Hokey Pokey: Week 59

It was my third week in Te Puke and I was drawing blanks. What should I do that I hadn’t done before…. I could use a backpack vacuum for the first time. Or wash my car. Maybe try a new section of the kiwifruit factory line… I have never graded kiwifruit, but I heard it makes people dizzy and sleepy. Then it hit me- if I’m in New Zealand, I should try to make as many local dishes as possible.

Recalling my disastrous foray into Korean cuisine, I picked an easy recipe to start. Hokey pokey is a light, crisp and sugary candy with only three ingredients: sugar, golden syrup and baking soda. I dissolved the sugar into the golden syrup and stirred my sweet cauldron for five minutes

After removing the pan from the burner I added baking soda and the reaction was instantaneous. The dark sugary liquid exploded in size, taking on a golden foamy texture. When the mixture stopped growing I slathered it onto a pan like a coating of fried chicken insulation.

“Is there any way to…”

“Make it pretty?” I finished a curious onlooker’s thought. “Probably, but I don’t know how.” Sure it was a little ugly, but once I sprinkled it over vanilla ice cream it was a sweet success. While it is harder to do something new in a small town, the challenge is rewarding and sometimes even delicious.

How to make Hokey Pokey:

(From the complete Edmonds Sure to Rise Recipe Book)

  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

1.)    Bring sugar & golden syrup to a boil, slowly stirring all the time.

2.)    Simmer gently for 4 minutes over a low heat, stir occasionally.

3.)    Remove from heat & add baking soda. Stir quickly till it froths and pour into a greased pan. Let it cool at room temperature.

4.)    Break it up when cold & store in air tight jars.

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