At Christmas, my Grandma Vivian made candy. Her food is the stuff of family legend, especially her bread, but for me, the candy was the high point. It’s a tradition I’ve tried to keep up in her absence: peanut brittle, fudge, and divinity.
I think I use the same recipe for peanut brittle that she did–from the red-and-white checkered Better Homes and Gardens book–and it’s always a hit. Ditto the fudge, except my dad always wants me to make it grainy, like she did (technically, an error on her part, but the sense of taste resides in both the tongue and the heart). My divinity, however. Well. After several years of making piles of fluffy white sugar bombs, my dad sat me down. It’s not you, it’s me. That sort of thing. It turns out, though they revere her as the cook of all cooks, no one ever really liked the divinity. (Any relatives who might be reading this, feel free to contradict me.) They ate it to be polite, and because it was there. Me, I enjoyed it. It was simple and sweet and I loved the texture. Could it have had more flavor? Absolutely. But did my family want me to keep on making it?