Over the years I’ve learned some extremely important things about confection making, usually by trial and error followed by lots of graphic phrases. It’s made the homeschooling lessons colorful to say the least. Candy making is actually a science. For example, atmospheric pressure affects the boiling point of water. It’s important to calibrate your candy thermometer in a pot of boiling water before beginning any fudge making. Water doesn’t always boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If your boiling point of water is higher, then your soft-ball stage, the point at which you take your confection off the stove, will also be higher.
I feel like we’ve perfected the science of goat milk fudge making pretty darn well. It’s evident when someone who initially turns up their nose at the sound of goat milk because of associated stigmas closes their eyes and a broad smile spreads across their face after Mallory convinces them to try a free sample. We’ve won awards for our fudge. We are proud of what this homeschooling adventure has blossomed into. It’s because of these reasons that days like today royally rot!
Four failed batches of fudge. Four! No rhyme, no reason. We changed variables such as milk from a different goat, hoping for a glimmer of an explanation, and still ended up with a sticky, curdled mess. It’s frustrating!
And it brings me back to Mallory’s question before I even began making fudge today. Do I enjoy making fudge? As tears slip down my cheeks I realize that I don’t enjoy making fudge. I don’t enjoy wasting 12 cups of expensive organic sugar. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and it’s excruciating to hand milk our does, but I do it so that Mallory can drink raw goat milk and so that we can make and sell goat milk fudge. I don’t enjoy wasting 6 cups of milk from goats that we pour every cent into to feed organically and managed holistically, and that I expend all my hand strength to milk. Failure is humbling. I don’t like the disappointment of floundering in fudge, but if I am to be honest with myself I don’t really like making fudge. Honesty is noble, right?!
As I am sitting here wallowing in self pity that is sometimes bubbling at the surface of motherhood I realize that there are things I do enjoy and maybe I should spend more time concentrating my efforts on those things. I enjoy homeschooling Mallory. The biggest lesson I think I can give her is to be honest with herself, though in today’s case I guess she schooled me on the importance of that.