Sunday, December 30, 2012
Thursday, December 27, 2012
One Day, Baby Applecookie will hate that I have taken all these photos of her in her old man pjs and her hair ribbon, but my defense will be: how could I resist such CUTENESS??!!! She put on the ribbon after opening presents and continued putting it on for the rest of her visit.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
|The Taylors Christmas Table|
|Daddo gets his own....|
|Brando waiting for Santa|
|Hugs for Mommy|
|The kiddos waiting to open presents|
|Stirling meeting Django (the D is silent)|
|Candy cane place settings|
|We Three Brothers-in-law|
|Daddo and Mambo|
|New Parents to be!|
|Caroline's first cake! Beautiful and delicious!|
|Listening to the "Twas the Night before Christmas" as read to us by Annabelle and Juliette|
|Hearth Cricket for good luck in 2013|
|Chloe loving the handmade soft scarf from Aunt Kristie!|
|A new video game|
|The Kids Table... Daddo's assigned seat!|
|Stocking hung by the chimney with care.|
|Chloe and Vivi|
|Brando with GAS: Great Aunt Sharon|
|crackers on the tree|
Monday, December 24, 2012
My stocking and my siblings were made by my Aunt Carol. Mom has made all the rest. And as the family keeps growing, she will continue to sew more Santas, presents, and snowmen, all sequenced and done up with a bow. If only they would face to the right to balance out!
The main tree (there are several, you see) is in the front hall and covered with gorgeous ornaments. This year, the silver sparkly pine cone stood out to me. It was just so sparkly! And underneath was piled with presents, mainly for the little kids, but I think I saw my name under there once or twice....
It will be a lovely holiday, regardless of the gifts, as it is just nice to be home in Kentucky. Merry Christmas everyone!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
I have to say, it looked almost like Excalibur and the Stone, as it sat on my parents' counter. Only this was much easier to remove....
It was quite the hit: several family members and friends thoroughly enjoyed digging in and scooping out a bit of Stilton. Hopefully two and half pounds of cheese will make it through the holidays!
(A not-so focused close up of the hallmarks: The Diamond Jubilee mark being on top)
Thursday, December 20, 2012
|Will and I had an idea for Christmas.|
First, this is not for the diabetics out there. And if you aren't one when you begin making Tablet, you will be when you finish making it-- especially if you make as much as we did. Each batch takes:
- one stick of butter
- one can of condensed milk
- 911 grams (or 5.5 cups) of caster sugar
- 1/2 cup of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- teeny-tiny amount of vanilla, like 4 or 5 drops
You mix the butter, milk, and sugar together, slowly bringing it to a boil and stirring constantly. And I do mean bring to a boil s-l-o-w-l-y. It is best to cook the mixture on a medium-to-law heat. Once the mixture has boiled, you then pour in the condensed milk. The mixture needs to boil again and reach the temperature of 240ºF, or the soft ball stage of candy making. You need to stir it occasionally, watch the mixture until it gets to the right temperature as well as nice deep golden color.
After it reaches the right temperature and color, remove the pot from heat and the fun begins: a constant, quick, repetitive stirring for at least 10 minutes. On the final batch, I finally broke out the hand mixer with the whisk attachment. The key to Tablet is mixing in the air. The air makes the sugar crystallize, the key difference between fudge and Tablet. When you see the mixture gritting onto the sides of the pan, and you can feel the grit when you taste it (and you should be tasting this as you go along, it is really delicious), then you then pour it out into a greased pan.
It will start to cool as you stir in the pot, and after the 10 minutes of whipping it followed by pouring into the pan, the tablet cools even quicker. Let it rest in the pan for a bit and then you can score it to make it easier to take out of the pan.
Once it is out and cool, the pieces will be grainy and crumbly and taste like vanilla and a sugar cube had a baby, which is almost the case.
After 7 batches (4 of which were doubled and one of which failed when we didn't stir it enough; and don't even think about how many pounds of sugar that is), we are pretty much pros at making Tablet and yet I still failed to take a photo of the finished product. Instead, you will have to imagine the small bricks of candy, sitting in Christmas tissue paper, in the decorative tins, sealed with ribbon and a homemade label featuring the Cunningham Tartan.