Friday, January 04, 2013

safety blinkers and sweets

Another day of no jewelry. Saturday deadline of YOJ is approaching fast! Still, there was some creation.

At the Library craft meeting, which I made at last at about 10:20, I made the second of my safety blinker bezels. Still far from jewelry quality wirework, but a good bit neater than the first. However. the only important criterion is, "will they  stay on?" and I think the answer is "certainly."

Secondarily, they will be easier to get turned on, as the little orange switch buttons are no longer obstructed by spokes.

My other creative accomplishment of the day is halva. Now, I am not going to count ordinary cooking in this "make something every day" challenge. If I did, it would not be much of a challenge! But something out of the ordinary, or that I have never done before -- I think that counts.

This is sesame halva with pistachios -- photo by Sjschen on Wikimedia Commons. Mine is also made with tahini, ground sesame seeds, but with honey instead of sugar syrup, and with toasted pecans. Much browner. Does it taste good? Yup. Is it going to be the right texture? Maybe. I have to wait at least 36 hours to see if it develops the sugar crystals that make it flaky rather than gluey.

Several recipes on the web say heat the honey to 240°. But some say hotter, even up to soft crack stage. I meant to follow that direction, but the honey foamed up so that it was very hard to keep it from boiling over, and  so I gave up at about 245°. I let it cool a little bit, put in the somewhat over-toasted pecans, and poured it slowly, stirring, into the warm tahini. Kept stirring till it was getting pretty stiff, and was down to 140°-150°. Dumped it into a covered plastic tub and put it on the cold windowsill. Now I am supposed to keep my hands OFF of it for 36 hours ...

Edited on Saturday to add:
After two days the texture is much closer to caramels than to fudge. I think I should cook the honey to at least 250°, and also try to beat it longer as it cools. This means using a much deeper pot, perhaps the deep cylindrical Revere drip coffee pot, and a bigger bowl - the heavy white glass Sunbeam bowl.

It is, I think, a good deal stronger in flavor than the store-bought. But delicious. Equally addicting. I eat a bite and walk away from the kitchen. Then I turn around and go back to the kitchen for another bite. At least as candies go, it is very high in protein and fiber!

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