Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year


Prescription for a happy 2009...


Embrace the good times and kick the bad times in the ass. Then embrace the good times again.


Keep your head up, eyes forward and try to see beyond the end of your nose.


Do more listening than talking.


Be quick with a kind word and good deed.


And, did I mention embrace the good times?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

(What's Left of the) Chocolate Fudge


Yesterday the spirit moved me to make chocolate fudge. This is something I've never done before, so it was somewhat of an adventure, wedged between MoJo's basketball game and the Ravens/Cowboys football game.

I found a recipe in old faithful - James Beard's American Cookery. And, as luck would have it, we had all the necessary ingredients in the house, so it required no runs to the store. And while the recipe calls for nuts, we skipped those and went with only the bad-for-you stuff.

Now, me making fudge is akin to an arsonist making matches. In the end, it's a dangerous proposition. But fortunately, with a house full of kids and a wife with a chocolate addiction, I was mercifully spared the possibility of eating the entire batch all by myself. I did, however, share in the indulgence.

Again, keep in mind this was my first effort. I'd welcome hearing from any of you black belt fudge makers with suggestions on how to improve on my next attempt.

Chocolate Fudge

2 cups sugar
2 Tbl corn syrup (light or dark)
2/3 cup rich milk or evaporated milk
2 to 4 Tbl butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup corsely broken or chopped, lightly toasted nutmeats
1 to 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, milk, butter, chocolate and salt in a 3 or 4 quart saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook to 234 to 236 degrees (use a candy thermometer).

When it hits the proper temperature, remove the saucepan from the heat and place on a rack to cool.

When the bottom of the pan is cool enough that you can put your hand on it without shrieking in pain, take a spatula and slowly work the fudge from the outside to the center of the pot. When it cools to a point that it starts to look dull instead of shiny, stir in the vanilla (and nuts if you're using them).

Pour out the fudge onto a sheet of wax paper or aluminium foil and let cool. Cut into squares. Eat and enjoy!