Monday, December 15, 2008

Making Modjeskas

My friend, Tina (in the green apron) is one of the best cooks I know. Her cheese straws and sour dough cinnamon bread is to die for!!! Each Christmas, she also makes modjeskas. I had never heard of them until I met Tina and I ask her of the origin of them. She used to make them with her mother and she said a German lady gave her mother the recipe. I researched online and learned that they originated from 1883, when the Polish actress, Madame Helena Modjeska came to Louisville, KY to perform. Candymaker, Anton Busath invented the candy in her honor. The spelling often differs and sometimes they are called by other names......I just call them delicious and delectable.

They are created with homemade caramel (that is it cooking in the pot with the candy thermometer) that is poured out on buttered marble in circles about 3 - 3.5 inches (that is me buttering the marble) with half a large marshmallow and half a pecan placed on top. The caramel is allowed to cool just enough to be managable and then you wrap it around the marshmallow and pecan, then wrapping them in wax paper. Our hands were too sticky to take photos during the wrapping process. You are limited in the amount of time as the caramel has a mind of it's own.

Tina usually fixes them in a tin or something just leaving them in the plain wax paper, but I decided that something this special needed little decorative sleeves. I made some of vellum with snowflake stickers, some with pretty scrapbook paper and some stamped with "inchies". We split up the batch and Ellen has her bag in her hand. Patty took the photos, so unfortunately, she is not in the pictures.

I think holiday traditions and getting together with friends is one of my favorite things about the holiday season. Oh.....and we must not forget about the wonderful food :-)
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