"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


One of the very distinct memories from my childhood is of my father pulling molasses taffy for the holidays.  In my memories, he was greased with butter from his fingertips to his elbows, his arms were built like Hercules', and the rope of taffy was about 15" in diameter.  And, of course, the taffy tasted like a piece of Heaven.  

In the journey through my Mom's small cookbooks, I came across this:
 It is the book my father used for making the taffy and also for molasses popcorn balls.  Molasses is one of the staples that sustained my dad and his family when they were hungry during the Great Depression.  You would think, then, that molasses would have been something he would have liked to forget and never touch again.  Not so.  For his entire life, he regularly enjoyed molasses, and one of his favorite snacks was fresh bread dipped in molasses.  I don't know about my siblings, but it is a snack I often indulge in myself.  I love molasses.  

David and Paul decided to build us some new memories and have a taffy pull.  With much coaching from brother in law Mike over the phone, they got it cooked to a hard ball and started pulling
 and pulling
  And, as if they had been doing this for years, they knew right when to stop pulling, form a rope, and start cutting before it was too late
Then it was time to wrap those wonderful tooth-pulling nuggets of joy.  

Now these two wonderful men thought they were "just" pulling taffy, but what they were doing was pulling out my memories for me, and at the same time building new ones. 

1 comment:

  1. That's great! I really wish we lived closer to each other so I could be in on these family moments. (I'm actually welling up about this...geez!)

    I really like molasses, too, but eaten by the spoon, never dipped bread in it.

    I want to try your taffy. Save me a piece for our upcoming visit...pretty please.


Some day, I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one, I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.