• Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    One of the holiday traditions my parents started many years ago, was making Peanut Brittle for giving to family and friends. Over the years they perfected their recipe, which was passed on to them from a friend. Each year their giving became more generous and one year they made over 100 bags of Peanut Brittle during the Christmas season, which was over 40 pounds of raw spanish peanuts. Friends they had gifted it to, began asking to buy it to give as gifts. My folks were not in it to make money or run a candy business, so they just told people to pay for the ingredients and they made it for them. Of course Mom and Dad always under estimated the actual cost of the ingredients, and gave away much more than they were paid to make. As they got older, keeping up with that type of volume became a little much for them. I began taking my kids over and helping out. I lost my Mom and Dad both in 2020. Dad was 91 and Mom was 87. A few months after Mom passed, my Dad asked me “do you suppose we could make some Peanut Brittle this year?” I told him sure and meant it whole heartedly. My dad passed away before Christmas. I kept my promise to him. I got together with my wife and sons to make sure we carried on the tradition and Dad’s wishes that year. Everyone in our family had the “recipe”, but you all know the process and “how to” is as important as the ingredients in any recipe. Candy making can be even more unforgiving than meat processing. I was blessed to have spend many days in my parents kitchen making this sugary Peanut delight. Buy the way, this brittle is not hard or sticky if made right. One of my nieces and a nephew asked if I would show them how to make the brittle last year. They helped me and my family carry out Dads wishes to make it last year. This year they asked me at Thanksgiving when we were making it this year. Well today was that day, or should I say the first day. I had my brother and his family together with mine learning and carrying on what Mom and Dad had made into a Christmas tradition. A few years ago my Mom put together a cook book for all of her kids and grandkids with a photo of them making Peanut Brittle one of the many years. It’s the best cookbook I own and the first picture I’m attaching is of them on the cover doing what they loved doing.
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    Making brittle today to send out of state to family.
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    The pot is an old pressure cooker my Mom used to make brittle and other candies. The spoon was hers also.
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    So if you have a certain candy you make or other great cooking tradition you have during this holiday season, post it proudly. Merry Christmas!

  • Team Blue Big Green Egg Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User

    GWG8541 great post thanks for sharing it with us. You should be proud 👏 God bless

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Traeger Power User Veteran Sous Vide Canning

    GWG8541 Thanks so much for bringing that up. That was also my mother’s favorite thing to make for Christmas as well, she passed as well in May 2020 at 91. My brother carries on the tradition down in Texas with multiple modifications to the original recipe through additions of different spices to liven it up. My sister and I both have the recipe, I just don’t make it since I have to watch sugars, don’t really have the patience for being a candy maker and I am a former diabetic ( yes, you can become non diabetic through a few things).
    Thank you for the splendid Christmas memory from your family tradition and helping me to remember my families as well.

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    johnsbrewhouse thanks for sharing that. I am also happy to hear you are on the right side of diabetes. That takes a lot of work and diligence. We made 6 batches today. I may have made one batch of Tennessee whiskey flavored brittle for my deer hunting buddies, which never would have been done in Mom’s kitchen. It turned out pretty good.

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Traeger Power User Veteran Sous Vide Canning

    GWG8541 My brother does jalapeno brittle, I can’t take the heat like he does. He does lots of weird stuff. I know my mom would probably look at him and ask him what he thought he was doing to her brittle.

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    johnsbrewhouse jalapenos would definitely be interesting. I can handle a little heat, just trying to wrap my head around the pepper flavor.

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Traeger Power User Veteran Sous Vide Canning

    GWG8541 When I talk to him next, I’ll ask him how much he adds and how. Should be talking to him this week before he heads to Colorado for a few days of skiing and time with his grandkids.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    GWG8541 That brought back memories of my mom making peanut brittle for Christmas. She also used the pot of a pressure cooker and had a very heavy cake pan she poured it on to set. My younger sister has the pan and every time I see it I remember the peanut brittle and homemade caramel rolls she made in it. Thanks for bringing back those memories. I think it is wonderful you are carrying on your family tradition.

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide

    GWG8541 very cool. My dad also made peanut brittle to give away. I will have to ask mom if she has the recipe. I bet your your folks were looking down smiling. Merry Christmas

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    johnsbrewhouse thanks, I would have to try it at least once.

  • Team Blue

    GWG8541 that looks awesome

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    bocephus my Mom also made all kind of other confections including Caramels. I used to get a zip lock bag before leaving for deer hunting with Dad every year. In fact, I had a big smile and for some reason watery eyes when PapaSop talked about getting those cookies from his Mom before hunting this year.
    I try making caramels, but need more practice. It seems I’m either making Werther’s hard candy or a thick caramel syrup. It’s amazing how delicate candy making processes are.
    At first I was hesitant about posting this. I know how hard the holidays can be for some people, but my intent was to see how many of us share similar traditions and to hopefully remember some of those we have lost with happy memories this season. The best part of getting together yesterday was when my oldest son was getting ready to leave. He is a full time Firefighter/Paramedic, he thanked me for getting everyone together and said “it was great having everyone together today, thanks for doing it. Grandma would have loved it”. That alone made the day for me. I hope and pray if nothing else, I have instilled the importance of family and friends to my kids. I grew up without a lot a of money or possessions, but man was I blessed with great family. We are far from perfect, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  • Regular Contributors

    Mmm, I can remember making peanut brittle as a kid, completely forgot until this post. Teeth can’t handle that anymore!

  • Big Green Egg Team Blue Regular Contributors Cast Iron Power User

    GWG8541 what a great post. I love when people carry on a tradition and keep it alive by passing it down. This post made me smile. My Grandma was a baker and she made a lot of candy too. My aunt actually sat down with my Grandma and asked her to write out some of her most cherished recipes. She did everything from memory and feel. My aunt took these recipes and made a cook book too. My brother’s wife went to my Grandma’s a few times to learn how to make her buns. They were the most perfect bun you could find. She has mastered it almost as well as Grandma’s. It warms my heart when families care enough to make sure a good tradition gets passed down. Man, I miss my all my Grandparents.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    GWG8541 It is always good to get family together, my family is all spread out. We all try to get back together in the summer in MN and my brothers and I get together in November for deer hunting, these are special times.

  • Regular Contributors Team Orange Sous Vide

    My wife made candy the first year we moved into our house to meet all the neighbors. It was the last year she made candy, it is for sure a labor of love. We just don’t have the time to commit to making it.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    ND Mike My wife used to get with my mom before Christmas and learned the recipes for all the cookies and candy my mom made, now she makes all the things my mom made and has added to it. She tells people she had to get married to me to get my Grandmother’s sugar cookie recipe. She would always make a bunch of stuff and give it away to friends and she and I would take big trays into work. I am now retired and with COVID she can’t take things in to work, but there are still friends to bake for so she will be happy.

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide

    Before my dad passed away, my folks would make homemade chocolate covered cherries for Christmas. After eating them, store bought ones aren’t very good

  • Cast Iron Canning Green Mountain Grill Team Orange Masterbuilt

    GWG8541 I can’t tell you how much this post meant to me. For years I’ve made Christmas candy with my Mom. Caramels, toffee, Cherry mash, peanut brittle, and many kinds of fudge. She always told me you could only make the toffee in one pan that she used. I lost Mom on November 30th. This will be a hard Christmas but for my kids and grandkids sake, we will have Christmas candy and toast the woman who taught me that it’s all right for men to cook.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User

    GWG8541 Great tradition to pass along. Ours was making Polish sausage and a special dinner. It always brings back memories.

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