Episode: The Curse of the Jindas
I’m one of those lucky individuals who had been introduced to Star Wars at a very early age. I can’t even remember the first time I actually watched the movies, but I’ve seen them a ton. My parents loved them, so the tapes were always close at hand. After spending most of my life with Star Wars, I could mention like 6 million things I love about the franchise. But, I’m going to try to narrow all that down. Here’s a fun fact: When I was little, I wanted an Ewok. (I also wanted a droid, and Yoda, and to be a Jedi, and have Darth Vader be my friend.) But asking for an Ewok seemed to be the most reasonable thing for me to do. I thought I could take care of one. To me, they were cute, little teddy bears with attitude and I couldn’t get enough of them. I guess I wasn’t the only one because there’s a cartoon dedicated to the Ewoks. I found that out when I saw a tape at one of my local video stores. (Well, it was labeled as a film, so I called it the Ewok movie for years.) Animated Ewoks! It just can’t get any better! I rented that tape multiple times and always enjoyed it. Years later, I finally got to watch the series and I still gave it a thumbs-up. (I can overlook Season 2’s issues.)
I love getting a closer look at the forest moon of Endor and the daily lives of the Ewoks. Wicket W. Warrick will always be my favorite, but I’ve found that I identify most with his slower, klutzy brother, Willy. When the village is attacked by Master Logray’s Stranglethorn Plant, Willy runs to the bakery and tries to eat all the baked goods before the plant does. He also has a thing for taffy. (Actually, he has a thing for any kind of food.) When Wicket and the gang go to Mooth’s store to trade their surplus goods, Willy eats from a large vat of taffy and begins to make a sticky mess. Yeah, Ewoks and taffy seem like an odd pair, but that’s nothing compared to some things that’ve come out of the Star Wars universe.
Recipe makes at least 50 pieces of taffy. It depends on how big you cut them.
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for greasing hands and pan
1/2 cup water
1/2-1 teaspoon extract/flavoring
Butter a shallow pan or cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add corn syrup, butter, and water and place over medium heat. Stir to combine ingredients until the mixture begins to boil. Attach a candy thermometer and cook until the mixture reaches 255 degrees F. Remove from heat and add flavor and color. Pour taffy onto pan/sheet.
Let the taffy sit until it’s cool enough to handle. Butter your hands and begin pulling. Pull the taffy until the color lightens and takes on a sheen. It should be difficult to pull by then. (This is when placed it in a small loaf pan for the picture.) For actual taffy pieces, roll the taffy into a long, thin rope and cut into pieces with kitchen shears. Wrap each piece in wax paper and they’re ready to devour!
I did try leaving my taffy in the small loaf pan and just pulling some out when I want it, so I’ve gotten pretty sticky like Willy does. It’s a mess and gets tough after a while (Willy must be playing with hot taffy.) but I find it fun. I also love the versatility of taffy. I have no idea what flavor Willy’s taffy is and Sugarleaf Taffy could be anything, so I made some fruity and left some unflavored. And they both taste delicious. It’s too bad my parents never got me an Ewok. I could’ve shared my taffy with him. Oh well. More for me.
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!