Thursday, March 21, 2013

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life hands you a rocky road, well…what else should you do but embrace it and take it on.

While many people may reach for rocky road ice cream – here at We Solved It we make Rocky Road Candy.   The inspiration has come full-circle. 

Both of us, Athena & Tess come from World War II veteran fathers and mothers who survived challenging times.  Some would say it was a time that was one of the ultimate rocky roads of life.  During this economic struggle and recession our families had to try to make the best of times.  

We learned early on that rocky roads were something that we just had to accept and do our best to endure the struggle. But it was in that struggle we discovered that the strength pulled from those times, gave us the tools to actually solve more problems than we realized because we had to become resourceful in getting by and providing what happiness we could within our family structures to make it through.   It is during these times – that yes, we do find out what we are made of.  And we do discover who we are and what we are capable of.  

It is also during these times we learn how not to take good things for granted and pay forward the respect, compassion, empathy and understanding even while we ourselves may be going through a tough time, which is what has inspired us to remain solution-oriented. 

On the Big Island of Hawaii, there is a rocky road.  This is a real road (pictured above) with a sign that really does say “Drive Carefully, Unimproved Road Ahead.”   Let’s remember that the islands are made from volcanoes.  But if we take a step back and think about how an eruption can create beauty and look at life through these same eyes, we will soon discover the magic that resides within the journey to get there to appreciate WHAT IS.

This road is much like this.  And yes, you will need 4 Wheel Drive to get through it – but it is a real road one that is unpaved and one like a challenging obstacle course that one must get through in order to see what is awaiting one’s eyes on the other side.  

What is on the other side?  Well, the bluest ocean you will ever see.  The tallest palm trees swaying playfully and freely in the island breezes and the sun glistening upon the ripples of the water which sparkles in a way you think can only happen in movies or dreams.   But IT IS REAL and it DOES EXIST.  And the vision is beyond sweet.

So this is what the inspiration is behind this blog and yes, making this recipe a life ritual for making life sweet, to endure the rocky road of life we all face at one time or another and of course, knowing that the gift of sweet paradise awaits us.   But it is the rocky road of life that makes us APPRECIATE life when it is sweet and to take the time to KNOW and UNDERSTAND that while the rocky road is not always easy, that it makes us who we are and gives us the better perspective of appreciating the journey along the way.  It’s about survival and knowing we not only can, but we must also savor the moments we can make for ourselves and for each other as a reminder that we can experience a break in the process to enjoy a sweet moment we must make and create ourselves.

Make rocky road candy… and know you are not alone. 

~ Athena & Tess – We Solved It


16 oz. of chocolate, chopped (you can pick your favorite: milk, semi-sweet, and 60% dark or white)
3 cups of miniature marshmallows
1 cup of chopped nuts (your choice – walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans or pistachios)

Butter a 9 x 13 glass dish.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler.  If you do not have a double boiler pan, simply get a pot, fill it 1/3 of the way with water and place a heat-proof glass bowl on top, making sure that the glass bowl does not touch the water in the pot.  Put chocolate in the bowl and simmer water over medium heat.  Be careful you do not overfill the pan with water. You do not want water to boil over, underneath the bowl where the chocolate is sitting.  Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat.  Take top of the double boiler or bowl off the hot water (be careful – use a pot holder!).   Add marshmallows and nuts into the melted chocolate and stir to incorporate.  DO NOT over stir; you do not want to melt the marshmallows. You want to keep them as whole as possible.  Use a rubber spatula and pour melted chocolate mixture into buttered dish.  Chill in the refrigerator until set.  Cut into pieces. Enjoy! 

NOTE: The better quality the chocolate you use the better the rocky road turns out.  Baker’s Chocolate is sold in grocery stores and is generally used for candy making over chips. But you can use chocolate chips and it will turn out tasty.

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