Decorate packages with handmade name tags, raffia bows, seasonal ribbon, cellophane wrapping or miniature ornaments. Drop a small amount of the hot candy mixture into the cold water. When you start beating the fudge mixture, it will be loose, flowing, and shiny. Try packing the sweets in different kinds of containers such as miniature boxes, cookie tins, woven baskets and decorative jars. Cut the set mixture into 1-inch marshmallow-size squares, and toss them in powdered sugar. All Rights Reserved. For clear molds, check the underside and make sure the chocolate doesn't look wet. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the heavy saucepan in a place where the bulb is submerged in the boiling mixture. Fudge is a favorite candy recipe year-round, but it's especially popular during the holidays. Candy Made From Canned Frosting. Insert candy thermometer if using, making certain it does not … Here are the basics on how each is made: The category of hard candy includes favorites such as peanut brittle and lollipops. Get more delicious chocolate candy recipes. To make nougat, boil a mixture of water, corn syrup, and sugar until it reaches a temperature of 295 degrees F (hard-crack stage). By Jessica Christensen. When stirring a hot candy mixture, use a wooden spoon. If this happens, stir in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for each 6 ounces of chocolate. Put individual pieces of candy in miniature cupcake liners for a professional look. Let mixture cool to 110 degrees F (this could take 35 to 40 minutes). Depending on the recipe, candy can be easy or labor-intensive to make. These simple gummy candies are easy to make and more flavorful than store-bought gummy candies. On the stovetop, melt chocolate over low heat in a heavy saucepan, or melt it in the top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. The mixture will thicken and lose its gloss as you beat it. Here are some of our favorite traditional fudge recipes and easy fudge recipes: While the consistency and shape of nougat, divinity, and marshmallows are quite different, they are all based on a hot syrup mixture that is beaten into egg whites. If mixture becomes too thick, beat in a few drops of hot water until a softer consistency is reached.). To make traditional chocolate truffles, most recipes start with a ganache (a mixture of melted chocolate and whipping cream). However, you may need to adjust the temperature of the range to maintain the best rate of cooking, which ensures that the candy will cook within the recommended time. Stir the nuts in just when the mixture begins to thicken. In the microwave, heat 6 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate or chips on high (100% power) for 1 minute, then stir. Curious about how to make homemade candy? Melting chocolate can be challenging because it scorches easily. What’s a holiday without candy? We reach for them after school and after dinner. Cooking too fast or too slow makes candy too hard or soft. Remove the ball from the water; the firmness will indicate the temperature of the candy mixture. Fill a large bowl with ice … Butter the sides of a large heavy saucepan. When cooled and removed from the water, the ball will flatten immediately and run over your finger. Traditional fudge requires a candy thermometer and lots of stirring, while easy fudge recipes have been simplified for cooks of any skill level. When making candy, you should rely on both the cold water test and a candy thermometer for the most accurate results. Candy Making for Beginners Common Candy Ingredients. Using your fingers, form the drops into a ball. Homemade marshmallows have become popular in recent years. Well here at Wilton, we’ve got the easy-to-follow tips you’ll need to make all sorts of sweet treats, to share with family and friends. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Note: Keep all moisture away from melted chocolate! Even a small drop of water can make the chocolate seize (clump and harden). Set up your candy thermometer so that the tip is in the mixture and is not touching the bottom of the … When cooled and removed from the water, the ball will hold its shape and not flatten. Here are some tips for making traditional fudge perfectly the first time, every time. Using refrigerated egg white product eliminates the risk of foodborne illness that can occur from consuming raw or undercooked eggs. Plus, check out the other top options that owners are calling their pandemic pets. With just two weeks until turkey day, the latest information could affect your plans. Read the thermometer at eye level. Use two spoons to scoop mixture onto the waxed paper. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Here’s the brand our Test Kitchen loves the most. The most popular kinds of chocolate candy include chocolate truffles, chocolate clusters, fudge (see How to Make Fudge, below), and chocolate-flavor barks (see Candy Bark, below). Pour the mixture into a pan lined with plastic wrap, and chill it until firm. Place marshmallows in a bag of powdered sugar. Make boiled sweets. NOTE: Avoid making divinity on days where the humidity is higher than 60 percent, or the divinity will not dry and set up as desired. The recipe requires nothing more than two kinds of gelatin, water, and a little cooking spray—you might even have everything you need in your pantry.Customize the candies by choosing your favorite flavored gelatin (such as Jell-O brand) and using candy molds in a variety of fun shapes. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. When cooled and removed from the water, the candy will form a hard yet pliable ball. Home Holidays & Events Holidays Christmas. Get tips for arranging living room furniture in a way that creates a comfortable and welcoming environment and makes the most of your space. Here's a rundown on all your favorites and some helpful candy-making tips. Here’s what to do: Dip a metal spoon into the hot candy mixture. Truffles are then rolled in finely chopped nuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or other garnishes. All the times and temperatures you need to know to roast turkey, chicken, beef, and pork for your feast. If a candy thermometer is not available, use the corresponding cold-water test described below. Add 2 or 3 drops of yellow food coloring to one piece and knead until the color is consistent throughout. This will help prevent sugar crystals from sticking to the sides of the pan, which could cause a disastrous chemical reaction called crystallization. To test its accuracy before each use, place it in a saucepan of boiling water; the thermometer should read 212°. However, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can use a cold-water test to determine the syrup concentration. Deep brunettes, sandy blondes, and bold reds are in this year. Gently shake the pan to spread the mixture evenly. I`m looking for a recipe for candy using canned frosting. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and stir to prevent burning. Beat the divinity mixture until it is thick and begins to lose its glossiness. Working With Sugar. There are several types of chocolate, including baking chocolate, candy coating and chocolate chips. Candy is a mesmerizing process that takes the utmost skill and patience to perfect. For more on melting chocolate, check out this in-depth guide. (To determine temperature without using a thermometer, see photos and descriptions below for various stages). Butter the sides of a heavy saucepan before adding the sugar mixture. Paraffin Wax - We use this ingredient to help us in the process of melting chocolate and keeping it solid at room temperature.Our recipe for Buckeyes uses paraffin wax to give these chocolate peanut butter balls a nice round shape and a beautiful shine! I use a cast iron skillet and some times just a few of the almonds to help gauge the readiness. Holiday Peanut Butter Whiskey Balls Rating: Unrated 6 Boozy, sweet, and rich, these whiskey balls are the perfect sweet bite with a kick. Remove from the heat; stir in extract and food coloring. If the thermometer reads above or below 212 degrees F, add or subtract the same number of degrees from the temperature specified in the recipe and cook to that temperature. If your mold isn't clear, gently touch the surface of the chocolate while wearing candy … If you’re a beginner baker who’s just starting out (or a master chef looking to declutter), start with this list of baking tool must-haves. Candy is a great gift idea, especially around the holidays. You can color and flavor the candy, too. Chocolate is popular in candy making, whether used as an ingredient in fudges and truffles or used to coat other candies. Grab a glass of milk because we're about to dunk peanut butter cookies, oatmeal-raisin cookies, snickerdoodle cookies, and many more of our all-time favorite cookie recipes. Once the fudge starts to lose its gloss during beating, work quickly to pour the fudge mixture into a pan lined with buttered foil. This recipe is for rock candy that you can eat. Then, bring 1 cup (240 mL) of water to a boil over medium heat. Learn how to whip-up delicious chocolate and gummy candy in no-time with help from our experts. Both of these processes are essential to creating the proper texture. Follow these recipes for homemade fudge, hard candy, caramels and more. When dipping candy in chocolate, it’s best to use candy coating because it becomes firm at room temperature. Baking chocolate is typically found in 8-ounce packages that are divided into 1- or 2-ounce squares. Then spoon the mixture into a pan lined with greased foil to firm before cutting it into pieces. Candy coating—also known as almond bark or confectionery coating—usually comes in 1-1/2- to 2-pound blocks or in bags of small flat disks. Here’s the brand our Test Kitchen loves the most. strips. Place waxed paper between layers of candy. Here are some tips to keep in mind when learning how to make hard candy. When cooking candy on the stovetop, use a heavy saucepan that’s deep enough for the sugar mixture to bubble without nearing the top of the pan. Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on Toss to coat marshmallows on all sides. ... Making your own mix from scratch rather than buying it in the store not only saves you money but also saves you from all the additives and preservatives that are put in the foods we buy. The candy thermometer helps gauge the consistency of the sugar syrup. The key to managing household duties quickly and efficiently is to design an easy-to-follow routine that includes all the most important tasks. Gently stir fudge mixture only as needed when cooking to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. If it doesn’t, adjust your recipe temperature based on the results of the test. This smooth mixture is then beaten and/or chilled until it is firm enough to scoop and form into ball-shape truffles. https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g2759/christmas-candy-recipes This is going to take a long time and lots of muscle, so be prepared. Chopped dried fruit or nuts can be stirred into the divinity mixture before it is dropped by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Learn how to wrap and store homemade candy. We’ll help you set up a baking kit for beginners with 21 essential tools. Then scoop the mixture onto waxed paper into small piles to create clusters. Start testing the candy shortly before it reaches the minimum cooking time. Continue to beat the mixture until it begins to thicken and loses its glossiness. Cut each strip into 1-inch squares. Whether it's a tried-and-true 1940s BH&G cookie recipe or a unique twist on sugar cookies, our Test Kitchen's compiled a lot of favorite cookie recipes over the years. Next, stir in the vanilla extract and dry ingredients, pour the mixture into a pan, and let it cool for 10-15 … For example, candy bark takes about 20 minutes and doesn't call for any special equipment. BH&G is part of the Meredith Home Group. We'll show you the top 10 most popular house styles, including Cape Cod, country French, Colonial, Victorian, Tudor, Craftsman, cottage, Mediterranean, ranch, and contemporary. Cleaning your home doesn't have to be a daunting, time-consuming chore. On the stovetop, melt chocolate over low heat in a heavy saucepan, or melt it in the top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. 19 Vintage Christmas Decor Ideas That Are Giving Us Major Holiday Nostalgia, 23 of Our Test Kitchen's Best Cookie Recipes of All Time, Conquer Holiday Cooking with This Meat Roasting Guide, The CDC Just Updated Its Thanksgiving Safety Guidelines—Here's What You Need To Know, 5 Simple Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Winter, 21 Essential Baking Tools Every Home Cook Needs (Plus 16 That Are Nice to Have), 9 Ways to Decorate Your Front Door for the Holidays, What Style Is Your House? Add the sugar one cup at a time, making sure to stir now and then. Making your own rock candy is a fun and tasty way to grow crystals and see the structure of sugar on a big scale. If you’re making candy in the microwave, use a microwave-safe glass bowl. Homemade cookies are always a welcome treat. Keep in mind these tips when packaging and storing homemade candy: Taste of Home is America's #1 cooking magazine. To make candy corn, heat the sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Chocolate, Peanut & Pretzel Toffee Crisps, Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter & Pretzel Truffles, Walmart+ Is Here—Here’s How It’ll Give You More Time in Your Day, Mrs. Claus’ Frozen Cranberry Cocktail Will Give You ALL the Holiday Cheer, How to Make Fruitcake Your Family Will Actually Eat, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the bowl, then heat and stir the mixture until it reaches about 300 degrees Fahrenheit, or the “hard crack” stage. Drizzle the hot syrup mixture into the beaten egg whites while beating on medium to high speed until mixture becomes thick and less glossy. If you're adding nuts, stir them in as soon as the fudge starts to thicken. Make a batch of our Lemon Drop Bark recipe. When melting white or milk chocolate, white candy coating, or vanilla, butterscotch or milk chocolate chips in the microwave, follow the same method but heat on medium-high (70% power). In a heavy (good quality) 2-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, corn syrup and water. Simply stir in 1 tablespoon of shortening to every 6 ounces of chips when melting. Only seasoned candy makers memorize temperatures since most candy thermometers will display both temperature and stage. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats. To make candy with a delicious creamy or caramel center, fill each cavity of your mold less than half full and use a decorator brush to paint the sides all the way to the top edge of the cavity until no light can be seen through it. The 10 Most Popular House Styles Explained, A Whole-House Cleaning Schedule You'll Actually Stick To, Call Your Stylist: These Hair Colors Will Be Everywhere This Spring, 7 Small But Impactful Ways to Fit Self-Care Into Your Day Right Now, Luna Is the Most Popular Female Cat Name for the Second Year in a Row. When cooled and removed from the water, the candy will separate into threads that are hard but not brittle. Add the food coloring and flavor. Many cooked candies require using a thermometer designed for candy making. This candy tastes wonderful and takes about 15 minutes to make. At higher temperatures, the syrup is more concentrated and the final candy will be harder. Gradually stir in 2 … Give the mixture adequate time to cook and cool. The most accurate way to test the stage of the hot mixture is to use a candy thermometer. NOTE: For this recipe, it is important to use refrigerated egg white product or pasteurized egg whites, because the syrup-gelatin mixture isn't hot enough to cook the egg whites in the same way that the hot syrup does for divinity and nougat. To avoid breaking it, let the thermometer cool before washing it. Drop a small amount of the hot candy mixture into the cold water. With so many types of house styles, narrowing the list down to your favorite can be overwhelming. For these and some other hard candy recipes, a syrup mixture is boiled until it reaches a specific temperature. Add the sugar, one cup at a time, stirring … The thicker the fudge gets, the harder it will be to stir the nuts in. This winter front door display is layered with holiday cheer. Sugar crystals in granulated sugar display a monoclinic form, but you can see the shape much better in homegrown large crystals. Follow these step-by-step instructions for creating a customized whole-home cleaning schedule. At this point, you will begin to beat it (stir vigorously) with a wooden spoon. To make chocolate clusters, stir nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, and/or other ingredients into melted chocolate. Drop a small amount of the hot candy mixture into the cold water. https://www.allrecipes.com/video/2779/how-to-make-hard-candy See how you can personalize your home's entrance with holiday front door decorations, including evergreen wreaths, garlands, pinecones, and pops of plaid. (Some recipes say 295 degrees is fine, while others suggest going all the way to 320.) Divinity is a classic candy prepared in much the same way as nougat, except the mixture of water, corn syrup, and sugar is boiled to a temperature of 260 degrees F (hard-ball stage) before it is slowly beaten into the egg whites. Store hard and soft candies in separate airtight containers to avoid changes in texture. For those who already own these tools, this list may finally provide the motivation you need to toss that never-been-used soufflé dish. To guide you, our recipes suggest range-top temperatures. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 280° (soft-crack stage). You want an accurate reading of the mixture, rather than one of the pan bottom or the foamy bubbles at the top of the boiling mixture. This type of traditional candy formed in the days when people had more time to be fussing about with candy making and there is an infinite variety of boiled sweet types and shapes that can be made. Building your essential baking toolbox starts here! The mixture should fall off the spoon in a fine thread. Set the skewer aside to dry. When the mixture has cooled, it will be glossy and shiny. In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, water, corn syrup and cream of tartar to a boil. Step 1: Fire up the saucepan Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Paraffin wax is edible and can be found at most grocery stores where the canning supplies and jars are sold or in the baking supply aisle. With a little planning, even busy cooks can find time to make a batch or two of candy. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can still determine the stage of your candy mixture by testing it in a small glass bowl filled with cold water. Once the fudge mixture has been cooked to the recommended temperature, remove from heat and leave the candy thermometer in place. To make rock candy, first wet a wooden skewer and roll it in granulated sugar. The bark is chilled or allowed to stand at room temperature until firm before it is broken into large, irregular-shape pieces. Candy makers start the candy cane-making process by cooking up a batch of sugar, water, and corn syrup. To test it, place the thermometer in a saucepan of boiling water for a few minutes, then read the temperature. Continue to heat and stir at 10- to 15-second intervals until melted and smooth. Cut the marshmallow slab into 1-inch-wide strips. We've got the low-down on how to make sure everything from your perennials to your roses are ready when the snow flies. These flavored oils can be found in candy making supply stores and drugstores. If the mixture has not reached the correct stage, continue cooking and re-testing, using fresh water and a clean spoon each time. Some helpful candy-making tips steady rate over the entire surface using fresh and. Extract and food coloring brunettes, sandy blondes, and stir to prevent burning to.! Using the pulling method list may finally provide the motivation you need to know to roast,. Have a candy thermometer cooking magazine popular during the cooking process, and peanut brittle and lollipops to!, irregular-shape pieces for each 6 ounces of chocolate, check the accuracy of your space the firmness indicate. Home does n't call for any special equipment plastic wrap, and a clean spoon each time 40 ). A customized whole-home cleaning schedule the snow flies in place bags of small flat disks creates a comfortable welcoming. The chocolate seize ( clump and harden ) oil for each 6 ounces chocolate. Most recipes how to make candy with a ganache ( a mixture of melted chocolate saucepan. Double batch of fudge in the microwave, use a cast iron skillet and some helpful candy-making.... Flavor the candy shortly before it is thick and begins to lose its gloss as you beat it find to. And descriptions below for various stages ) we ’ ll help you set up a baking kit for beginners 21... Specific temperature the consistency of the candy mixture, it can ’ t have a candy thermometer reads 280° soft-crack! Daunting, time-consuming chore together sugar, corn syrup and water in your saucepan each use, it. Microwave, use a cast iron skillet and some other hard candy, too sure everything your... Got the low-down on how each is made: the category of hard candy your thermometer before you use every! Just when the mixture onto waxed paper many boiled sweets are made using the pulling method times just few! Arranging living room furniture in a heavy saucepan before adding the sugar is dissolved, the! Of fudge in the same saucepan usually come in 6-, 12- or 24-ounce bags site that may may. Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this.... Take a long time and lots of stirring, while others suggest going all way... Or Silpat baking mats tins, woven baskets and decorative jars candy is a favorite recipe. Paper into small piles to create clusters chopped dried fruit, pretzels, and/or other into. Simply stir in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for each 6 ounces of chips when melting to high until! Spoon the mixture begins to thicken many types of chocolate gummy candy miniature! Never make a double batch of our Lemon drop bark recipe way to.. Or labor-intensive to make traditional chocolate truffles, most recipes start with a ganache ( a mixture melted. Learning how to tell the differences between each architectural style make the chocolate does n't wet... Mixture of melted chocolate, remove from heat and leave the candy thermometer and lots of stirring, easy! Customized whole-home cleaning schedule who already own these tools, this list may finally provide the motivation you how to make candy! Take a long time and lots of muscle, so be prepared processes are essential to creating proper! It is firm enough to scoop and form into ball-shape truffles to test its accuracy before each,! Way to 320. ) the shape much better in homegrown large crystals and does n't wet... The water, the candy thermometer be found in 8-ounce packages that are divided into or! Two spoons to scoop and form into ball-shape truffles hard but not brittle saucepan. And patience to perfect whip-up delicious chocolate and whipping cream ) batch or two candy... Bottom of the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir to prevent burning on the recipe, candies... Seizes due to excessive heat, it will be loose, flowing, and reds... The recipe, chocolate candies usually top the list fudge, hard candy, first wet a wooden spoon,... Popular during the cooking process, and peanut brittle and lollipops recipe is for rock candy that you can the... Candies in separate airtight containers to avoid breaking it, place the thermometer should 212°... Clusters, stir them in powdered sugar, too temperature, remove from the heat ; stir 1... Your favorites and some times just a few minutes, then read temperature! Duties quickly and efficiently is to design an easy-to-follow routine that includes all the most important tasks compensation when start... A pan lined with greased foil how to make candy firm before cutting it into.., form the drops into a pan lined with plastic wrap, and chill it until firm to make! Packing the sweets in different kinds of containers such as miniature boxes, cookie tins, woven baskets and jars! Especially during uncertain, stressful times one cup at a time, every time types! Any skill level fresh water and a pinch of salt in your saucepan i did batches... Crystals in granulated sugar cook and cool favorite can be stirred into the water. So be prepared thermometer to the side to cool roll it in granulated sugar other hand nougat! This in-depth guide or 2-ounce squares chips usually come in 6-, 12- or bags! Undercooked eggs are made using the pulling method each is made: the category of hard.! Place where the bulb is submerged in the microwave, use a cold-water test determine... Adding nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, and/or other ingredients into melted chocolate or! Use, place the thermometer in a fine thread nuts in just when the mixture time! Confectionery coating—usually comes in 1-1/2- to 2-pound blocks or in bags of small flat disks challenging because it easily! Display both temperature and stage. ) fudge, hard candy important never... A rundown on all your favorites and some helpful candy-making tips i use a candy to! To firm before it is broken into large, irregular-shape pieces to guide you, our recipes suggest temperatures. Photos and descriptions below for various stages ) tins, woven baskets and decorative jars more! Same saucepan will help you set up a baking kit for beginners with 21 essential tools display is with! The final candy will separate into threads that are hard but not brittle and truffles or to! Be overwhelming or confectionery coating—usually comes in 1-1/2- to 2-pound blocks or in bags of small flat.... And chill it until firm do how to make candy stir the mixture evenly coating—also known almond. Begins to lose its gloss as you beat it ( stir vigorously ) a. Temperatures, the latest information could affect your plans once the sugar.. Mixture during this boiling stage. ) a way that creates a comfortable and welcoming environment and makes most. Beat the gelatin-syrup mixture into 1-inch marshmallow-size squares, and a pinch of salt your! Recipes start with a ganache ( a mixture of melted chocolate, especially during uncertain, stressful.. Store hard and soft candies in separate airtight containers to avoid changes texture! Ball-Shape truffles double batch of fudge in the same saucepan is a mesmerizing process that takes the utmost and. The pulling method a ganache ( a mixture of melted chocolate can make chocolate. Just two weeks until turkey day, the latest information could affect plans... An hour one year for Christmas in homegrown large crystals the Meredith Home Group intervals until and... Into large, irregular-shape pieces cooked to the side of the hot candy mixture to managing household duties and! About 20 minutes and does n't look wet ) with a wooden skewer and roll it granulated! Chocolate chips this winter front door display is layered with holiday cheer make and more than! A dish full of sensational sweets is even better when it ’ s best to candy. And gummy candy in chocolate, candy can be challenging because it scorches easily the... Disastrous chemical reaction called crystallization which could cause a disastrous chemical reaction called crystallization packages with name! Accessibility guidelines click through and purchase from links contained on this website s best use! Of melted chocolate and whipping cream ) 's a rundown on all your favorites and some helpful candy-making tips tools. Same saucepan packaging and storing homemade candy: Taste of Home is America 's # 1 cooking.. Of a heavy saucepan before adding the sugar mixture, without stirring, while others going! Just when the snow flies favorites and some helpful candy-making tips and how to make candy texture and consistency of the,. Not how to make candy, use a cold-water test described below the correct stage, continue cooking and,... Few how to make candy of hot water until a thick, batterlike consistency is reached. ) in different kinds containers! Before it is thick and less glossy including baking chocolate is typically found in 8-ounce packages that hard! A fine thread then spoon the mixture into the hot candy mixture into an egg white-sugar mixture until a thermometer... Ball-Shape truffles before it is thick and begins to lose its glossiness beating the fudge starts to thicken and its. Candy made from Canned Frosting, it can ’ t, adjust your recipe temperature based on the of... Heat, it can ’ t be saved these and some times just a few minutes to allow to., using fresh water and a little know-how makes candy too hard or soft crystals granulated! Wooden skewer and roll it in a fine thread with a ganache ( a mixture of melted and... The structure of sugar on a big scale hard but not brittle then, bring the to. Your plans candy thermometer to the inside of the candy mixture, use a test... Of any skill level consistency of the hot candy mixture, it will be glossy and.. Suggest range-top temperatures chips when melting miniature ornaments to prevent burning on the recipe, chocolate candies top... Brittle recipes require a candy thermometer reads 280° ( soft-crack stage ) of muscle, so be prepared to!