Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teeny Tiny Forty-Two "Rugby Baby 10" and a tale of candy fail

It's late, so I'm going to attempt to keep this kinda short!
Today's tinies are more continuation on a theme of Rugby variations.  I'm really enjoying the orange ones.  Red is not my color...Burgundy/wine, maybe...but not ketchup/mcdonald's red.  (I have both a McDonald's shirt and a Big Bang Shirt, both red, and those are the only red I will wear because of the coolness factor). 

In other news, my left heel really hurts.  Also my left pinkie. 

Also my right index finger.  The one I got I don't know what on.  Magically.  Through my gloves.  B suggested the glass beads I was using may have punctured my glove, and I didn't really look for that, but I don't remember seeing a tear.  I looked up the MSDS of the three ingredients in PCI, and here is what I found:

Phenol - "May be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed thru the skin Avoid all contact." (Did they really write 'thru' in an MSDS??)  "FIRST AID: CALL A PHYSICIAN. SKIN: In case of contact, immediately flush skin with water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Thoroughly clean clothing and shoes before reuse." "FATAL/TOXIC!! Effects of over exposure:fatal/destructive to soft tissue,mucous membranes,upper respiratory tract.acute:shortness of breathe,headache,nausea,vomiting and wheezing.chronic:fatal/destructive if inhaled.target organs:liver,kidney,nervous system. Conditions aggravated/target organs. Persons with pre-existing eye,skin or respiratory conditions may be more susceptible. "

Well...I did wash my hands...but not for fifteen minutes.  I had orchestra concert to get to...it's a good think I didn't drink it... :P  But that may explain the blister that has developed.

Chloroform - same if inhaled/swallowed/absorbed 'thru' skin.  Same treatment.  "May cause central nervous system depression. May cause eye and skin irritation. May cause respiratory and digestive tract irritation. May cause cardiac disturbances. May cause reproductive and fetal effects. May cause cancer based on animal studies. Conditions aggravated/target organs: Persons with eye, skin, or respiratory conditions may be more susceptible. "

Ooooooh I could get FINGER CANCER!

Isoamyl Alcohol - "Harmful if inhaled. May be harmful by ingestion. Irritant. Readily absorbed through the skin. Repeated exposure may cause skin dryness or cracking."  They don't say what it will do to me in the long term though.

SO I will cautiously conclude it was probably PCI, but I don't have a clue how it got on my finger.  And the back of my knuckle, at that!  Whatever... *grumble grumble*


So you know how I wanted to make candy?  Yeah...well I got the books and had a recipe and wanted to make hard candy.  But the recipes call for corn syrup and I didn't really want to use that, so I looked up alternatives on the Interwebs and found that you can use 1cup sugar in 1/4 cup water for every cup corn syrup called for.  So I thought that was great!  I'd just do that.

And I also wanted to make berry flavored candy...with real berry juice.  Which I had to make by blending berries and then squeezing them through cheese cloth.  So that all worked and I started on my first batch, poured it out and this is what I got:

The consistency was all good.  It cooled right and cut right and turned hard like candy should as it cooled...but it tasted like burnt.  Not like berries or citric acid.  Just burnt.  Very disappointing.

So I figured what had happened was I over-cooked it and resolved to try again, but cook it on lower heat and for a few degrees less.  And here is what happened"

It looked pretty and all, and I could cut it into cute little gem looking things...but it still tasted burnt.  Not nearly so bad, but definitely nowhere near berries.

I tried once more with the same stuff, but cooked for even less time.

It was a little too liquid-ful, this time.  So I decided it was something wrong with the berry juice.  So I left out the juice and tried again.  And this time I just got hot sugar.  The sugar wouldn't transition from one to the other crystal state.  I had read in one of my books that an acid is often added to make the equilibrium between the crystals shift towards the less grainy kind, so I dumped in a bit of cream of tartar and then followed that with some citric acid.  And...it turned the correct crystals.  So that was good.  But once I poured it, it wouldn't pull right.  It was way too sticky and then got a bunch of the crisco I was using to keep it from sticking on things and then it wouldn't even stick to itself.  I have no pictures of that batch, but it was pretty much the same.  Just a big blob.

Conclusion:  When doing something like candy making, which, except for fudge, I am extremely ignorant about, I should not try to experiment until I have mastered the original recipe.  I will be trying again...with corn syrup.  And we shall see how that goes.  *SIGH*


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