Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Stockings are Hung by the Chimney with Care......oops.

The packages are wrapped and sitting under the smallest tree ever.

The Christmas plates are ready to give to those who don't expect them!
The baking is DONE.

The house is decorated as much as it's going to be.

Ooops, the stockings have not been hung by the chimney with care.
That's because I haven't finished them.  Along with the fact that I can't figure out how
to hang them from this cantera mantle.  Any ideas?  Duct tape is all that comes to mind.

As an alternative, I have one stocking hanging from a chair.

Aprons are draped over others.  The one with the reindeers was made by my daughter in 2001 and the head of the reindeer is the grandchildrens' footprints along with their handprints for the antlers.  Isn't she so clever?  The red and white apron is so old that I don't even remember where I got it.  I wear it every year while I'm baking.  Good karma.

Yesterday something got into me and I decided to make pralines.  One of my favorites.  The recipe originally came to me in Louisiana when I lived there almost 45 years ago.  I have made it and made it always to perfection.  NOT yesterday.  The praline mixture hardened before I could even get it out of the pan.  No shiny smooth pralines but a slight mess.  I then realized that I don't think I've made them here in Mexico.  The humidity yesterday was about 20%.  Maybe pralines need humidity in order to be made smoothly?  That's all I can figure out.

Oh well, one flop and the rest is just fine.

I'm ready to enjoy the next week prior to Christmas

Anyone wanna party?
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Anonymous said...

Humidity should not be an issue with pralines. It sounds like you cooked them too long, because you probably let them go to a temperature that would've been OK at lower altitudes. At high altitude, you need to boil the candy to a lower temperature is reached. The rule of thumb is 2 degrees F less for every 1000' in altitude. And then, too, your candy thermometer may have been out of whack.

loulou bateau said...

How about a piece of string or twine long enough to go all the way around the mantel. Tie it on top and push it to the back of the top of the mantel so it won't show. Leave it a little loose on the bottom and tie the stockings to it like a clothes line. I hope I've explained that in a manner that can be understood. Reading it over, I'm not so sure I did.

Babs said...

Jennifer, I didn't even think about the altitude! Of course, so I shouldn't have taken it to the soft ball stage......GREAT to know. Instead of 240 it should have been 12 degrees less. THANKS!

Babs said...

Loulou, GREAT idea! THAT will work.
Thanks so much. Two responses, yours and redshoes........both provided answers and solutions! Love it!

Calypso said...

Always ready to PARR TAE. I think our Xmas tree is a bit smaller - but it does the job ;-)

Babs said...

Too bad we're so darn far apart. I'm sure it would be fun to PAR-TEY together! Feliz Navidad to ya'll.

Anonymous said...

Are you going to share your praline recipe with your loyal audience?

Babs said...

Sure, its so easy! I'll get it and post it this evening. Thanks for asking.

Babs said...

Buttermilk Pralines
Must have candy thermometer.
If you don't have buttermilk, put 1T lemon juice or 1T vinegar to 1Cup Milk.

2 cups sugar, 1t baking soda, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 1/2 sticks margarine or butter, 2 cups pecan pieces, 1t vanilla.

Put all ingredients, except pecans and vanilla, in large pan and cook to soft ball stage. Scrape from bottom frequently to prevent burning. Mixture will be dark brown in color at the time you add pecans and vanilla. It will be slightly thin. Beat with spatula until you can drop on waxed paper or a buttered or Pam surface. Keeps indefinitely in covered container.

Anonymous said...

My two cents on hanging the stockings. You should be able to make some brackets with bits of wire coat hangers. Cut about 6-7"of coat hanger. Bend that into a V-shape at the middle. Then bend the legs into hooks which can grip the stone mantel. If the texture is rough enough, this should work. Otherwise, make the coat hanger bits somewhat longer, then put something heavy on top of them, but first looping the stockings through them. That should hold them.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we have zillions of wire coat hangers and zillions of uses for them.

Christine said...

There is some kind of plastic putty used to stick things to walls. But that would require a trip to a big department store which might not have it. So I think the string around the mantle idea is your best bet.
House looks very festive!

Babs said...

Kim, that sounds great. Heaven only knows I have as many hangers as you, probably. Thanks.

Babs said...

Thanks Christine......Feliz Navidad

Steve Cotton said...

I am channeling my inner Martha Stewart here. And it hurts.

Cut a wide colorful ribbon the length of your mantle -- or a little longer. Use your candles as weights on each end. Tie a length of thin ribbon around the large ribbon and then through each stocking. Assuming you are not filling each one with lumps of coal, that should do quite nicely.

Babs said...

That sounds like the most attractive solution Steve. The stockings will be a bit heavy as I so enjoy putting all kinds of goodies in stockings.
I probably will use your idea. Glad you are channeling your inner Martha Stewart as your outer is dealing with insect infestations. Sorry you're dealing with all that......

Shannon said...

Steve's solution is much more elegant, but you can never go wrong with duct tape I (and Red Green) always say. Ya, let's party!

Babs said...

Shannon, I agree with you. Have you seen all the patterns and colors of duct tape now? Duct tape, WD40 and Krazy Glue are my tools of choice as a single woman! It works!

Unknown said...

Hmmmm.....wondering what size boots you wear!!!

Babs said...

Kelly, 9 without heavy socks - 91/2 you have a pair you want to sell?
Thanks for asking - Feliz Navidad.