Cole, The Candymaker


“A candymaker.”

“A candymaker? That’s what you want to be when you grow up, Cole?”

“Yes, Granny. I want to be a candymaker.”

Six-year-old Cole looked at me in a solemn, serious manner during our Thanksgiving days together as he sat at the kitchen bar, and I had inquired of his long-term ambition.

How many times I’ve asked that question to how many numbers of children I cannot say, but, despite their universal love for the sugary treats,  I have never heard another child voice the plan for such occupation. Usually its truck driver, fireman, policeman, preacher, nurse,  mommy or…I don’t know. Never before a candymaker.

Last week I called. “Cole, when we all get to Crestline next week,dsc_0015 I’m going to teach you how to make peanut brittle. Since you’re going to be the candyman of the family, you and I will be making some candy.”

He was quiet, then softly answered me, “Okay, Granny.”

Yesterday was the day. He was so excited as I walked him through each step, even to pointing out a large pan, stored in the recesses of the deep cupboard where I keep pans and utensils I don’t use frequently. His little body nearly disappeared as he reached way back and pulled out the heavy pan, which actually is an old pressure cooker, the best to cook up a pot of peanut brittle.

He scooped up the 3 cups of sugar, then held out the cup while I poured in the white syrup. “Now we need a half cup of water,” and as I watched dsc_0008he turned on the faucet and measured in the water. Once during the mixing process, he spoke, unsmiling, to his mother.

“Write it down, Mom. Write it down…Maybe I can’t remember when we get home.”

“Okay, Cole,” Shawnna replied, as she reached for pen and paper.

I carred the heavy pot to the stove, he dragged over his climbing stool, grabbed the large wooden spoon and began stirring.

After a bit of stirring, he moved back to the counter, measured out the peanuts, cut a stick of butter into correct portions, and with my help measured the salt and soda. I had told him from the beginning there was a part of the peanut brittle making that he would have to just watch, so when I judged the concoction ready, dsc_00201he tipped in the soda, salt and butter, while I stirred vigorously. His parents were close by to watch him as I poured the hot mass into the pans which earlier he had buttered.

Cole, the candyman had cooked his first batch of perfect peanut brittle. Later this morning if the predicted storm holds off, I’m bundling up all the youngsters, and any adults who want to join us, and we’re walking to the neighbors. We’re handing out bags of candy.




7 thoughts on “Cole, The Candymaker

  1. Farrell Forrest Jr.

    He is the best looking candymaker I have ever seen. Tell Cole to send some of that yummy candy to South America. Santa Claus is always late coming down here.

    Love Jr.


  2. Hi,

    I was reading your blog and couldn’t help but post.

    We have an old fashioned candy store in our town. My boys ten and twelve are blessed to frequent this store. The candy store Knokes, is owned and operated by Mr. Knokes. You can watch him make candy in the store or through the big window that faces the street. It is something to watch him make chocolates of all kinds, carmel apples, carmel corn and more. He has a slection of old time candies and ice cream. It is truly one of a kind and very interesting to watch this live candy maker -vs- a machine.

    here is the link

    Blessings to Cole, Grandma and Mom!

    PS He has a very sucessful business.


  3. Nita

    Memories of all of the Peanut Brittle we made in Garden Grove. I have lost that wonderful recipe after keeping it for many years. Would you please send it to me when you slow down and not so busy. Tomorrow all seven of my wonderful grandchildren arrive. Larry and I are getting excited. Tonight he put together a bike and small car. It brought back memories of when our children were small and we set up late putting together toys. I think he rather enjoyed it. What a wonderful family you have. Merry Christmas to you and Uncle Jerry and all of your family.


  4. Oh my, peanut brittle! I made a lot of it this holiday season, because my husband asked me if I could do up the candy trays for his business clients this year. That way, he can pay the church, and it goes in our building fund. There was one batch of brittle that I botched terribly. I’ve learned that you almost have to burn the stuff for it to be really good. Anyhow, it’s great that you were able to make this wonderful memory with Cole. Maybe he will grow up to be a candy maker extraordinaire! 🙂


  5. Ah, peanut brittle. Just looking at your pictures alone brought back many a memory. Some are pleasant and rewarding – others hurt and required first-aid. But there was the day when peanut brittle kept many a church lights on (and more). Sis Buxton, you and Bro Buxton have a wonderful Christmas with your wonderful family. Please send our love to them all.


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