Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Make Your Own Luck - Pepitas Brittle

I've been thinking a lot lately about luck. I've been thinking about people who seem to have a talent for things, who are just automatically great at something they do. I wonder if you can ever really be great at anything without some effort put into it. I suppose there are those people, just random anomalies, that step onto the court or up to the task and just have what it takes, without any thought or effort. It seems to be just sheer luck. But honestly, how many people do you know that are able to do that?

Not many, I would imagine. And if you do, they are almost certainly the exception to the rule.

In general, if you want something, you put in the time and the effort. And you keep putting in whatever it takes, as long as you want it enough. You work at things to get better at them. You practice the instrument, you refine your craft. You hone new skills to apply to the things you love. You don't stop learning just because you get comfortable. The minute you stop working, is the minute it starts to slip away into complacency.

How hard should you have to work at something? Should it always be easy? If you have the talent, should it all just come naturally? Personally, I'm always shocked when something comes easy for anyone. It's not the norm, no matter how many people continually expect it to be, and make excuses for things in their lives to compensate for the fact that they just couldn't put in the time and effort. You have to want it. You have to practice. In the end, most often, you tend to make your own luck.

I made my own luck out of my pantry tonight. You know what I like? Recipes with only 3 ingredients. Especially when I already have those 3 ingredients on hand. That's just the best.

Pepitas Brittle
adapted from Gourmet
I'm putting together several bags of this stuff for Christmas presents, so good with ice cream.

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup pepitas (Mexican pumpkin seeds) toasted

Line a 4 sided pan with foil. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small light-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved. Using a pastry brush dipped in cold water, brush the sugar crystals off the sides of the saucepan. Continue to boil but do not stir, instead, gently swirl the saucepan occasional so that the sugar caramelizes evenly. Continue until the mixture is a golden-amber color, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pepitas and immediately pour over the foil, quickly spreading into a thin disk with a silicon spatula. Cool 5 minutes, then break into pieces.

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