I took advantage of Dad's visit. This morning, he made a batch of caramels (I'm perfectly happy to let the expert do it when he's on hand) and then turned half of the caramel into turtles. I have about 40 pieces of caramely chocolately nutty happiness to share with David (and no one else) during the next few weeks. I don't have the patience to carefully lay out pairs of pecans, coat them with caramel, and then dunk them in melted chocolate after the caramel has cooled.
If I were a better blogger, I would have photographed the entire candymaking process, but I was doing other things while Dad worked today. Should I be ambitious next weekend and make more just for the benefit of the blog?
I interspersed making Jule Kage (Danish Christmas Bread) with the candy making: I mixed up dough, Dad made caramel and dropped it over nuts, I shaped loaves, Dad dunked turtles in chocolate, I baked the bread. And then I made a second batch of caramel for David and I to take to work this week.
As always, caramel and Jule Kage signal the true beginning of the Christmas season for me. Annoyning automobile ads during football games, lights on houses, and decorations everywhere are all lovely, but it isn't Christmas until my kitchen smells like cardamom, vanilla, and melted sugar.
Today's new house discovery is that my oven temperature is running about 20 degrees low. This hasn't been a problem for roasted meat and vegetables and casseroles (all I've used the oven for since we moved in), but it certainly is for bread and explains why the apple pie was a little bit underbaked even after extra time in the oven. I hope the thermostat is consumer fixable. If it isn't, this may be the tipping point to get an appliance repair person out to troubleshoot the other little problems we've been having.