It's another dark, dreary, rainy day in the neighborhood; even the dogs have the blahs. The forecast for this weekend is really nasty, calling for sub-zero temperatures for we Islanders. That's just wrong. We've been spoiled by all the warm - term used loosely here - weather. Come on, +6 is warm compared to the -8 they are threatening us with next Monday night, and a high of -5. That's a HIGH of -5 folks. What's that you say? Stop my whining, you say? Hey THAT'S cold for here. Really cold.
In an attempt to stave off the cold weather, Richard has been putting plastic over the windows on the main floor of the house. I have to admit, it has made the rooms he has done a lot warmer. This drafty old house, which is over 100 years old, will seem incredibly warmer when he finishes. Just the kitchen and bathroom to do, and I think I will have him cover the patio door in the living room too. Just by doing that, it warms the house up by 10 to 15 degrees. That's a lot when you heat your house solely with a wood stove that sits in the kitchen.
Speaking of the kitchen, you know I like to try new recipes. Remember my Peanut Butter Fudge of the other day? That was a new recipe. Sometimes that's a good thing...sometimes bad. Like today for instance. I found a recipe on cdkitchen.com - while looking for something else - for Simple Caramel Sauce. Sounded good. Has the word Simple in the title. I'm all about simple. Not too many ingredients and I have them all on hand: 2 cups brown sugar, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup milk, more as needed.
It starts off like this:
Stir sugar and condensed milk together; heat over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, till sugar dissolves;
That's simple enough, if a little vague on the time. I mean, usually a recipe will say something like "stirring constantly, till sugar dissolves, about (insert number here) minutes. So, I do what it says, and begin to stir.
And stir some more.
And, yes, still some more.
In fact what the recipe should have said in the directions was...
...stirring constantly until you turn blue in the face or your arm falls off, whichever comes first.
I stirred that sucker for 32 minutes and the sugar granules in the brown sugar NEVER did dissolve, sigh. I gave up, removed it from the heat like it said, stirred in the 1/2 cup butter and teaspoon of vanilla. And wasn't THAT fun. You ever tried to stir butter into a thick, viscous substance? No, really...have you? Finally I got out my wire whisk and beat the butter into the brown sugar/sweetened condensed milk mixture. Then the half cup of milk.
The upshot is, I got almost a quart of Simple Caramel Sauce. Very gritty Simple Caramel Sauce. How does it taste? Kind of like a poor man's Dulce De Leche...only, grittier. What am I going to do with nearly a quart of gritty, Poor Man's Dulce De Leche, you ask?
Darned if I know.
Maybe I can find a new recipe to try it with.