After an abrupt cancelation of previously arranged Thanksgiving plans with my roommate J, another friend invited me to spend the holiday with her family at Cape Cod. She literally saved my Thanksgiving. Her family is incredibly nice and fun! So, my good Southern up-bringing (thanks, mom!) has taught me to send Thank You cards and gifts. Since I’m poor, I decided to make some almond toffee as a gift, which is my Grammy and my mom’s signature seasonal candy.
The recipe calls for Karo (Kay-ro) syrup, which is easy to find in the baking section of Kroger or Walmart. However, I have no car and don’t live very close to a real grocery store like a Shaw’s or a Stop & Shop. So, I do my shopping at a combination of little stores on my way home from work. One has only fresh produce (and it’s super cheap), one has things like butter and cheese and eggs, one specializes in Indian food, and one has Oreos. Actually, I’m pretty sure they all have Oreos, but I only go to the gas station to buy them because it’s the closest place to my apartment (because I usually go late at night, in the dark, to hide my shame).
Anyway, I set out at about 11 am for a quick shop before I started cooking. I walked to the CVS and bought a few necessities like a gift box to put the toffee in. Then I walked to the White Hen pantry and bought other necessities like suga and butta. But I was missing the Kay-ro and the raw almond slivers. I could picture their exact location at the Kroger: in the baking isle, nestled next to the chocolate chips and the cake icing.
I dragged my heavy bag of groceries back to the apartment. Then googled directions to the nearest Stop & Shop. Meanwhile, I’ve called my mom about 200 times. I get on the bus and completely miss my stop. By the time I realize what I’ve done, I see a Super88Connect and think, This looks promising! So I walk in and notice that there are a lot of Asian people. I go to the baking section to look for Kay-ro, and notice that all the bottles are in a language that I can’t read. It’s like stepping into another world that is cold and confusing. I kept thinking, I need to make candy!!! I might have even said that out-loud at one point.
I quickly left and walked down the road a little further where I remembered seeing a Star Market (during prior long bus rides). I walked in and bee-lined for the baking section. There. was. no. Kay-ro. Be calm! What’s this? I asked myself. It was pure cane sugar syrup.
I called mom, Will this work? No.
But it should be in the baking section, what if they don’t have it? panic creeping into my voice. These anti-corn-syrup-health-nut-yankees don’t have Kay-ro! Mom says, Ask for help.
Clearly, this is the solution that will bring about an end to my epic journey to fine Kay-ro, so I ask a salesperson and he’s all: What’s Kay-ro? And I’m like: I think it’s corn syrup. And he’s all: If we have it, it’s on the baking isle. Seriously. I checked the baking isle.
Increasingly disgruntled, I hear: It’s by the pancake mix. It’s like a message from God…or this rando guy that overheard my conversation. The useless salesperson then shrugged at me.
I say, Thanks–to no one in particular–and speed walk to the pancake section. Phew. Right next to the maple syrup is the Kay-ro.
I just finished making two batches of toffee and have made the Thank You gift for K’s family. Mission accomplished. All in all, it only took me 3 hours to find the elusive Kay-ro.