This recipe came to me in the form of a yellow notecard titled “Kathy p-nut brittle,” complete with a few scribbles and my mom’s shorthand (“micro 4 min”). My mom and her friends used to “peanut brittle together online,” meaning they’d email back and forth between batches of holiday treats. “I’ve got three batches done!” or “Oh, my last batch burned the house down.”
My mom and her best friends have emailed back and forth almost every day for the last 15 or so years. (Her most accurate calculation is “however long email has been going.”) They have a written archive of the last decade and a half, as my brothers and I grew up, as our family faced struggles and found triumph. From the grand to the mundane, they’ve shared it from across town or across the country.