What is a Hedgehog?

In the animal kingdom a hedgehog is a small nocturnal animal found in Europe, Africa and Asia. At And Candy Too! it is a delicious disaster.

I was at  the stove making peanut butter crunchies – think Butterfinger. Don’t generally answer the phone when making candy, but was expecting a very importanty call. I could not hold the phone and stir at the same time so let the mixture come up to temperature and removed it from the heat. Within seconds it solidifed like quick cement. Hoping to salvage the batch I chopped it up , tossed it in tempered chocolate and scooped it on to a tray.

Husband John is the official taste tester at And Candy Too! so I presented this candy for his review. He looked at it and asked “What is it, a hedgehog?”  I smiled and replied “I guess so!”

And so the hedgehog was born.

 

National Whipped Cream Day

whip cream

 

Who doesn’t like whipped cream?

While nothing beats thetaste of freshly whipped cream, we have no objections to the

 

Whipped cream, often sweetened and aromatised, was popular in the 16th century, with recipes in the writings of Cristoforo di Messisbugo Bartolomeo Scappi (Rome, 1570),and Lancelot de Casteau (Liège, 1604). It was called milk snow (neve di latte, neige de lait).[12] A 1545 English recipe, “A Dyschefull of Snow”, includes whipped egg whites as well, and is flavored with rosewater and sugar. In these recipes, and until the end of the 19th century, naturally separated cream is whipped, typically with willow or rush branches, and the resulting foam on the surface would from time to time be skimmed off and drained, a process taking an hour or more. By the end of the 19th century, centrifuge-separated, high-fat cream made it much faster and easier to make whipped cream. The French name crème fouettée ‘whipped cream’ is attested in 1629, and the English name “whipped cream” in 1673.The name “snow cream” continued to be used in the 17th century.

Source – Wickipedia

Gingerbread Houses

JacobGrimm

Jacob Grimm

 

 

 

 

Jacob Grimm was born on this day in 1785. He published Grimm’s Firy Tales with his brother Wilhelm. Among them  the story of Hansel and Gretel.

“The tradition of baking the sweetly decorated houses began in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published their collection of German fairy tales in the early 1800s. Among the tales was the story of Hansel and Gretel, children left to starve in the forest, who came upon a house made of bread and sugar decorations. The hungry children feasted on its sweet shingles. After the fairy tale was published, German bakers began baking houses of lebkuchen –spicy cakes often containing ginger — and employed artists and craftsmen to decorate them. The houses became particularly popular during Christmas, a tradition that crossed the ocean with German immigrants. Pennsylvania, where many settled, remains a stronghold for the tradition. It is believed gingerbread was first baked in Europe at the end of the 11th century, when returning crusaders brought the bread and the spicy root back from the Middle East. Ginger wasn’t merely flavorful, it had properties that helped preserve the bread. Not long after it arrived, bakers began to cut the bread into shapes and decorate them with sugar. Gingerbread baking became recognized as a profession. In the 17th century, only professional gingerbread bakers were allowed to bake the spicy treat in Germany and France. Rules relaxed during Christmas and Easter, when anyone was permitted to bake it. Nuremberg, Germany, became known as the “Gingerbread Capital of the World” in the 1600s when the guild employed master bakers and artisans to create intricate works of art from gingerbread, sometimes using gold leaf to decorate the houses.”
—“Holiday Tradition with Spicy History,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 9, 2001 (p. N-9)

Gingerbread house contests are popular in the USA. Here in Boothbay, there is an annual contest held at the Opera House. Hopefully we will have an entry this year!