Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Homemade Hard Tack Candy ~ Tidbits

The younger kids have been pestering me to buy Valentine's candy from the store.  I just shake my head, because of what's in that stuff.  Not to mention all those dyes they use to make them so appetizing. know me.

I made a batch of cherry hard tack candy.  They were hassling me for not putting the red dye into it, but once they tasted it, how it looked didn't matter.

Here is my recipe.  It's one that my Junior High Home Economics teacher gave us way back in the day (when public schools still taught students how to cook).

Hard Tack Candy
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup organic/ non-gmo light corn syrup 
3/4 cup water
-candy flavorings

Stir these three ingredients together until temperature reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer.  Cook on low heat then turn to med. heat.  Be sure to put your thermometer in before you turn on the burner.  When it reaches 300°F remove the pan from the burner, and add 1/2 teaspoon of desired candy flavoring.  Add coloring if desired.

Pour onto a baking sheet that has been prepared by spraying with non-stick organic oil spray, or a thin layer of organic oil. 

Allow the candy to cool completely.  Break into pieces, toss with a bit of powdered sugar, and store in an airtight container.

When I was in Junior High, we'd open the window and sit the baking sheets on the ledge to cool faster.  Nowadays, we can simply put the baking sheet outside in the snow to cool faster.

The kids are requesting a batch of Cider Vinegar Candy too.

We finally got plowed out last night.  Although I heard we are about to get more snow.  I have always told the family that February is the month we typically get the most snow.

Evidently there was another "night time" recreational vehicle event around us last night (after 11pm).   If he's holding them at night, then he's trying to hide them from the public.  Our field fence is ripped from one t-post, so inspections will be done again today.

Although I had trouble sparking the kids into action, I got deep into cleaning again yesterday.  You know how things just don't get put away, and tossed here and there?  Well, it was time to clean off some dressers, night stands, bookshelves, and do a deep cleaning in the bathroom.

The dust was terrible.  I had to toss the reusable duster into the wash, and dry it before continuing to dust the rest today.

I found a creative way to organize the bobby pins in my master bathroom as well.   And I organized where to keep my sunglasses.   Check it out on my S.C.R.A.P. Blogspot.  

One last tidbit to share.  You all may already know this too.  Oldest daughter told us that dried orange peels can be used to start fires.  I'll be drying all of our non-organic orange peels for that use too (although I think I still have more walnut shells too).  Those will come in handy for camping season.   And we'll be better prepared in any emergency. that I think about it, I need to make more this winter, so I have them ready for a spontaneous camping trip.  I'll probably stuff orange peels in cardboard tubes with either lint or rolled up pieces of newspaper. 


Mama Pea said...

When our daughter was small I used to make all the Easter candy for her basket. Valentine's Day it was just homemade frosted heart-shaped sugar cookies. (Which are still requested today!) Your recipe for the hard candy sounds good. Thanks for sharing it.

Be sure to document that fence damage by the nimrod night time mud boggers. I would think others in the area would be up in arms about the noisy night time activity, too. Grrrrr!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Mama Pea, sugar cookies sound wonderful! Yep...documenting.

My Garden Diaries said...

You are a rockstar!!! This looks and sounds amazing! And we can't eat that stuff either...My son has so many nut allergies that we have to stay away from these as they are processed with nuts which isn't a bad thing like you mentioned. I will have to try this!!! Happy day! Nicole xo

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Thanks Nicole, the kids love it, so I may make some butterscotch flavored candy next. Either that or rootbeer.

Sam I Am...... said...

I love the homemade candy recipe(s). I have not tried them yet but that would great to send to the grands for Valentine's Day.
I also LOVE the bobby pin and sun glasses idea. Very smart!
My daughter just told me about the orange peels too. I'd never heard that but I'll be saving them all! Thanks always for your great frugal ideas. Visiting you is like visiting a friend that I wish lived next door. Have a great weekend!