My mom was a championship divinity maker. People would ask her to make it for them and it was a much coveted gift. A few years ago I decided I would just make it until I could turn it out with no problem. I managed a few perfect batches.
This year I wanted to make some for my next door neighbors who have been so helpful to me. It took me a couple of batches to remember what I had learned, but I turned out a couple of nice ones – one with nuts, and one without, and took them over this afternoon.
My mom, Mary Lea Myatt Terrell, heard this recipe on the radio in about 1934 and wrote it down. She made it many times. Being able to turn it out perfectly is not genetic, and even though I have the pan she always used, I’m still learning.
If you want to give it a go, here’s the recipe:
Mary Lea’s Divinity
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup white syrup
1/2 cup water
2 eggs whites, beaten to soft peaks
1 cup pecans
Mix sugar, syrup and water, and cook on top of the stove over medium heat until it spins a nice thread. Pour into beaten egg whites and continue to beat until it will hold its shape when spooned out. Add pecans at the last, mix, and then dip quickly.
Today is my nephew, Bobby’s, birthday and Mama always made him some divinity for his birthday. He prefers it without nuts. Mama just couldn’t understand anyone wanting candy without nuts, but of course made it for him like he liked it.
UPDATE: I asked Bobby about the nut question at Christmas and my memory is faulty. He loves it with nuts. So, I’ll have to figure out who it was that wanted it without nuts. But, not Bobby!
UPDATE: I won second place in the Kansas State Fair with this recipe in 2012. Story here: http://www.blog.patsyterrell.com/2012/09/divinity-won-second-place-in-state-fair.html.