I have made English toffee during the Christmas holidays for more years than I can remember. Why? That’s the question I asked as I did my mindless stirring.
Years ago I found a toffee recipe in a holiday magazine. It looked good in the picture. The recipe was easy. I decided to give it a go. Delicious. Yummy. Much better than the packaged kind we’d had in the past. The whole family begged for more. The biggest fan of all was my then husband D. Every year after that first one, he started asking around Thanksgiving when the toffee assembly line would start up again.
It dawned on me as I prepared the beloved sweet treat today that I was, on some level, still cooking it up for my ex. That’s the thought that came to mind. Could that possibly be the case? I don’t like to admit it but I think it might be so. Then I thought of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Stay with me now as I try to explain.
If you’ve been reading my blog since last Christmas or before, you are aware that the holiday season is particularly hard for me. D always made a huge deal of Christmas. (Too big I realize now.) And suddenly he was gone. So what did I do? I went in the kitchen and I made that damn toffee as if he were still here. Granted, I’m making it now for family and friends. And it’s a nice thing to do for them. I get lots of compliments from all who partake. What I’m really doing, though, is trying to make Christmas like it used to be. My version of insanity.
I have finished my confectionery habit for this year. I have enough to give each daughter’s family a good supply for the holidays. My quandary now is: Do I give up making up toffee? Or shall I continue to supply the family’s sweet tooth — with a new attitude? Or shall I take a break for a year or so and see what happens? I don’t know the answer but I’m glad I’ve recognized that I’ve been sabotaging my serenity during the holiday season. Recognizing the problem is the first step toward solving it.
Hard Candy Christmas by Dolly Parton from “The Best Little Whore House in Texas”