Baking and Candy Making

My mother had a good many skills in the kitchen, and while none of her abilities were passed on to me, at least once a year I was tapped to assist in her culinary endeavors. I’m sure I did so under protest because I was such a klutz at cooking and baking and candy making, and Mom was not a patient soul.

She’d cluck and shake her head and give me looks that would’ve withered a lesser soul, but Freida Hall didn’t scare me. Okay, I was scared sh*tless most of the time while working in the kitchen with Mom, but I had no choice if I wanted to continue living under her roof. My brothers both turned out to be quite proficient in preparing food, so maybe the fault was all mine.

What did we make? Martha Washington candies, chocolate covered cherries, and divinity. We baked cranberry bread and pumpkin bread, and banana nut bread. If it was a fruity bread, we baked it. We made a pecan nut roll that defied all of Mom’s attempts at perfection and only turned out divine once in every ten attempts.

Here’s a recipe for Martha Washington candy similar to the one Mom and I used to make. You’ll be a big hit if you take these to a gathering. It’s still the candy I remember most fondly.

Peace, people.

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

15 thoughts on “Baking and Candy Making”

  1. My own mother couldn’t cook for toffee, young Leslie. Her recipe for Sunday lunch. The honest truth. I can even add ‘on my mother’s life’ that is true.
    1. A large tin of potatoes (the small rounded things that tasted like soap) dipped in nominal oil and grilled until a certain blackness was about them. Only at that point would she refer to them as ‘roasted’.
    2. Frozen peas and carrots removed from the freezer at dawn to defrost (why?) and boiled sometime later.
    3. A skinned chicken breast for each of us oven cooked at the lowest conceivable temperature for 4 hours.
    4. Homemade Yorkshire Puddings that would never rise and when eaten tasted like (and had the appearance of) shoe leather.
    5. Gravy from a carton that always had more than a sufficiency of inedible lumps.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not much better at cooking than your mother was. There are some things I do a really good job of cooking, but I’m easily distracted and in just an instant my efforts can go wildly awry. This year, I managed to do most everything right for Christmas dinner, except when I adjusted the oven temp to bake Studly’s favorite casserole I neglected to hit the start button, so dinner was delayed by 20 minutes. Everything else sat and then needed reheating. Fortunately was just the two of us, so no great harm was done.


    1. I tried it one year with butter. It failed! After speaking with a savvy candy making friend she said something about butter having more or less viscosity or something and that the recipe was likely meant to use margarine or oleo.


  2. I had two grandmothers that baked all the holiday goodies so I never learned anything much unless it came from a box. I can follow directions though, so I suppose that’s something 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My mam had her very set plain recipes. That was it. I mind once wanting to surprise her by making doughnuts and I guess when she came home one to her best pot in fire on the back lawn,. yeah that was a surprise. I think I’ve managed to kind of teach myself a lot of stuff. The recipe sounds great. xxxx for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have always preferred butter; however, I tried it one year with butter. It failed! After speaking with a savvy candy making friend she said something about butter having more or less viscosity or something and that the recipe was likely meant to use margarine or oleo.


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