A bar of peanut candy, very normal but so sweet and tasty, can make us feel so warm and peaceful.
Probably, everybody would think about peanut candy as a common snack, since we can easily find it in any confectionery shop, and each manufactures can have their own way of processing this kind of candy.
I myself have already tasted many different kinds of peanut candy with various brand names. However, until now, I still cannot feel the special flavor of the peanut candy made by my mother in any of them.
Making peanut candy is not a tradition of my hometown. Yet, my mother’s hometown does have that tradition. Every time thinking about my mother, I cannot help missing the sweet taste of her peanut candy.
My mother said that when she was married with my father and moved to live in her new home, which is now my hometown, she used to make peanut candy and give it to our neighborhood as a gift. Back to those days, everyone was poor, so my mother simple gift was very precious.
I still remember my mother used to ask me to choose the best peanuts for making candy, a task that I really like to do.
My mother told peanuts would decide whether the candy was nutty and fragrant. Therefore, we should choose ones that are old and well rounded. If we choose the peanut carelessly, the candy would lose its typical flavor.
My mother usually makes the peanut candy when the winter comes. After good peanuts have been chosen, she would dry them on small fire and turn them over steadily until the peanuts are crunchy.
Other ingredients that we need are sesame, sugar and malt. It is really hard to cook the sugar and malt, because if they were overdone, they would turn into red and lose their natural sweet taste, not to mention that the candy’s color would not be eye-catching.
The time that we need to cook sugar and malt is only in seconds and only ones that are qualified can do it well. When the mixture turns into golden brown, and you can smell its fragrance, quickly put sesame and peanut into the pot and turn them over until they all stick together. Then, pour them all into a tray.
I used to prepare the tray before my mother cook the sugar. Sprinkle sticky rice flour and a little sesame all over the tray. The flour would prevent the mixture that we have just cooked from sticking to the tray; it also helps to make the candy have the fragrance of sticky rice.
After pouring the mixture on the tray, my mother quickly uses a pestle to roll it. The candy would become thinner and drier little by little. I usually cut the parts at the edge of the tray to eat. The candy is so tasty with a defined sweet from sugar and malt as well as the fragrance and nutty from peanut and sesame.
After that, my mother would cut the candy into small bars, and then I would put them in nylon bags and dry the bags on small fire to make them airtight. Then, she would give it to our relatives and neighborhood. Although the gift is small, everybody highly appreciate it since it is my mother all sincere.
These days, my mother still makes lots of delicious peanut candy with her clever hands and my family still gather together to enjoy the dish every cold evening. Being far from home, I just miss my mother with her peanut candy more and more.