Last year we had quite a run on the house with trick-or-treaters. This year, I think we had a maximum of 10 kids.
One of them was so cute, he said, “This house is scary”. The funny thing is, we don’t have any decorations up, but our front door is massive with a huge bronze lion knocker that looks like it belongs on a haunted house.
So, I am glad I only bought candy that I don’t mind eating.
Speaking of candy…
Watching the Food Network’s show Chopped has paid off. I was given some fudge that wasn’t very good. As I was watching Chopped, I thought… I should repurpose the fudge!
I took the fudge (which was already cut in to 1″ cubes), placed it in a sauce pan with a little butter, heated it on low until the butter and fudge were melting, and slowly added heavy cream. I then brought it to a low simmer, and ran it through a strainer. (It had peanuts in it that were raw. The raw peanut texture and taste did not go well with the deep cocoa flavor.)
Ta-da! Hot fudge sauce!
I spent the first 17 years of my life eating my dad’s homemade fudge. It was horrible. It was grainy, crystalized sugar and cocoa. And, if you didn’t eat it while it was warm, the tooth-feel was like having foil touch your silver fillings. Ewwwww!
In a cooking class, we made the exact same recipe my dad used. It was the one on the back of the can of cocoa. I was dreading the results. But, at the end, the teacher walked up and said, “Brent, you need to really beat until it is creamy.”
Wow, that was the step my dad missed. I was so excited I went home and announced to the family, “I know why dad’s fudge turns out crystalized.”
I’m sure now, if I was given crystalized fudge, I could repurpose it in to something delightfully tasty with a pleasing texture.
Some other candy making tips I learned in my two years of cooking classes are… 1) don’t scrape the sides of the pan – the crystals will cause the candy to crystalize, 2) cover with a lid momentarily between stirring and let the steam rinse the sides of the pan – this helps prevent crystalizing, 3) be patient and don’t try to rush the process, 4) don’t add water-based liquids to chocolate, add fats.
And now for something completely different…
I watched a news broadcast where they interviewed a young man who had just gone through the process of signing up for health insurance. The young man, a student holding a part-time job, barely makes enough to put him over the edge so he doesn’t qualify for Medicare. He was angry and upset. He said, “I thought it was going to be free.”
I’m not sure why anyone thought it was going to be free. Basically, those who get free coverage now, still get free coverage.
Right now I’m counting my blessings that my rates stayed very close to the same, and I get to keep my existing insurance coverage (others haven’t been so lucky) because my plan qualifies. (It’s already a high-deductible plan as outlined in the “bronze” plans.) And, my wife gets to stay on my policy. Of course, that could change comes 2015.
The Heritage Foundation has presented an alternative to the Affordable Health Care Act. The Affordable Health Care Act is over 2000 pages long. The Heritage Foundation plan is only 10 pages. (see http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2013/pdf/BG2847.pdf ) It is sad Congress had to kill so many trees to create their plan.