It was a proper soda fountain and it had a jukebox that hadn't been updated in more than a decade. They did serve some odd sandwiches, the usual assortment of soda fountain drinks and snack type foods. But the thing that was the best there was the CANDY.
Mom and I didn't have a car so we'd walk downtown to go shopping while dad was at work. We'd go to the dime store (Woolworth's), the fabric store and anywhere else she needed to stop. For a treat, we'd go to Nick's.
At Nick's we'd get ONE of something because we weren't rich. I would choose a chocolate of some sort, probably a maple cream because his were truly the butteriest, meltiest maple creams ever made. My mom would always choose divinity. We'd walk home together, later we'd be pushing Matt's stroller, and she'd talk about how hard divinity is to make and that was why she always got it there instead of making it.
One day I tried it and I was hooked. Divinity is a weird vanilla-sugar pillow of sweetness that is chewy and sticky and honestly it's just delicious when made well. When made poorly it's still really good.
This Christmas I decided I would make divinity.
- I separated eggs with my hand like a damn chef on Iron Chef or Chopped.
- I made meringue for the first time ever - and it wasn't hard at all so what the hell is with people acting like that's a thing? Beat eggs. They fluff.
- I realized they were not shitting that it would've been easier with a STAND mixer.
- Parchment paper is not wax paper. Ooops. I actually knew that, I just forgot which one I was using. I used the wrong one.
The recipe said that it might be too difficult with a hand mixer due to it would become very thick, and you have to mix for over ten minutes. I probably made the ten minutes but when my little cheapie hand mixer began to whine I called it. I was supposed to mix until it became no longer shiny - but honestly I couldn't go that long, I would've lost the mixer.
I decided to pour it into a pan because I've always had divinity that was in a sheet and cut into squares and honestly this mixture was like fire hot velcro, you bring it up to hard ball stage before you drop it into the meringue. Getting this fiery mess into little pretty balls - I wasn't up to it.
I chose the Betty Crocker recipe because it's always been my experience that if I don't know how to make something, the Betty Crocker version is for me. It said it had to sit for 12 hours and I was pretty disappointed into last night. It was more like taffy. I kept thinking, man, what did I do? I got the temperature right. Did I not get enough of the egg white into the bowl? Did I not make a big enough meringue (dude it was two eggs it would only get SO big).
WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
I woke up this morning, and while my coffee brewed I pulled out the pan, lined with misbegotten parchment paper, and SON OF A BITCH...
I am so excited. It's not perfect like Nick's but it's my first pass at it. I am gonna try it again soon and it's going to be a lot better. I might even try to make little balls after all.