roll of that fly tape that is used to catch flys.

The scenes of the chaotic day flashed before my eyes like a cartoon in slow motion.  That’s when I started laughing.

I love to make candy. I have been known to make over a hundred pounds at Christmasmixer-beater time. I gave it as gifts to family, friends, customers, and  I served it to my guests. I absolutely love everything about the whole process of cooking, creating, and giving and I confess, I enjoy eating it!

Different ones in my family, especially my nephew John, get excited when it is candy making time. Knowing this, I called him up on Sunday afternoon and told him the candy making was about to begin. He brought me a candy thermometer, and we started. I had never used a candy thermometer before. Suddenly, all the failures of my past candy making came back to haunt me. Determined to win this time, I picked up the thermometer and brandished it like a sword. Then I placed my new red copper pan on the stove. The negative thoughts fled in the presence of such magnificence!  I was invigorated. I pulled out my recipe for divinity. That was a candy I had never successfully made. Aha! I divinityhad no doubt, today was the day I would win!

Like a culinary artist, I had all my ingredients set on the countertop for easy access. Unfortunately, that was where the artistry stopped.

I wasn’t sure how much my new skillet would hold, so I carefully measured it. Yep, should be fine. How could I have known, the mixture would swell and run over the sides while I was beating eggs whites.  OH!! May-day! May-day! I had a mess sliding over the sides of the pot onto my white ceramic stove top. The pot was not quite large enough. I made a mental note to use a larger one next time.

“John, help!” was the only thing I could mutter. I was in a rush. The instructions said for me to slowly pour the syrupy mixture into the egg whites and keep beating them. John held the mixer for me, (I should have used my big stand mixer. That’s another thing to add to the *next time I’ll do it differently list.) I poured the hot mixture. The bowl kept sliding around on the cabinet, so with my elbows, I gently guided the bowl away from the edge.

“Arrrrg, this is getting heavy!”

John looked at me, but he couldn’t turn loose of his job either. We are both, oversized people, crammed into a corner of the counter, performing acrobatics, complete with a juggling act to prevent the bowl from being slung across the floor. We were successful!

Finally, I finished pouring and took the mixer from John. I had to beat it about 5 minutes. For some reason, while we were wrestling the bowl, the beaters must have lifted out of the candy and slung it everywhere, because  John started laughing at the white polka dots that covered everything within a 3-foot radius. That would be including me!

Next, I was to use a spoon to drop small round blobs onto wax paper to make it look like little clouds. I stuck the spoon into the white fluffy candy and attempted to pick up a drop. That didn’t work out, it was too sticky, so I got another spoon to push the sticky mess off the spoon. Now, I had two spoons stuck in it, and a long trail of it spilling onto the wax paper. I am not one to give up easily, so I decided to just pour it onto the paper and then cut it like fudge after it set up. divinity-mess

I couldn’t wait to taste it. Mmmmmm, it was wonderful! It was still warm, so it stuck to my mouth and my fingers and the spoon. I handed the beaters to John, and he licked them. Both of us realized our mistake at the same time. It was so sticky, I thought we would have to call for help to get the beaters out of his hands. Finally, he and I both were loose from the gooey monstrosity. We washed our hands and faces and admired our work.

It looked so pretty on the paper I was extremely proud of it. I am a little OCD when it comes to certain things. Candy is one of them. I love to create a beautiful, enticing, candy platter, but it must reach certain requirements. It must have several colors like a flower garden to make it appealing. I search for new shapes and dimensions to create interest and above all it has to taste good to me! This candy met the requirements. It was beautiful, and it tasted heavenly. Inwardly, I sang a song of victory!

John, “Get one of those butter dishes with a lid on it and I’ll cut some of this  candy for you  to take home.”

He didn’t wait at all. He took some was paper and lined the bottom of the bowl and held it while I cut the divinity. It didn’t cut. Panic seized me as I realized it was stuck fast to the paper. I was determined to outsmart that candy! I put my knife down and used a spatula. It tore the paper. Ok, now what?  I wrestled the wax paper, cut it into strips and scraped the gooey mess into John’s bowl. It was then, we looked at each other and remembered, the bottom of his bowl was lined with paper!

We both laughed again.

handlebar-mustacheJerry, my husband, had been gone all afternoon. He walked through the door and saw the candy on the counter.  Immediately, he reached for a spoon. There is nothing wrong with that, but I failed to mention, he sports an overgrown handle-bar mustache   John and I kept quiet,  I probably should have cautioned him…. but hey, it was much more fun if he found out on his own!

Ps…evidently we rushed it. The divinity set up and was absolutely divine!

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