Oh deer

We are currently in the season for outdoor decorations, and one of the more popular choices for decorating is deer.   Technically, I suppose that people are thinking ‘reindeer’, with sort of North Pole connotations.   But it’s easier to go with generic deer as a sign of the season.

If you are wanting to have outdoor lights anyway, why not a lighted deer?

This family of log deer are certainly cute and crafty, as well as being environmentally friendly.

Hey, wait a minute.   That’s not even a deer, it’s just a dog with an antler tied to his head (if you want to be a Grinch about it).

Well now we’re getting completely ridiculous, besides being rather abstract.   Nothing says festive like Rudolph the red-nosed car.   Really?

This is more like it, the real thing (although you can tell from the state of his antlers that I took this picture in the spring).   After spending the summer wherever they disappear off to, the local deer are back in the neighborhood.   And making a festive statement just by being themselves.

Cooking class

I admit that I love anything that has lots of sugar and butter in the recipe (although it does not necessarily love me back).  One of my friends has taken a lot of classes at a local cooking school, and she talked about how much fun this was.  So I decided I might give this a go, especially as the class used my favored ingredients.  And I found out how simple it is to make toffee, particularly if someone else does all the prep work.  😉

They had toasted and chopped 10 1/2 ounces of almonds and separated it into chunky bits and dust.   We put 8 ounces of butter, 8 ounces of sugar, 3 ounces of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a pan and took it over to the induction stove top.

Here it is boiling merrily away.   Then we put in a candy thermometer, gave it a stir from time to time, and 25 minutes later it looked like this.

It is boiling hot at this point, so we carefully tipped in the large bits of almond (saving the fine particles for topping), and spread it out on a half sheet pan.   Then we sprinkled 7 ounces of chocolate chips over the top.   As it was boiling hot, the chips quickly melted and we slathered them over the top and added a fine almond dust over everything.

It doesn’t really look very appetizing at this point, in fact it looks rather like a large cow pie (although it smells much better).

Now it looks delicious!   As there were several groups of people in the class, we made different flavors of toffee and got to take home some of each.   So I have white chocolate raisin toffee, dark chocolate coconut toffee, dark chocolate and milk chocolate toffees.  Now all I have to do is package this up for friends and avoid eating all of this myself.