Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Craziness..& the Antidote

My workplace has exploded with insanity.

See, we're moving to a new building over the next 2 weeks. Yes, CHRISTMAS weeks. And the Bureau I work for has been in our current building since our inception in 1919. A passel of geologists in the same place for 90 years.

You think we have some stuff? Maybe some rocks? Rooms full of equipment and publications?

You'd be right. And geologists don't want to throw ANYTHING away.

It's an all-new building, and most of the furniture isn't set up yet. But the campus has decided to go the cheapest way and hire students to move us over Christmas break. So we have 30 football players and U-Haul trucks ready to move--with only 2 weeks to do it--but we can't move in yet. Servers are going today, I hear, so we'll have no access to printers or networks anymore. The geologists, seeing the truck, are realizing they finally have to pack up their (ahem) STUFF, so they're scurrying like mad ants.

Oh, and it's 3 days to Christmas. *eeep*

Anyway, all is not lost, because I have the antidote to all this insanity:

--Christmas Cheer
--and CANDY.

Christmas Cheer consists of filling my office with Christmas music as I pack and soothe staff, of pausing to check if my packages have arrived yet...and most of all, remembering Child's happy squeal-and-hug this morning when she counted off the 3 days left.

The candy? Last night, to help soothe, I made My World-Famous English Toffee.

Here's the recipe, if you'd also like to be world-famous! (especially for jmartinlibrarian!)

Susan's English Toffee
(make on a dry day: humidity messes with the consistency)

1 cup roasted unblanched almonds (the bags of slivered almonds at the store will do nicely)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a little more, because it's chocolate)

Sprinkle 1/2 almonds in a 9 x 13" glass baking pan. Melt butter on the stove, over medium heat. When completely melted, add sugar, brown sugar, and water to butter, mix. Cook and stir occasionally to boil to 300 degrees (hard crack) on a candy thermometer. (you DO need a candy thermometer! It needs to be exactly that temperature) Remove from heat, stir in soda fast. Pour & spread over almonds. Cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate pieces over the toffee, spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the almonds on top.

Note: I always panic when I make this and think the consistency is wrong, because at first it's chewy. But if you let it sit until morning, it will be *perfect*. Should melt in your mouth!

Let me know if you make some. Enjoy!!


ElanaJ said...

I must be a geologist then, because I'm often accused of never throwing anything away.

Sounds like you'll be having an interesting two weeks! Good luck!

jmartinlibrarian said...

You mean I can stuff my beak with candied nectar AND be world famous? This is my lucky day, my friends...a lucky day indeed...

Linda G. said...

Sounds delicious! I'll be right over to get some. ;)

Sharon Mayhew said...

Adrian, have a lovely holiday! I moved buildings one Christmas break...It was lots of fun for us (teachers) to come in unpaid and pack and moe our own stuff...Thank goodness the district moved the desks and chairs...