So my bright idea was to make peanut brittle to exchange with our neighbors.
Three pounds of roasted, lightly salted peanuts, five pounds of sugar, a quart of corn syrup, a lot of boiled water, and two sticks of butter (butter was suggested in one recipe I found online) later, and the best I can say for myself is I made one batch of something that came out brittle but has a really grainy, sugary texture — and six batches of an unusable peanut taffy. What I have to show for it are sore knees from standing and stirring over the copper pot for so long and an exchange of unpleasant words with my wife motivated by a combination of frustration and disappointment as well as low blood sugar (you don’t eat this stuff while you’re making it). My attempt to make peanut butter crispy balls turned out substandard to boot. I’m quite sure the problem is that I never got the sugar syrup hot enough, except the one time, and then I must have allowed crystals to form rather than pouring out a smooth mixture. But I never quite figured out how to get there in the first place.
My pies — a chicken pie and an apple pie — turned out much better. But I am not a confectioner.