The air is cold, the snow is starting to fall and you realize that the seasons are fast approaching. Every season has its own feeling and when winter arrives you may feel warm and cozy and excited like you did when you were a child opening presents. How do you prepare for the holidays?
The holidays are a very special time of year, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or another religion. It's a time for family, for peace and cheer, and having fun. It's also a great time for homemade candy and treats, especially if your family is overseas and away from home. There are many different holiday candies that can be made that will ship well overseas to the servicemen and women that are unable to make it home to be with their families. It gives them a tiny slice of home and something to share to make their holidays brighter.
English toffee is easy to make and hardens with a just a little time in the refrigerator. Made with butter, sugar, water and some vanilla extract, the toffee itself is spread out on a baking sheet after being heated to three hundred degrees Fahrenheit. While still hot, spread melted chocolate over the toffee; sprinkle chopped nuts on top and then let it harden in the refrigerator. Once set, break apart into piece and store in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator. If you temper your chocolate prior to spreading it over the toffee, it will not need to be kept cool and you can ship the chocolate covered toffee overseas without the chocolate melting.
Popcorn balls are another delicious treat that holds up well in travel. These easy to make treats are a great way to get the children involved as well. By using flavored gelatin, the popcorn balls can be rolled together in a variety of colors. Simply melt butter and a package of large marshmallows in a pan, stir in the gelatin and mix well then pour over the popcorn to roll. Wrap them in pretty colored cellophane after cooling and you can ship your favorite person a treat specifically for them in the favorite team or holiday colors.
Peanut brittle is a great way to relieve a little frustration of your loved ones not being home to celebrate the holidays with you. After combining and cooking the ingredients into the brittle and making sure it has hardened, take a mallet and break the brittle into pieces. This little bit of stress reliever is not only fun, but useful. Just make sure you do not pulverize the delicious candy you just made in your enthusiasm.
There are other sweet treats you can make to ship out to your loved ones that will hold up well during overseas travel. Peppermint candies, hard candies, anything that will not easily melt are the perfect treat. There are thousands of simple, easy to make recipes that can be found on the Internet, including some that can made in the microwave. It is a little piece of home that will make your family feel closer to you over the holidays and show them just how much they are loved and missed.