Salt Water

Debra Keirce


Salt Water is an original oil painting by  Debra Keirce.  The art measures 8″ x 6″ with the  frame measuring  14 3/4″ x  12 3/4″,  frame included.


In our family, salt water taffy brings back so many fun memories of trips to the beach over the years. I'm not sure any of us ever feasted on it. It was more of a decoration. But watching the candy makers pull the candy until it turns from translucent to opaque is still so relaxing to think about. 

 Salt water taffy has a long history, dating back to 1883 when it originated in Atlantic City, NJ and candy maker David Bradley. A huge storm flooded the city's boardwalk and Bradley's shelves of taffy were a soggy mess. As the story goes, Bradley was cleaning up when a young girl asked him if his taffy was for sale. He replied jokingly that she could help herself to some "salt water taffy." David's mother heard the exchange and loved the name. She began a marketing campaign, and they sold the first salt water taffy on the eastern seaboard.

 A man named Joseph Fralinger adjusted the recipe and turned it into a product you can bring home from the beach. He found a way to box the candy and sell it, making salt water taffy a popular souvenir for tourists. By the 1920s, salt water taffy was at the height of its popularity, with more than 450 manufacturers making and/or selling the candy at the time. Various methods were used to keep salt water taffy from being too sticky to wrap and package, and each confectioner had its own recipe.

 Today salt water taffy is found mostly on the Eastern seaboard, but here is a secret - It's fun to make at home too, especially with kids. Here is a recipe I have used!

 INGREDIENTS for 35 pieces

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon flavored extract, of your choice
  • 2 drops food coloring, coloring of your choice


  1. Add the sugar to a pot. Sift in the cornstarch and whisk into the sugar until well-combined. Add the butter, corn syrup, salt, water, vanilla, and flavor extract of choice to the pot. Mix thoroughly. Turn the heat to medium and cook until the mixture reaches 250°F.
  2. Add the food coloring. Stir.
  3. Pour the candy into a greased heatproof dish and cool until you are able to handle it, 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pull the taffy and fold it over itself again and again for 10-15 minutes. The taffy will turn from translucent to opaque.
  5. When the taffy becomes harder to pull, roll it to a 1-inch thick log on a greased surface. Cut the log in half. Then slice the taffy into bite-size chunks.
  6. Wrap each piece of taffy in a square of waxed paper and twist the ends.
  7. Enjoy!

Category: Realism, Still Life

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