Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two extremes

Eric was away at a conference last weekend and I spent three days with no one to help out with the kids. It was pretty challenging. Last time Eric went away I felt really empowered at the end of the weekend. I was amazed at how competent I could be when left entirely to myself. This time I realized how very much I depend on my husband. I'm so blessed to be married to someone who invests as much time in his kids as my husband. As soon as Eric got home my dad and his wife came to visit for two days. We went from two kids and one adult to two kids and four adults. The grandparents were all too happy to play with the kids pretty much non-stop and I felt totally at a loss for activity. So I did what any reasonable person would have done in my place: I made fudge.

It's not as impressive as it sounds. I have made a traditional fudge many times and it is always delightful. Eric loves fudge (as do I) and we usually end up making a big block of it "for gifts" and leave it out on the cutting board "waiting for packaging" and we slowly shave it away over the course of the day until we are so stuffed with fudge that we never want to eat again. To make matters worse, and in spite of my generally excellent candy-making skills, I was using my mom's recipe. Main ingredient: marshmallow fluff. That's just not right. I've had a big food conversion since the last time I used that recipe and I now try to stick to ingredients that are actual food rather than a concoction of chemicals. All that to say that I still don't make real fudge because a friend gave me the recipe for the above-pictured pieces of heaven last year and I don't think we can ever go back:

1 1/2 c. coconut oil
1 1/2 c. rapadura
1 c. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt

Melt the coconut oil very slowly (maybe even in a bowl set in a bowl of hot water). Pulverize the rapadura in a blender and then add all the other ingredients and blend until combined. Pour the mixture into any dish (a pie plate is a good size for this recipe) and let it cool.

The consistency is different from real fudge--it will get quite hard when cold and melt quickly at body temperature--but the taste is amazing. AND this stuff is, arguably, pretty healthy. Good coconut oil is expensive and hard to find but Weston Price folks such as ourselves could give you a whole thesis on the health benefits of coconut oil. Rapadura is unrefined, evaporated cane juice. Also expensive and hard to find. I get them both at a good price through a co-op. Lots of healthy fat and unrefined sugar. It's enough to make you want to gobble the whole pan in one sitting.

I guess I needed a confidence boost this weekend because when my dad mentioned that they LOVED this fudge last Christmas I decided to make them a bag for their trip north for Thanksgiving. We kept some for ourselves, of course.


Robyn said...

Dave sometimes daydreams about creating a horror film featuring marshmellow fluff. I cannot remember its catchy title, but it definitely had one! Dave refuses to eat the stuff because he is a vegetarian (it has gelatin in it, which is made from bones), but I think even if he were a meat-lover, he would still refuse.

I remember working in the deli and being able to sort people by their peanut butter sandwiches. Peanut butter and honey? west coast. Peanut butter and fluff? eat coast. I don't remember anyone asking for jam.

Another reason to avoid fluff? Besides it not really being food, and it containing bone, it's main factory is in Lynn Massachusetts!


Susan said...

I, too, avoided Lynn as much as possible during my four-year sojourn on the North Shore. Thanks for the further motivation!