Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011!!!

Merry Christmas everyone :)

I am just about to succumb to a sugar coma take a nap, but I thought I'd put this picture of Santa up first. He stopped by last night around 6:20 to say , "Hi". He has upgraded from reindeer to a dark green Jeep. It goes well with his red suit, don''t you think?

On a less frivolous note, we have had a wonderful Christmas. We are loving having Summer home for the holidays and my sister Sara is here, which always makes everything more fun. It was really nice to go to church today, to sing and worship God.

We are so grateful for the gift He gave us of his perfect Son.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Manna from Heaven

The other day, I was on the phone with my sister Abby and my two youngest were playing in the backyard. Breathlessly, they ran into the house and Michael hollered, "Mommy, come quick! There is food falling from the sky!!!"

This I had to see, so out I let myself be led to the middle of the lawn where Michael pointed to the ground. There was a blob. I poked it with a stick. It was a piece of pizza crust that even had some pepperoni still on it. I didn't know manna came with pepperoni!

I looked at the sky, thought about it a minute, looked at the pizza crust and on closer inspection noticed peck marks all over it. One poor bird lost it's lunch, but the stray chicken showed up just in time to get lucky and have pizza!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Logan's Candies

Michael and I went on a field trip to Logan's Candies to see candy canes made by hand. It was fascinating. First, the candy maker poured boiling hot syrup on this big marble slab. It went right up to the edge of the metal bar he set there to contain it and there was a collective gasp while we all thought it was going to spill.

He talked about the candy shop and their history while the candy cooled. They have been there since 1933 and the same family still owns and runs it. He kept turning the edges into the warmer center to keep them from setting while he added color and flavor.

He added red food coloring to some of the candy and kneaded it in.

Then, he put peppermint flavoring in the part that was still white. The flavoring they use costs $750-$800 a gallon! He pulled the candy on this big hook on the wall.

The little red hood thingy on the counter is a warmer to keep the candy pliable while they pull the candy canes. Since they opened, they have made their candy canes with one big stripe and five little stripes. You can see how he put the big lumps of candy together to get the stripes and in the corner of the picture you can see the signature stripes.

They had four people at the counter making candy canes. There was a puller, a cutter, a roller and a bender.

A blob like this makes about two thousand candy canes. We each got to taste a bite of warm candy cane and it was so good :)

These giant candy canes were temptingly pretty, but does anyone really eat them? Maybe they buy them and keep them in their Christmas decorations forever...

Speaking of giant candy canes, that big one covered in lights over Michael's head is the largest handmade candy cane in the world. It is fourteen years old and I don't remember how long. Maybe they really do last forever.

See the ribbon candy underneath it? I was talking to one of the girls that worked there and she told me they used to have an old machine that made it, but it kept breaking. One of the owners thought she could do it, so she figured it out and now they make it all by hand. The girl telling me about it said they have to work really fast when they make ribbon candy, faster than when they make candy canes.

Each of the kids in the group got a stick of warm candy cane to shape however they liked. Here is Michael's creation :)