I have decided to join this wonderful web site Sunday Scribbling. Every week they pick a subject and everyone writes about it. The members are so talented, that I only hope I don't embarrass myself. Anyway, it was so much fun, that I even decided to illustrate it.
I equate chocolate with happiness to the highest degree. I feel a warm, satisfying tingle all over my body when I indulge. The taste of chocolate excitingly evokes my senses right up there with fireworks, organisms, and new puppies. Chocolate makes a bad day bearable. It is definitely my drug of choice. For me, chocolate dredges up memories of a fudge-filled childhood.
To say my father loved sweets is an understatement. My mother was a nurse and knew all too well the harmful side effects of too much sugar - weight gain, diabetes and cavities. She wanted none of that to inflict her family, so she affectionately became known as the Sugar Nazi. Sweets were a scarcity in our home, along with potato chips and soda. She was Betty Crocker adverse, so she never baked anything and our sugar consumption was limited to a once a week trip to the local bakery.
Because my father had to have his sugar fix, he, my sister and I had a secret ritual that we performed at least once a week. When my mother would leave the three of us alone after dinner to attend a meeting or class, the action began. As soon as her car was safely out of the driveway, we would get into a huddle, and my father would call the plays. I can still visualize my sister grabbing the butter from the refrigerator, Dad getting the special pot, and me measuring the cocoa, sugar and vanilla at record speed. We would then combine all the ingredients in the big pot and the fudge-making would begin.
The brown mixture began bubbling. Dad would vigorously stir the fudge until it was absolutely the right temperature and texture. To test it, we would drop some of the sugary syrup into a glass of cold water numerous times, till it would form a soft, flexible ball. Then of course, we had to test it, by flattening it like a pancake and eating it in one gulp. My sister and I would slide the butter evenly over the pan with pieces of wax paper and then Dad would pour the entire contents of the pot into the prepared pan. He would then smooth it out with a wooden spoon. Ah, the coveted wooden spoon covered with fudge. Nothing is better than licking a wooden spoon with warm fudge adhering to it.
We proceeded to put the pan of fudge into the freezer so it would harden quickly then cleaned up the mess, covering our tracks. After what seemed like an eternity, we had a whole pound of fudge to consume before my mother came home. We had to get rid of the evidence or face the consequences. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it.
When I look back, I think of how unhealthy it was to eat so much fudge so often. In all fairness to my Dad, on alternate nights we substituted buttered popcorn for the fudge and we always brushed our teeth until our arms could no longer move. Anyway, I'm sure my father justified it because my mother cooked bland, healthy food all the time and this was just a little diversion. So what if we bitch slapped the healthy eating index. I often wonder if my mother was ever suspicious of the excess butter consumption by our family of four.
I can never eat fudge without thinking of my father and how much fun we had and the precision to which we carried it out. Who cares if we went to bed in a sugar induced coma once in a while? In contrast, at the same time our peers were feasting on a dessert of oreos and jello.