TUSCAN RECIPES -- today, Praline Toscani
Barbara Lambert -- Writer TUSCAN RECIPES -- today, Praline Toscani contadina
Nonna Margherita Dottorelli in her kitchen, 1905

Some excellent Tuscan recipes from her granddaughter Marta, who refuses to be just a character in a novel called "The Whirling Girl" made up by that writer 

 
 
Grazie to all those who have written to say they have lost this recipe for Le Parline Toscani and would like to see it again. I have just made a batch for the beautiful Signora (you will see her picture below) but of course she has given the whole batch to that young Italian who already has a proper wife of his own; why does she not cook for him?
Barbara Lambert -- Writer  whirling girl cover cropped, sepia and framed
The recipe is very simple, and very quick. (I hope this time you will keep it somewhere safe.)
 
Le Parline Toscani
You will need:
       -- 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
       --  3/4 cup of brown sugar (packed)
 
       -- 1/2 cup of milk
       -- 6 big "tablespoons" of butter
       -- 1 teaspoon vanilla
 
     
-- 1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds
(or, if you wish, you can use walnuts or any good fresh nuts that you have, which you will want to toast gently when they are sliced). 

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These ingredients you will combine all together in a pot on your stove and bring to the temperature "soft boil" (238 to 240 degrees F) stirring constantly. 
       Then remove from the heat and stir until mixture becomes a bit thick and a bit "cloudy" (but still somewhat on the clear side is best) and the nuts are "suspended" in the mix.
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Now very quickly you will spoon these out on wax paper or parchment, and as soon as anyone tastes them you will find that you need to make a second batch (or else hide them carefully). 
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