turns out, caramel CAN be saved. all the recipes say it can’t.
we had a nice little pyrex loaf pan that had been rendered totally useless cause we used it to hold caramel. well, it was experimental caramel and it crystallized. like a month ago. we left it there, occasionally walking past it and stopping to poke at it and wonder what to do wiht it.
then, more recently, a pot of caramel overcooked and got too hard, and actually scorched a little bit. not enough to make you never want to eat it, just enough, thankfully, for it to have that expensive ‘burnt honey’ flavour (so they call it – its really just slightly burnt caramel) it was too hard for eating, but again, we really try not to waste things. so it sat in its own bowl, right on top of the first batch of crystallized, temporarily fucked caramel.
so today i said “i wonder if i put some cream in a pot and melted this down with a little bit more butter, would i get useable caramel out of it?” everything i’ve read about caramel says no. common sense says yes. sugar dissolves in liquid after all, and caramel is sugars held in a semi-stable, sqooshy shape by fat. if you get the sugar to re-dissolve (and un-crystalize, in one case) then you should be good, right?
right. it worked. you hear that, caramel-world? IT WORKED. you CAN save overcooked caramel. AND i got my pyrex loaf pan back again. two saved batches of caramel that i thought i had to throw out.
cordelia wanted some grapefruit for breakfast, so i stared at the peels leftover and thought that there should be something i could do with them. so once both babies were sleeping (which was a crazy process that i thought would never work) and jim came home, we sliced the grapefruit peel, added the peel from two oranges, and made a big pot of candied spiced citrus peels. they dont look like much now cause they are sticky in sugar-syrup and drying on a rack, but if all goes well then we will dip them in chocolate in the near future. they better taste good.
then, since we try not to waste anything, i made ANOTHER pot of caramel with the leftover sugar-syrup, which by that time tasted like oranges, grapefruit, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamon. i think this is going to be a ridiculously delicious caramel.
so thats a lot of caramel. jim points out “you’re putting a lot of hours into work that nobody is buying yet” but really, its the only thing i have going on right now that can put some “i am something other than a mom” purpose into my day.