I got an email from Williams Sonoma a few weeks ago, advertising the filled, hard, Christmas candy that my mother loves. Naturally, I duly made note of the fact but did nothing about it.
I decided to order it for her today and it’s ‘No longer available’.
My mother is not the easiest person to please when it comes to gifts.
At least not from her children.
Or should I say, her daughters.
Sons, of course, could give her half a loaf of day-old bread and she would be delighted at how perfect it is for her bird-feeder.
Daughters, on the other hand, have a tougher row to hoe.
I gave her a box of Divinity for her birthday 2 weeks ago.
She made Divinity every Christmas for as long as I can remember, sometimes 3 or 4 batches. I can remember her waiting for just the right day…. Divinity requires low humidity. I can remember her fussing incessantly with it.
We kids gobbled up the fudge but always passed on the Divinity.
Her comment to me, on receiving what I thought of as a special treat?
‘I never really liked it you know’.
How was I to know?
She wouldn’t have said that to a son.
Last year the caramel corn I sent her had nuts in it.
When I asked her how she liked it she said ‘I gave it away; it had nuts’.
‘But you love pecans’, I said.
‘Not any longer’, she said.
How was I to know?
If someone else had given it to her, she would have thanked them graciously.
With daughters she’s ‘honest’.
I called The Popcorn Factory to make sure there were no nuts in the caramel corn.
I ordered it.
They’d better be right….
Then I went on-line to order the filled candy…
No longer available.
Anyone know anyplace I can order filled, hard candy on-line?
Individually wrapped a plus….
Oh, lest you think she never likes anything…. When I (or my sister) get her something she really likes she is very happy and enthusiastic about it.
And there’s never any doubt about whether or not she means it…..
I shall now go comfort myself with some risotto…
The thing I like best about risotto is one can make it with anything and everything….
Or, at least, I do.
2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 onion other half for the condimenti
2 tsp butter
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Finely chop onion. In medium sauce pan heat butter; add 1/2 of the onion and sauté until transparent then add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir.
Start condimenti. When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 132 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it a few tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate. Add the Parmesan and the condimenti, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately. It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff.
The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.
8 – 10 slices salami, 3oz (90gr)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup flageolet beans or white beans
2 tsp olive oil
While risotto is cooking, heat oil in small skillet. Add the rest of the onion and sauté until tender. Cut salami in half or quarters and add to onions. Roughly chop tomato and add to condimenti. Drain and rinse beans. Add to skillet and heat through. Keep warm until needed for risotto.
And remember this Christmas….
While it’s nice to be a good giver it’s more important to be a good receiver…..
And let me know about that candy….. Please.