My guest today is Mary McCall. Mary writes Historical romances for Champagne Book Group and Eternal Press. Her Highland Captive and Highland Promise are personal favorites. Hard to beat a Scottish medieval romance with a touch of magic and men in kilts. Check out the blurb for her most recent book, Highland Promise, (which I LOVED) that is now available from Champagne Book Group. She’ll also share a centuries-old family recipe for Old Time Burnt Sugar Caramel.
Happy Holidays Everyone! And many thanks to Rita for having me. This is a double day for me. I’m here to celebrate this wonderful time of the year with you and I’m also celebrating my birthday so let’s make this a party day. I’ll check in and out through the day and at the end of the day, I’ll send out a signed copy of Highland Promise to one commenter selected by my infallible Maltese Regina. Now on to the recipe…
This is a great one. And it’s an authentic pre-bellum way to make homemade caramel fudge that requires two people, making it a great family project. There are no shortcuts if you want that oh-so-creamy, melt-in-your-mouth candy like only your ancestors could create. It’s been in my family since at least 1837. The original was written out by my great-great-great grandmother and it’s been passed through generations with minor additions here and there, mostly attributed to the cooking amenities available, not the content. Thus, I will begin with the most recent addition: mine.
Before you touch the stove, prepare two work sites. Site one: Kitchen. Assemble all ingredients, pre-greased pans, prep the stove area with skillet and pot. Then handcuff your helper to your side so they don’t disappear at a critical moment. Site 2: Most comfortable seat in den. Assemble a quilt, remote, and anything else you need to ensure your comfort. You’re making this for the family so while you labor, they can let you watch your preference.
1 stick butter
4 cups sugar (divided)
1 cup evaporated milk
4 T Light Karo Syrup
4 t Cream of Tartar
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 t Vanilla Extract
Put butter into large granite pot; when melted, add 3 ¾ cups sugar, milk, Karo syrup and cream of tartar. Heat to boiling point, constantly stirring. After 11 minutes, the candy should be at the soft ball stage; continue stirring constantly. Have your helper turn the heat on high under the skillet and burn the remaining ¼ cup of butter to a dark golden brown glaze. While still stirring the main mixture, have your helper pour in the burnt sugar. Stir in well and evenly. Boil about three more minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir in well. Add walnuts (can be omitted or replaced with another nut).
Go to your comfortable chair, pad your lap and start beating that candy until creamy and mixture begins to sugar slightly around the edge of the pan. Pour at once into a buttered pan. Cool slightly and cut into pieces.
This stuff is so good it will take you away!
Ordered by King Alexander to wed an Englishwoman, Laird Brendan Sutherland heads to England to find and wed the sister of his best friend’s wife to settle a debt. He intends to beget a few heirs and forget the lass. He has no use for love, and among his clanswomen, he is known as Stoneheart.
After being falsely accused of the Sin of Eve when she was twelve, Lady Faith of Hawkhurst hides her beauty beneath a hideous disguise becoming a hag in public. Due to a despicable penance given by a zealot priest, she believes she must enter a convent and live a life of penance or suffer perpetual damnation.
Learning her brother intends to ambush an approaching Highland party, Faith intercepts Brendan and his men and asks their aid in reaching the convent at Saint Bride. Brendan quickly sees through her disguise. Realizing she’s the woman he promised to wed, he agrees to take her with him when he goes home. After a court scandal, King Henry orders them to wed. Faith fears Brendan will never trust her when he learns of her deception. As they return to the Highlands with a killer on their trail, Brendan discovers he can’t remain aloof from the woman destined to restore his faith in love. CLICK COVER TO READ EXCERPT/BUY
I’ll be in and out during the day and post a few book excerpts here and there. Feel free to pop in and chat while I enjoy my birthday; and if you have time, pop by my website at http://www.marymccall.net/ where we’re opening a new bulletin board next week and giving away plenty of prizes. Everyone have a happy and blessed New Year in 2013!