When looking through old newspapers, it is nice to be reminded of the importance that newspapers once held in our lives. One great example of that was the July 2, 1898 edition of the The Catholic Journal of Rochester, NY. This Catholic newspaper featured news of the Catholic Church, both local news and national/international, news about local church members, international news about the Rough Riders and the Battle of San Juan Hill, notes about the peculiarity of Holland, and a charming peanut brittle recipe that was written in the form of a rhyme.
The recipe seemed simple enough, just melt the brown sugar, add the peanuts and pour into greased pie pans. Melting the sugar is always a challenge as it means standing and stirring, standing and stirring, something that I get easily bored with. Fortunately help arrived just when I was ready to start the candy and this person has the patience to stand and stir the sugar until it melted. Despite our best efforts though, we burned the sugar because we were not sure what the finished temperature of the candy. We heated the candy a bit beyond the hard crack stage and burned some of the sugar on the bottom of the pot. Fortunately we were able to save the burned pot by simmering water and baking soda in the pot for about a half hour then scrubbing the pot using lots of elbow grease.
Poured the candy into two pans, one steel, the other glass. The glass pan was a mistake; the cooled candy stuck to the pan like glue and was only removed by soaking the pan in hot water. Good to know for next time – melted sugar needs to go in steel pans! Not sure though, whether there will be a next time unless I can find someone to stand and stir.
Because the sugar got burned, the brittle has a slightly burned taste.
Time: about 2 hours
Cost: about $8
Successful: Almost – did burn the sugar a little
Accurate: Think so, although not sure about which type of brown sugar we should have used.