Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Happy Birthday, C.S. Lewis - November 29

Happy Birthday, C.S. Lewis - November 29

In second grade my teacher, Mrs. Dudenhofer, read aloud to the class The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I do not recall every detail of the experience, but I know I was very excited about the book. I know I looked forward to her reading so I could find out what happened next. Lucy, Mr. Tumnus, Edmund, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, and Aslan were so vivid in my mind. The story seemed so real; the White Witch's sledge, talking animals, a wardrobe portal to another land, and enchanted Turkish Delight.

I know this was the first time I experienced the magic of a chapter book. It was a gift. Thank you, Mrs. D. for reading to me!

My oldest son is now in fourth grade and my youngest son is in second grade. I wanted to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to my children just like Mrs. Dudenhofer read it to me. I wanted to pass on her gift. However, it didn't go like I expected. I imagined all four of my children huddled around me for every chapter. I have two girls too, ages 12 and 5. I envisioned all of them hanging on every word just like my second-grade class.

After the first few chapters, only my oldest son was sitting with me on the couch. The others were in and out of the family room, picking up pieces of the story here and there. There were nights when they weren't in the room at all. I didn't get discouraged. Surprisingly, I didn't get disappointed. I was just thankful for my oldest son and his willingness to sit with me despite the distractions. Together, we just kept reading.

Then, with six chapters or so to go, this happened.

My two boys followed along with their own copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe like many of my classmates did when Mrs. Dudenhofer read it over thirty years ago. For me, it was like magic all over again!

For our family reading experience activity, I wanted to make Turkish Delight. If you recall, Turkish Delight is given to Edmund by the White Witch. Edmund really liked the Turkish Delight. He asked the White Witch for more many times. She promised more only if he brings all of his siblings to her castle.

There are countless recipes for Turkish Delight on the internet. I decided to follow one offered by Nerdy Nummies. I couldn't find their recipe in print so we watch their video. For your convenience, I typed up the ingredients and our experience with the process at the end of this post.

My boys readied the ingredients and supplies.
My daughter added the unflavored gelatin to the cranberry juice.
There are many steps to making Turkish Delight. Everyone was able to participate.

If you have younger readers in your house, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is available as a picture book. 
We read a version illustrated by Christian Birmingham which is out of print but there is a new version illustrated by Tudor Humphries.
My daughter is smiling in this picture, but just moments before she was turning her nose up at the smell of the mixture. I can't remember what she thought it smelled like. Something like stinking feet. I don't know.
Our mixture was finished. It was time to wait. The recipe called for the mixture to set for over five hours.
Whew! I didn't ruin it when I flipped it onto the counter.
The Turkish Delight was very sticky and needed lots of powdered sugar to make sure it was easy to cut into pieces.
Everyone took a turn cutting the Turkish Delight.

Each piece of Turkish Delight went into a bowl of powdered sugar.

Would my kids find Turkish Delight as delicious as Edmund? 
"It's kinda weird." 
The texture was gooey. The taste was just okay. We definitely didn't like it as much as Edmund.
A friend told us that she enjoys her Turkish Delight with chocolate. We tried a little chocolate sauce. It was still weird and not that yummy, but we had a great time making it.
Do you follow Happy Birthday Author on Pinterest? Please pin.
Turkish Delight recipe:

What you need:
3 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
3/4 cup cornstarch
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 packs of unflavored gelatin
2 cups of water (split into 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups)
Powdered sugar
Red food coloring
Candy thermometer
8 x 8" pan lined with plastic wrap

1. In a bowl, pour in 1/2 cup cranberry juice (we used plain cranberry, but you could use cran-raspberry too). Then, add the three gelatin packs, but do not mix in. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup water until smooth. Set aside.
3. In a saucepan, whisk together 3 cups of white sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water, 3 T light corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 240 degrees. (Our thermometer only when to 220 degrees, so we just guessed after that.)
4. Once your sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees add the cornstarch mixture and heat on medium-low heat until thickens (We did this for about 10 minutes. Whisking constantly. It didn't seem like it was thickening, so we just let it rest on the medium-low heat for about 5 more minutes. It never got really thick.)

5. Remove pan from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture and 1 T of vanilla extract. Whisk together until everything is dissolved. This took a while. Our hands were tired. We all took turns. Then, we added 5 drops of red food coloring.

6. Make sure the plastic wrap covers the bottom and sides of the 8" x 8" pan. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the plastic wrap. Then, pour in the mixture. Scoop off all the foam from the top of the mixture.

7. Let set in the kitchen at room temperature. Not in the refrigerator. We let ours set for 7 hours. Overnight would work well too.
8. After the mixture is set, cover your surface with powdered sugar and flip over the 8" x 8" pan. The plastic wrap will be hard to remove.  I used a spatula to carefully and slowly pull off the plastic wrap.

9. Cover the top of the Turkish delight with powdered sugar. Use a pizza cutter to cut into strips and then into pieces. 

10. Dredge each Turkish Delight cube in a bowl of powdered sugar. Enjoy! Do you like it as much as Edmund? (We learned how to make Turkish Delight by watching a video at Nerdy Nummies.)

Give the Gift of Narnia:

1. The Official Site of C.S. Lewis
2. Follow C.S. Lewis on Facebook, Twitter

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