I’ve been up to my ears in gift wrapping and baking

Archived | December 22, 2010 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I’ve been up to my ears since in gift wrapping and baking and running the kids here and there and haven’t had a lot of the kind of time where you just sit and take in the lights and the music and the scent of pine.
Not much time to finish the fleece quilts I’m making, either, or the few Christmas cards I’ve stamped and addressed, or the list of eleven kinds of cookies and bars I’d like to make, much less the plates of cookies for the neighbors. Not quite enough time to clean the house the way I’d like, or get Mr. Sundberg a new suit, or string popcorn. And then there’s the matter of that red dress at Macy’s, the one with the sequins and a sash, the one that made Mr. Sundberg turn for a second look. Not enough time, even, to make all the calls I’d like to make to tell all of my faraway people how much I love them even though they already know. It’s nice to hear the words now and then.
The thing about this time of year is that you can’t hold on to much of it or slow it down or do anything but feel it as it passes by. Time never did slow down for anyone, and it’s not about to when you’re up to your ears in ribbon and bows. There is, however, a moment – sometime around midnight on Christmas Eve, when time stops. It stops, and the whole world is silent, just for that moment, and everything feels right. Then, without lingering, it starts on up again.
I can’t promise you’ll feel it, but keep your eye out. Just don’t blink.
This toffee is easy and the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. My advice? Make a double batch right off the bat.
English Toffee
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 T water
1 T white corn syrup
3/4 cup choc chips (I use 1 cup)
finely chopped walnuts (or almonds)
Melt butter and add sugar; bring to full rolling boil.
Add water & syrup.
Cook to soft crack stage (290′), stirring all the time.
Have buttered cookie sheet ready. Spread mixture with
rubber spatula. Sprinkle chocolate chips over and spread
after they melt a bit. Sprinkle finely chopped
nuts over chocolate. Cool. Break apart.