Let the Festivities Commence!

This week marked the official commencement of Christmas activities in the Charlebois household.

It started with the annual candy making (of tempting recipes passed down from JP's mom) with my friend Sarah D.* This year went remarkably more smoothly than last year (when Sarah almost caught our house on fire. Long story. Ask me later.), with only one minor hiccup. Well, maybe not so minor.

*My apologizes for not having any pictures of this event. Sarah has some on her camera, but she hasn't sent me any yet. (hint, hint, Sarah!)

You see, I have this caramel recipe passed down from my dear mother-in-law Gail (you may know her as "G" from the comments pages) that I have yet to master, or truthfully, even get right once.

Last year they were undercooked and too soft. This year I trudged through like a good culinary soldier, braving the hot, bubbling goo; stirring continuously for an hour and a half; meticulously watching my candy thermometer; even suffering battle wounds when a hot bubble burst and flung scalding caramel goo on my arm (yes, it was as painful as it sounds).

In the end, I was so proud of myself because everything looked like it had gone by the book. Then I started cleaning up and noticed them. Four sticks of butter sitting on the counter that I forgot to include. FOUR full sticks. Forgotten. Apparently, when I doubled the recipe, I forgot to double the butter. Four sticks.

The good news is that the caramel is still delicious. It tastes the same and the texture and firmness are just right. The only downside is that they stick to the wrappers this year, a problem solved by keeping them in the refrigerator.

The other failure of the day is that JP was NOT happy that I chose not to make Nut Goodie Bars this year. Apparently they are his favorite. So tomorrow I'm heading back to the grocery to get the ingredients for those.

The next Christmas event took place last night, with a first-ever sleepover at G & Bompa's house for Rae and Ava. It was obvious that they had a BLAST. Last night they decorated the Christmas tree and got to share the big bed (mad props to G for pulling this one off!). Then this morning they decorated cookie cutouts and gingerbread houses.

Making sugar cookies (Rae's hair is out of control)

Armed with rolling pins and faithful sidekick Baby Bear
Decorating cookies
Whew! The hair has been tamed.
Decorating the Gingerbread Houses (or in Rae's case, the lawn)
We love cousie sleepovers!
Tomorrow we'll be tackling the Macy's 8th Floor Display with 6 adults and 5 kids under the age of 3 (pray for us) and maybe Holidazzle, although I'm not holding my breath on that one. My brother and his family are arriving on Saturday, too, so we are really looking forward to seeing them. Let the fun continue!


David and Bethany said...

First of all, can I just say how proud I am of you for making the caramels? That sounds like a LOT of work & time, but way to go! ;) (Are those the same caramels that you sent me a few years ago in that huge package with the biscotti?) Also, Rae's hair is adorable! I love it! Have fun w/ Micah & Missy!

The Charlebois said...

Yes, they are the same caramels from a few years back. Gail has the best recipe ever.

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