Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making my readership fatter by the minute, Gardens and Paintings and Music

A poster asked for the recipes for the assorted fudges in the picture from yesterday's post. Beware of this stuff- it's magically addictive and way too delicious and has even more calories and carbs per piece than you want to know.

The White Chocolate Heath Bar Fudge Recipe was posted here on the blog a year ago or so (click link).

I Googled and discovered that there are hundreds of versions of Fannie Farmer Fudge. I got my recipe in a cookie/candy exchange back in 1979 (omigod, that's 30 years ago. Pardon me while I contemplate that for a minute or two):

Fannie Farmer Fudge (makes 5lbs)

4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
18 ozs chocolate chips (3-6 oz bags)(I prefer semi sweet, but you can use milk choc chips too)
3/4 cup butter
3 tsp vanilla

Boil the sugar and milk, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes (or until just below Soft Ball on a candy thermometer- keep the heat at a medium, not too hot or the mixture will burn). Remove from heat and add the chips, butter and vanilla. Stir well until chips are completely melted. You can add chopped walnuts if you like, but I think nuts in fudge are an abomination. Pour in a buttered 11" x 16" pan.

And here's the Peanut Butter Fudge recipe:

Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I suppose you can use crunchy, but see above recipe for my opinion on that)

Boil the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes (or until just under the Soft Ball stage on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat. Add the vanilla, marshmallow creme, and peanut butter. Stir until well mixed. Pour into an 8" x 8" buttered pan.

I have learned, over the years, to take fudge off the heat when it's a little cooler than the recipe calls for (just under Soft Ball)- I get a creamier result that way. Now whether that's a function of less heat, or my very old candy thermometer not being calibrated correctly, I couldn't say. At any rate, it was all soft and wonderful. We gave most of the fudge away (plates to The Lumberyard, the mechanic's shop that my husband hangs out at, my agent, kids, etc), but we ate plenty too. And I will probably eat more...

On a totally different subject- I've mentioned that I'm listening to The Secret Garden as I work out on the treadmill (gotta get rid of that fudge somehow). I'm totally enchanted with this wonderful story, and the reader is doing a great job with the Yorkshire dialect. I don't know if her accent is correct or not, but it sounds right to my American ears (dialect read out loud is often jarring- this isn't). Anyway, I've gotten past Mary laying down the law to Colin, and her confession that she knows where The Garden is. Colin replies that Mary's description of the coming of spring reminds him of a beautiful painting he'd seen in a book, with women and children carrying flowers, and flutes and trumpets and an entire procession as Spring arrives.

I immediately thought of this painting, which I saw and loved, at The Getty:

This was painted in 1894 (my scan of the postcard does not do the painting justice- each flower looks as though you could pluck it from the canvas, each child lives and breathes, you can hear the music. It's amazing). The Secret Garden was published in 1910. If Colin (and Frances Hodgson Burnett) wasn't referring to this exact painting, I don't want to know.

And when I'm not working out, I'm listening to this:


Geek Knitter said...

Good god, woman... I just gained 6 pounds!

Nautical Knitter said...

Yum!!! Thanks!!