I’m at home with my foot up for a while right now…I have a high ankle sprain. The good news is that means I have more than the usual time to read and review books. The bad news is that I’m supposed to stay in one spot, keep my foot up, etc. etc. That’s really hard for me to do.
So, I decided to compromise and make some crockpot butter toffee peanuts. You put all the ingredients in a crock pot, stir it up, turn it on low and leave it. The only thing you do is stir every 20 minutes. Easy, right? Wrong! They turned out to be the biggest kitchen disaster I’ve had recently. They came out with dry sugar everywhere, falling off the nuts, sticking to the fingers, overwhelming everything.
Not sure what I did wrong, but then I decided to try and fix it. BIG MISTAKE. I spent time sifting all the sugar off that I could, then put that in a pot with some water and turned on the burner underneath. My plan? Make a syrup that would then coat the nuts and when it had cooked a bit, turn it out to harden so I could store it into a glass jar.
Initially I thought I was having success. Using a candy thermometer I got the sugar and water to make syrup and then cook to the soft ball stage. At that point, the peanuts were back in because they had lots of sugar on them still, and I needed it to liquify so the peanuts were turn out glazed. When they smelled done, and yes, I cook that way a lot, I turned them out on a lined baking pan to cool.
What a mess. They stuck together, they stuck to the waxed paper, when I touched them they left my fingers sticky and candy coated. The few I did manage to get free of paper and fingers tasted good, but who wants a candied peanut that will most likely create a sticky mess on all the furniture in the house? End result, the whole shebang is getting thrown out.
At least I have a good book to tell you about. I recently read a classic cozy mystery, Fatal Family Ties by S. C. Perkins. This is a series that marries genealogy research with mysteries, a surprisingly successful combination. Probably one of the reasons it’s so successful is the characters and the character development that takes place as the series grows. The main character, Lucy Lancaster, is a genealogist and also seems to constantly be stumbling across murder in one form or another. Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a series if she didn’t. In this book as in the series, her skills at research are one of the methods she uses to unravel the mystery.
Also, in this book, the relationship she’s been building with an FBI agent grows a bit, so for people who are looking for a little romance they can find it here. The short version of the book is the attempt to discredit the family of a Civil War soldier from Texas. Lucy’s frenemy, who has hired Lucy to research what’s being said about her ancestor, introduces Lucy to an uncle who is murdered and…there you go. Was it related to the ancestor? Was it something to do with a neighbor? What else might have happened? While trying to determine the validity of the article published that trashes her frenemy’s family, Lucy once again winds up trying to determine who would murder Uncle Charlie and why. For the full review, click on the link above.
OK, I’m going back to another book for now; I’m done experimenting in the kitchen today. Hope you have wonderful plans for Memorial Day and remember to take a book with you for down time. Happy Reading.