Wednesday, December 11, 2013

pockets of joy

This year, December started early.  At least it seemed to start early for me.  I don't know where the time flew, but I recall telling myself that I had lots of time before the holidays arrive.  Our daughter started requesting those Turtle chocolates for her "pockets" (I thought she was referring to her coat pocket...and since when did she like those kind of chocolates?). Then last Monday, my son asked me..."What ever happened to our annual advent calendar?"

You see, every year I place chocolates in the tiny square pockets of our little felt snowmen advent calendars.  It's a tradition that we've had since the kids were old enough to consume candy, and I loved the fact that I can control what goes into those pockets (sometimes I put stickers instead of sweet treats!).  I guess it was my little way to ensure that I don't stumble upon sugar-crashed-children sprawled on the sofa covered with thirty chocolate wrappers.

This year, I completely forgot those calendars.  The tree was set up, the lights on our mantle completed, and the outdoor lights done and displayed before the Santa Parade a few weeks ago, but... the calendars!

It's amazing how little traditions that I thought would go unnoticed, would resonate so much with the kids.  I would never have imagined that they would remember this little ritual that occurs every December.  And those Turtles chocolates that our daughter was asking about?  It turns out when she eats them, it reminds her of her grandparents (both Grandpas LOVE those chocolates).

It goes to show that those little gestures sometimes mean a lot more than you know.  I guess it's not just what's in those pockets that matter, but the thrill of peeking in them that makes those little pockets of joy...a sweet moment to remember.

Candy Cane Chocolate Toffee 

  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of candy canes, crushed.
  • Combine sugar, butter, 2 tbs. water and salt in a small saucepan. 
  • Cook on medium-high heat stirring until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.
  • Stop stirring and cook until the colour turns caramel-like brown. 
  • Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. 
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips immediate so it will melt.  Smooth gently with the back of the spoon or icing spatula.
  • Once the chocolate covers the toffee smoothly, sprinkle the crushed candy canes.
  • Let it cool completely.  
  • Cut into little squares.
These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week (if they last that long in the house!).


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