Friday, September 21, 2012

Salt Water Taffy

Last weekend I traveled home to help make taffy at the Nelson Pioneer Farm. Out of my 27 years of life I have probably only missed this event 7 times. The weather was gorgeous perhaps even a bit on the hot side after noon, and the crowd seemed pretty impressive for a weekend where all three major universities where playing football in Iowa. The media coverage was much more impressive than I ever recall- my dad got interviewed for the radio and newspaper. 

Over the course of the day I probably heard my dad say the same thing 20 to 30 times. I guess after almost 60 years of making taffy my dad has found his preferred method of describing the process. It is pretty much par for the course, people come by and wonder why we are doing that we are doing, or where the machine is. Without fail you find yourself answering the same questions over and over again. Also saying the same thing to new people. If I had a phrase of the day it would have been: "Grab a sample anything that is unwrapped, that way we don't have to wrap it." At one point Dad was talking on the radio explaining why he "pulls" the taffy and my brother and I looked at each and said in unison "breaks down the sugar molecules", only seconds later my father said the same thing. 

It is traditionally a family affair for us but making 6 batches of taffy in a row requires quite the effort. When I was younger my dad encouraged us to invite a friend, he will do anything for some cheap labor. But as we have all grown and moved away he has had to resort to asking others to drop in and help. You can almost always convince a helpful little kid to wrap taffy for a couple of hours with the promise of eating as much as they want. Greg had to spend most of the morning watching Charley explore the area, the only time we got to utilize him for labor was when we lucked out because Charley happened to be in timeout and had to sit still. 

Charley helped by playing in the water from the cooling pan!

First batch pre "pull" 

As I heard a trillion times "We have 3 generations here today"

The last batch was a little disastrous, Greg had to step in and pull it, Charley helped !

There is a lot of effort going into this one, we had to cut it super fast because it was hardening to quickly.

1 comment:

call me Laura said...

Um I love it! Reads like I was there!