1. Regarding the caramels: (a) my pan is in fact 3.5 quarts in size (if you filled it to the brim) and I don't think you'd like to make this quantity of caramel in any smaller pan; when it boils up as you add the warm cream mixture it goes quite QUITE high up. Pour gently. (b) my pan, which is perhaps my very favorite saucepan, and especially for candy making, has been discontinued apparently! Shocking and sad. So I suppose I won't be recommending it to all of you, after all.
2. On other sweet-related topics: (a) whether the problem is the pectin I bought or me, or something else altogether, there will not be any fruit jellies going out this year. I tried, believe me I tried, but... no. (b) when things go excitingly wrong in a time-sensitive way with hot fruit puree, it seems that I respond by remarking "balls shit balls shit balls shit balls."
3. Whoops, we had succeeded in not going to the mall at all for YEARS and then we did it two weeks before Christmas, that was exciting. It was because I had, for some odd reason, when Jane said no, she really did not want snow pants this year, responded by not buying any. This was extremely stupid, obviously. Then it snowed, and it transpired that oh, in fact, she did want some and indeed would not even be allowed to play on the unpaved bits of the playground during recess until she got some so in fact it was actually rather pressing, you see, that she acquire some without delay.
So off we went and wandered stupidly from shop to shop on the tide of crowds, and then Steve discovered he had lost his credit card earlier in the day, and Jane discovered that there is ASTONISHING HIDEOUS BEAUTIFUL TAT for sale at the mall, and I discovered that I wished to depart my body. So we all learned a lot, really.
In the end we did find some snow pants for Jane and this made her quite blissfully happy, and when we got home she played outside for a long time and that was very nice. It all makes her very happy, as you can clearly see: