Christmas Cheer and Botched Fudge…

Well it’s all over for another year…I always feel a little bit of relief mixed in with the remorse, though this year, I do have it to do one more time when I get back to the mainland. Being away from Bill and his family made last night a little melancholy for me, but we are having another Christmas next week when I get home, so it is stretching the season out this year, gotta love that!!

Our Christmas in Whitehorse was pretty much the best one I can remember in a long time, we were all together as the Holland family, with all three of my boys. There has been much laughter and bickering, game playing and yes..eating.

I am not sure that my poor brother and his girlfriend Jenny will ever be the same again :) though I must say they were definitely prepared for the onslaught of three teenage boys, well, as prepared as you can be. My oldest son ate THREE pieces of pie last night before I stopped him…THREE.

Dude…really?

With it being dark here in the morning until around 10 or so, there is no sign of life in the house til way after light with them, which is good.  Peace and quite is nice. Last night they played risk until some ungodly hour, in the kitchen under my bedroom.  It would be really quiet for a while, and I would think, awesome they have gone to bed…then as I was almost asleep, yelling and bedlam would ensue as they discussed taking over the world….thank god I don’t need much sleep in my old age.

After we finally woke them up yesterday at about 11 am (how things change from when they are little) and the present unwrapping frenzie was all done, they tobogganed all day while I cooked the turkey, with the supervision of my mother and with the help and  potato peeling skills of my father. While Jimmy and Jenny tried to regain control of their house and the disaster that is three teenage boys…

While dinner was roasting, I had some free time.  My dad had said in the morning something about fudge…he wanted some and didn’t get any. Heheheh…well…Google is my friend and I find a fudge recipe that has all the ingrediants around the kitchen, which isn’t easy by the way,  there are about 40 million fudge recipes, and about 90 percent of them call for marshmallow creme.

So I begin cooking, he is cutting wood outside and shovelling stuff at this point and I figure why not have two secret missions for the season? I have another secret mission going on with Hannah, but I can’t give you any details yet as it is still top secret for a bit yet…anyways, I start cooking my fudge, Eggnog fudge…mmmm. I use pretty much all of Jenny’s sugar, the last half a cup of eggnog and we are off. With no candy thermometer…no worries, we have two meat thermometers, we are gonna fake it.

Which goes well, until Mom and I realize that the meat thermometer never goes past 220 degrees, and ya, we need 240. Then I have a wondrous thought….GOOGLE…I know there is another way to see if it is cooked enough. Sure enough the soft ball method in water…duh.

We get it to the soft ball stage, finally. Then it has to sit til barely warm before we beat it. Well I am pretty sure waiting for that to happen nearly killed my mother. She wanted to beat that fudge into submission so bad she was like a kid at Christmas…

Finally it gets to the point where we think it is ready…now the recipe stresses DO NOT over beat, or fudge will be grainy. So away she goes, with her little hand blender. Neither of us have made fudge before, well I have, but not with the recipe I am using…and just note, I will use my other recipe with the marshmallow creme next time. But back to the beating, we are scared to over beat now, since we have been told not to.  So we get our little pans ready and pour in the fudge, and into the fridge it goes.

Now I have eaten enough fudge in my life to know what it should look, feel and taste like…yes I have…

This wasn’t it.

After about an hour, it is still runny. DAMMIT. So Mom and I have a deep conversation about what to do…and I forgot to tell you, as I was cooking it the first time ( yes, I said the first time) my dad came in from wood chopping and lovingly helped peel potatoes, he also wanted to know what was in the pot. I didn’t tell him, but in about 10 minutes he yells…”I know what it is!!!” Dammit, he knew the smell and guessed I was making fudge. Secret mission aborted….

Anyways, back to the near disaster…

Mom and I decide that we need to beat it more, so we glump it back into the bowl and off I go…I will win, I will not be throwing this fudge out, it will be consumed.

Well, if you have ever botched a batch of fudge. DO NOT try to rebeat it when it is still gooey, but not hard enough to ever eat…it will not work, just so you know. Dad even tried sticking it out in the snow and ya, it was -30 something yesterday.

So again….Google.

There must be an answer out there.  I find it!! Back into the pot goes the fudge, now that sounds way easier than it was, really. The fudge that was in the fridge was fairly uneventful, the stuff that was out in the snow, not so much. See Dad had tried to put it on a plate and make it frozen, no grease, no paper, just plate, hahahahha…we got it off, with both of us…and into the pot it went.

Stirring, testing and ready.  The pot bottom then goes into cold water in the sink…cools off and we beat.  I have discovered that fudge is like soap. If you don’t beat it long enough, it isn’t gonna be what you want it to be, all you get will be disappointment and a gooey runny mess.

So this time, I am beating the hell out of the fudge, screw the directions.  I beat, and beat, and OH MY GOD….it’s working!!!!!!!!!!!! I have added a little bit of flour too, just for insurance. I pour it in my prepared pan, and before I even have a chance to walk away it is hardening. Nice.

Dad has gone to bed by this point, but before he went, we both agreed, it was fudge for breakfast :) And hey, he is the boss ….

So Christmas with the Hollands nears it’s end for another year, as I scurry off to bed, I threaten the teenagers with their lives not to touch Poppa’s fudge, especially the garbage can kid….

As I type now, everyone is still asleep here on our last full day in Whitehorse, the house is quiet. In a couple of hours it will be filled with laughter and noise of my family and Jim and Jen’s friends…

So I have the coffee perking while I type this in my still warm bed…I am gonna go wake up my dad…cause I can already taste the fudge I am gonna be eating with my coffee :)

Happy boxing day everyone….

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