June 2024


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Monday, June 24, 2024

Humor is the Cure: Making Taffy

By Gerri Hunter

I tried making taffy recently and it was a gross experience. You must cover your hands in butter and more butter. Then, after the candy has reached the same temperature as molten lava, you are to pick it up in your buttered hands and start pulling the candy. Torture is the only word to explain the feeling of tossing that sticky wad of candy back and forth in your hands. You will quickly have a mental conversation with yourself about your sanity. Trust me. This will happen.

The recipe says you must work quickly to stretch the taffy while it is hot. You eventually plunk the stretched candy on a well-buttered cookie sheet. Then, you are to cut the candy into bite-sized pieces. The final step is to wrap each piece in waxed paper. You’re done!

Now it is clean-up time — for you. You will have to wash your hands many times to remove the butter. Buy a large can of industrial strength cleaner to do this. You can find a product like that in your husband’s garage. After you have washed your hands nine times, you will have to stand under a strong light and examine your hands for blisters.

Once you have your hands thoroughly wrapped in gauze, it’s time to move back to the kitchen to mop the butter off the floor. It would probably be a good idea to have the soapy water prepared before you start making taffy.

Now you are ready to collapse in a kitchen chair. Do not be shocked when you glance at the kitchen clock and see that four hours have passed since you began your old-fashioned taffy making.

As a child, my family would go to Rapid City, South Dakota for vacation. There were taffy shops in all the tourist towns in that region. We would stand on the sidewalk outside the taffy shop and watch a magical machine pull taffy. It was exciting. The taffy from the store was soft. The taffy I made at home was a rock-like concoction that I was embarrassed to share.

Now that we have the world-wide web, you can order soft, delicious taffy and have it mailed to you. What a relief. You won’t have to go to the dentist like I did and have a crown re-attached from eating your home-made disaster.

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