Friday, December 5, 2008


Our Dear Mrs. G's essay upon Divinity, the Snow-White kind, kindled a Christmas longing unfelt in several years---we have pounds and pounds of chocolate, marshmallow creme, great sacks of sugar and flour and nuts, with frivolous little shaker-jars of sprinkles and finely-minced, almost-meal pecans, as well as Barbie-sized chocolate chips---you could make nickel-sized cookies for your dollhouse with those chips---for dipping the huge pretzel sticks. We've stocked up on cupcake papers, especially the little foil ones, and small loaf pans and storage tins and all manner of wrappings. And next weekend will be the time; the Voice of Chocolate will be heard in the Land.

But we have not put mixer to egg whites, nor spun a thread-stream of molten sugar into the billowy heaps, taking an infinity of time to make the divinity into its desired perfection. And I miss that---it was one of the two holiday traditions all the time my children were growing up. Their next-door Grandmother made the most delectable poufs of the stuff. Her sure hand with the heat and the timing and even the weather was uncanny, and never-but-once did I ever see her make a less-than-perfect batch.

SIL, then about thirteen, was always allowed to choose the colors, those good old McCormick drops which lent a special touch to the candy-stand of little clouds. My choice, then and now, was pink---not a dark pink, nor a rosy shade---venturing nowhere near Pepto Bismol or hot or what a coarse relative referred to as "boonbutt"---but a delicate, baby's blush shade, just enough to tint a hint of palest pastel.

Maw's customary choices were pale green and pale pink---quite a lovely arrangement on the dining table. And the year that SIL decided that if the two colors were good, a combination would be marvelous---well, let's say that the expected tray of divinity at the WMU party was notably missing, its dingy gray clumps dotted with brown pecan bits deemed quite unsuitable for such a fancy gathering.

I still return to this mention of divinity-making, that of a Southern girl transported for years to the lovely hillsides of France.

And my own reply on her memory-kindling blog:

I'm awaiting a sunny day for the making of a batch---it's been a long time since we've had a taste of those melty mouthfuls.

They'll be topped with toasted pecans from the old Homeplace in Mississippi, and whether I push each fat nutmeat into the cushion of billowy pink, or lounge one side-saddle against a Dairy Queen curl, I'll think each time of a sleepy baby, like the Dear One in the crib right behind me, snuggled into her pillow.

Divinity IS divine.


sparrowgrass said...

Divinity is on the way in this house. I have kajillions of eggs, so I will make some lemon curd for Christmas presents, and the divinity will be a luscious by-product of that effort.

The curd takes 7 egg yolks and 4 whole eggs, so I see several pans of divinity in my future.

With pecans, of course. Chopped and added to the candy--I am too lazy (or maybe just too slow) to drop the candy by spoonfuls. I just put it in a pan, like fudge.

racheld said...

Please, please, please make some pink!!

Do you also have kajillions of chickens? Wow.