English Toffee Recipe

Posted Friday, December 13th, 2019 @ 2:16 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Culinary Delights, Journal
homemade toffee

English Toffee

1 cup butter
1.5 cups white sugar
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 cups toasted almonds (slivers or flakes)
8 oz. semisweet baking chocolate (bar, chips, etc.)

Candy thermometer
1 qt. pot
2 qt. pot
double boiler pot
13×9 inch pan
cookie sheet
silicone spatulas
parchment paper

  1. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan with some butter on bottom and sides. Put 1 cup of almonds in a bowl handy by the stove. Keep the pan close by.
  2. Put parchment paper on a large cookie sheet.
  3. Put water in the larger pot and set the double boiler on top. Put chocolate in. Break up if it’s baking bar chocolate. Turn heat on medium. The water will heat up and the chocolate will melt.
  4. Put butter, sugar, water, and corn syrup into the smaller pot. Turn stove on to medium. Affix the thermometer inside the pot so it makes contact with the melted ingredients but doesn’t touch the bottom.
  5. Stir constantly while mixture cooks. When it reaches 300F on the candy thermometer, remove from heat, add almonds and stir quickly, then pour the entire mixture into the 13×9 pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly on the bottom of the pan. It cools quickly.
  6. Let the candy cool in the pan. (You can put it in the fridge to speed it up.)
  7. Once cool, gently turn the pan over onto the parchment paper and press. The candy should drop onto the paper.
  8. Using a spatula, spread half of the melted chocolate on the candy, then sprinkle .5 cup of almonds over the top. Allow it to set. (Again, refrigerate to speed it up.)
  9. Turn the block of candy over carefully and coat that side with remaining chocolate. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Let set.
  10. Try not to eat it all at once.

This can be broken into smaller pieces for gifts.

An Attachment

Posted Sunday, November 24th, 2019 @ 11:57 am by Kathryn
Categories: Journal

There is nothing wrong with learning, or reading and owning books. Yet I recognize in myself an attachment to a delusion that words can end my suffering. Books represent security to me — the idea that if I read enough, learn enough, I can control life. I can create safety. The awareness that I don’t know enough, and that words and ideas will impart wisdom. Sometimes I tell myself I need to purchase a book because I cannot borrow it from the public library even via interlibrary loan (I like to read somewhat uncommon titles). At the root of this story, however, is the reflexive movement toward the familiar role of student. I delay action and avoid discomfort by returning to a role I know so intimately.

In the past I’ve purged books from my shelves. I engage in a little dance with the books that remain, telling myself that some of them I will probably use sometime (they number in hundreds). It’s an interesting experience to look at a book and decide whether it departs, and why. Sometimes I feel like a queen hoarding and counting her gold pieces.

And yet, books have been steady companions in my life.

Community Suit: Books

Choices To Be Made

Posted Saturday, November 16th, 2019 @ 10:42 am by Kathryn
Categories: Journal, Quotes, Spirit

You find yourself disillusioned with the irrevocable personal losses: your health, your lover, your job, your hope, your dream. Your whole life is filled with losses, endless losses. And every time there are losses there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression, and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper. The question is not how to avoid loss and make it not happen, but how to choose it as a passage, as an exodus to greater life and freedom.
— Henri Nouwen

DSC04040

Practice

Posted Saturday, November 9th, 2019 @ 10:52 am by Kathryn
Categories: Buddhism, Domestic Arts, Journal, Meditation, Spirit
witches brew

I’ve had this mug over 30 years. I received it as a thank-you gift for supporting my local PBS station in Syracuse. It’s one of the best things I’ve owned, in that it is lovely to look at, comfortable to hold, a just-right size, and made of a clay that retains heat. To my amazement, it has survived 15 household moves, including two cross-country ones.

Every single morning, unless I’m ill in bed, I brew one pour-over mug of coffee. It’s a small ritual that anchors my day. As I looked at it this morning with steam wafting up, it reminded me of a witch’s brew in a cauldron. I’m entering my crone years, and I embrace the creativity and crazy wisdom that emerges in this age.

Last summer I realized there is another practice that I have inconsistently applied, one that opens me to appreciating and awakening to life. A practice that I need, because it really does help me be sane, and that can only help the world. I realized that if I can take time to make a single cup of coffee without fail every single day, surely I can do this other practice every single day. So, I committed. And 132 days later, it has become integral to my life.

Now I am looking at other practices that I know support my life and, indirectly, other people. I am setting an intention to do them, which means designating a time and place, and treating it as if I am meeting a loved one.

I would like to share this reflection on the power of small practices: Your Bed Is Your Head.

Polymer Clay Play

Posted Friday, November 8th, 2019 @ 1:55 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Arts, Journal

I began a painting over a month ago, but work on it has stalled. I did a little work on it today but it frustrated me. The urge to create something was almost overwhelming, so I turned to a different medium: polymer clay. I just desperately needed to make something. The result — three Christmas ornaments and two ring dishes. They are very petite. Just right for a stocking stuffer. I’m not sure who will be the recipients, and maybe I will just release them into the world.

polymer clay experiments

Different Minds

Posted Friday, November 1st, 2019 @ 2:55 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Journal, Science, Social Science, Spirit

Autism explained well

Autism explained in the most beautiful way.Created by: Alexander Amelines"Break the barriers" #autism

Posted by My Gladiolus on Friday, September 6, 2019

Aglow

Posted Thursday, October 31st, 2019 @ 11:37 am by Kathryn
Categories: Domestic Arts, Journal, Motherhood, Nature, Recreation

A long time ago I stopped trick-or-treating. I remember taking my brother when I was about 16, but I stopped dressing up and getting treats at age 12. My daughter is 12 this year, and her desire to roam door to door hasn’t waned, in part because I’ve been an enthusiastic participant celebrating vicariously through her! And also because she has friends who want to go. However, this year I’ve been ambivalent toward Halloween. Didn’t really want to decorate; my daughter helped. Didn’t want to carve a pumpkin. However, Claire said she would be sad if there wasn’t a jack-o-lantern this year. She asked me to carve an Owo face. Being an uncool parent I had no idea what this meant, so she drew it for me. As it turned out, once I got started with the cutting and scooping, I felt calm enjoyment in the project. So here is the Owo pumpkin with its hat and without. Happy Halloween!

Owo pumpkin
Owo pumpkin aglow

Simply Pay Attention

Posted Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 @ 9:03 am by Kathryn
Categories: Arts, Culinary Delights, Domestic Arts, Journal, Meditation, Nature, Spirit

Existence is hard; it is literal suffering. It has wonders and joys, amazements and fascinations, yes. And it has love. All of this along with suffering, which happens to us and which we inflict on others and our own selves. Claire once asked me, if life is suffering, what is the point of being alive? In the end it seems simple enough: we are Life experiencing itself. We are Consciousness holding everything. We are the Mystery. It doesn’t bear too much thinking about, because thinking is a distraction. Better to simply pay attention to what is happening right now, what is right in front of me, and to meet it as fully and with as much attention as I can.

Taking my own advice, I happened to notice the sunlight on freshly washed grapes when I made my lunch. After visually appreciating them for a time, before relishing them in my mouth, I snapped a photo to share.

grapessun

Don’t Fear the Reaper

Posted Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 @ 5:15 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Humor, Journal

Posted by Kathryn Harper on Monday, October 28, 2019

Colors

Posted Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 @ 12:35 pm by Kathryn
Categories: Journal, Nature, Quotes, Spirit