By Jodi Thomas
Cooking has always been something I enjoy. My mother and I had some great talks as we cooked. She told me all it takes to be a great cook is know how to make five things. But make them great. After that, when company comes, they’ll always ask for one of the five, then they’ll think you’re a great cook.
My mom made the best chicken fried steak with gravy but most of the meals we eat today would be new to her.
When I first started having people over to eat, Tom was in the army and we lived in Freehold, New Jersey. The meals didn’t always turn out like I planned.
At Christmas when I was telling my Aunt Dixie about it while eating her divinity, I asked for the recipe.
The recipe came on the back of an envelope just like this:
- Put in a quart size pan—works best in heavy pan, medium heat:
- 2 cups sugar ½ cup water Dash of salt
- Bring to a boil—should be rolling boil but not a crazy boil that climbs up the sides of the pan are you’ll have a mess.
- Boil stirring most of the time and watching ALL the time for about 6 to 8 minutes until the mixture will go soft ball stage. (That means when you drop a drop of it in a small bowl of cold water, you can push it around with your finger and make a sloppy ball.) Once that happens I usually let it boil for another minute just to make sure it’s ready.
- Next: Pour over marshmallow cream from a small jar 8 ounces, and start to mix on low for about 30 seconds, then kick it up to high for about 4-6 minutes. Sometime during this add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
- Stop mixing when the it starts to thicken, losses it’s shine, or the ripples the mixer makes stay up for three seconds.
- Add a cup of chopped nuts and make a few more rounds with the mixer
- Wait and add a nut on top of each piece. May also add a cherry on top if you don’t like nuts.
- Last: Using two spoons drop candy on waxed paper.
- If the first few drops go flat, slow down a bit and give the candy time to cool a minute. Once the candy looks right coming of the spoon, move fast.
- This makes about three dozen candies. The first few will be flat, but they still taste just as good. The last few may be stiff so eat them first. If you decide to put the nut or cherry on top be sure to dry the cherry’s on a paper towel first and put them on as soon as you drop all the candy.
I have a feeling they’d serve this special at the Honey Creek Cafe.
Piper Kate McKenzie, mayor of Honey Creek, won’t let a major scandal rip her quirky hometown apart, or jeopardize her dream of one day running for higher office. So she calls for reinforcements to find the source of corruption in the sheriff’s office—two men recommended by her Texas Ranger brothers . . .
At seventeen, Sam Cassidy left home, heeding the call to be a preacher. Later he found another mission: serving his country. After his one love died, he lost both his faith and his fight. Drifting from one assignment to another, he’s come to Honey Creek intending to earn his paycheck and move on.
As a Dallas cop, Colby Riddell has grown skeptical and wary. People have a bad habit of disappointing each other, but the job never lets him down. This job in particular—his first undercover—is too intriguing to pass up.
Piper, who’s been wondering if Honey Creek might be the only real love of her life, suddenly finds herself drawn to two very different men. And if she can keep her town—and her heart—from going completely off the rails, there may be a sweet, unexpected future in store . . .