Sunday, December 22, 2013

The recipe... and a winner!

There were some surprising entries in the drawing this week.  Never in a million years would I have imagined people (yes, more than one) would say 'Fruitcake' was their favorite holiday food!  Seriously...about the same odds as my husband uttering the words, "I'm craving a tuna sandwich".   There were some other interesting foods like mashed rutabagas and oxtail soup and some foods like Divinity that I have not had since I was a child.  I also loved Jane's story of her grandmother that would only give out a family recipe to the "worthy" (if you weren't worthy she left out one of the ingredients! hilarious).   Thank you all for sharing!

I live in a house that was once owned by very good friends of our family.  The lady of the house was an amazing cook and made caramel's every Christmas to pass out to friends and neighbors.  Growing up we would wait for the plate to arrive, peel back the Saran Wrap, and count how many caramels were on the plate so we could at least get one (yes, they were that good).

She never gave out the recipe.

Fast forward about 20 years - my husband and I buy the house from the family (the wonderful lady had previously passed away).   When we started to renovate there were still some items in the garage waiting for the owner to pick up...leftovers, like old chairs and tools.  I opened a cabinet and to my amazement there was her recipe book.  It only took a few turns of the pages to find "the recipe" all typed out.   Amazing to find such a treasure.  When the husband came back to collect the rest of the property I asked about the recipe book.  He said, "you can keep it, none of the girls wanted it when they cleaned out the house." (I assumed they already had copies of the recipes or more than one cookbook).

So now I have it...the coveted recipe that even my mother (her best friend) didn't have.  I have shared it with only one other person, my friend Sue W. who was also a friend of the family and had eaten the caramels.  I make them at Christmas, put them on a plate and wrap them in Saran Wrap and give them to friends.  And when they ask me for the recipe I say, "it's a family secret".
don't you love that she had to hand write in the 1/8th pound?


Congratulations to the winner!
...and can I come over for breakfast?
Laura Strack
This wreath card is simply sweet!!! My favorite Holiday Food is this wonderful Breakfast Casserole that I make on Christmas morning that has hash browns cooked in the oven and then topped with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, diced ham, and then you can add various toppings such as jalapeno, green onions etc...I've made it for my Hubbie for 18 years and now, he along with my 2 sons, look forward to a hearty brunch on Christmas. Which reminds me, I need to go to the store! Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!
Laura please send me your shipping address to paula@oneluckyday.net!


Just for fun I made more gift tags using the Tattered Leaves die.
Here's what you need in order of use:
 tattered leaves sizzix die
grungeboard
adirondack dabber Paint - silver
glossy accents
distress glitter - pumice stone
chit chat stickers - seasonal
distress ink - brushed corduroy
a stick from a tree
red and white string
 The washi Tape is by October Afternoon - I used it on all my packages to secure the ribbon!



Here's what you need in order of use:
 tattered leaves sizzix die
grungeboard
adirondack dabber Paint - silver 
Distress Stickles - Clear Rock Candy
chit chat stickers - seasonal
distress ink - brushed corduroy
 5 small bells on wire
Trimmings - red and cream
the leaf was painted silver, word added, then covered with Distress Stickles

Have a great day everyone! And thanks for sharing your memories this week - it really made me think about what I love and appreciate at this time of year!
now carry on,
paula


21 comments:

  1. Awesome tags Paula!! I may do these as well!
    Funny you would mention the caramels....made a batch last night and one again this morning (my thermometer broke between the two batches and I had to do the second batch by memory of the colors....I think I have caramel for ice cream LOL.
    Ah well...one batch will do for family :D

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  2. Won't you share your caramel recipe?........

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  3. Hmmm I expected the caramel recipe.... But I love the leaves - especially the wish one. I think that would make an awesome addition to my tag advent calendar (I purchased the kit from you - made some just like yours and others I personalized. I love it so much it stays out all year). Thanks for the inspiration and Merry Christmas!

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  4. Paula, no recipe? My mouth is watering. Oh well, the tag is simply wonderful.
    Perhaps you might like to try this recipe. It is super yummy.
    Sea Salt Caramels
    created by the ladies of Liddabit Sweets courtesy of O magazine.
    I found it on Jones and Company website.

    1 3/4 cup sugar
    1 can evaporated milk
    3/4 cup heavy cream
    3/4 cup light corn syrup
    2 Tbsp. butter
    1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
    Oil or cooking spray

    Directions

    Active time: 30 minutes
    Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
    In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring sugar, evaporated milk, and heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Add corn syrup and continue cooking until mixture reaches 230°.
    Add butter and vanilla; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until caramel reaches 240°. Remove from heat, stir in salt, and carefully pour into a lightly oiled 9″ x 13″ baking dish (parchment paper in the bottom of the pan is helpful).
    Let cool at least 1 hour. Invert onto a cutting board covered with waxed or parchment paper and cut into 1-inch pieces with a sharp, lightly oiled knife. Caramels can be wrapped in waxed or parchment paper or cellophane. (To serve candy-store style, wrap individual pieces in parchment paper and secure the ends with a simple twist.) Store airtight at cool room temperature (around 65°) or in the refrigerator; will keep up to 3 weeks.

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    1. thanks Joy for the new recipe to try! Merry Christmas!

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  5. Congrats Laura. Paula, what a wonderful story about the Carmel recipe. A cherished memory and tradition to carry on. Love the leaf tags. Thanks for the inspiration. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

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  6. If I live in another state far away would you share the caramel recipe? Won't tell where I got it.......positively will not share it.

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  7. Awwwww..... no recipe?! Love the tags! Merry Christmas, Paula!

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  8. I agree, no recipe?! To tell us about a great recipe and not share it with us is just heartbreaking. My life will never be the same. I may just curl up into a ball and cry for days. But not yet because I have to celebrate Christmas, then New Year's Day, then Valentine's Day, then my birthday, then Easter and by then I might forget why I needed to cry in the first place. Have a great Christmas! Thanks for sharing your talent with all of us.

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  9. Oh my goodness, I am the winner! Yay! Thank You, Paula! How very exciting!! Today would have been my Daddy's 88th Birthday. I have been missing him terribly, so this has brightened my day, so very much!! I love your Caramel Recipe story. For you to have found her recipe book must have been fate. And then for you to carry on her tradition, well, she new who to entrust it to.
    Merry Christmas and loving blessings to all!
    Laura Jo

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    1. laura - please send your mailing address to paula@oneluckyday.net

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  10. What a great glittery effect your method gives. I like the leaves w/the twig and/or jingle bells. Mmm, carmels. Glad you got the recipe and that you are keeping the sweet lady's Christmas tradition "alive." As well, I'm sure she is happy that you are. :) I wish I had some of them ... I can just taste them.

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  11. Love the post about the Caramels..
    I have the "secret" divinity recipe...I have looked all over on-line to see if it is posted anywhere..so far I can't find this one..guess that is why no ones came close to gran's or mom's!
    trade you recipes....caramels for divinity! That is how we always did it.. we traded "family recipes"
    Merry Christmas

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  12. What a heartwarming story about the recipe. Thanks for sharing. Have a most wonderful Christmas!!

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  13. I love dark fruitcake with cherries & walnuts and hope to get some from Santa!! Why not share the caramel recipe?? That way everyone could enjoy them - especially those of us who are not fortunate enough to live near you and perhaps receive some?? Merry Christmas!

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  14. You know if people ever had my grandmother's fruit cake I bet more people would say fruit cake LOL !!! My grandmother made fruit cake from "scratch" and she would "baptize " them in bourbon or brandy, Wrap them in cheese cloth and foil, store in tight lid can. You could keep them for up to five years. They were delicious! Nothing like the store bought... although there was one company can't remember the name right now... they came close !!! I have fond memories of helping her make these ... everybody wanted one so when she mixed up the batter it was a production ... at least a week in preparations; shelling the nuts, she used pecans, cutting the fruit... she mixed the batter in large foot tubs !! She used her hands to mix the ingredients... so much fun to help !

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  15. Congrats Laura...and Paula, I hope you are still enjoying those caramels....they sound yummy! Love your tags, especially since my hubby has decided he now wants 25 TH tags to decorate the tree for next year...I have one, so only 24 more to go. Thanks for sharing and have a great Holiday!

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  16. She secretly wanted you to have it! Such a treasure. Merry Christmas and i hope our paths cross again in 2014.

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  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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