Growing up, my Nana used to send us massive care packages full of the most delicious treats – cookies, fudge, candied walnuts. I looked forward to these packages every year, and now as a parent to my own brood, I’ve been wanting more and more to pass on recipes to MY kids. This year has really made me realize that I am going to really be the Matriarch of my family. I’m not close to my sisters, except one. I haven’t talked to or seen my brother in years, unfortunately. We can’t afford to see our family in California, or our parents very often, and they can’t afford to come visit us. This was one of my main reasons for wanting a large family. I knew that my kids were only, really, going to have each other when they grew up. They aren’t going to be close to their cousins (except perhaps Deanna’s kids), if they know their cousins at all, and I really want them to have a strong sense of family. So for the past few months, I’ve really concentrated on establishing traditions to pass down to them, that they can pass down to their own kids. My Nana’s recipes were some of the things I wanted to pass down to them.
My dad’s ex wife has been so kind to send me some of her recipes, and I’ve been trying them out over the past few weeks. The sugar cookies turned out okay, but the pregnancy does not let me enjoy them, because they use a lot of lard and this baby does not like the taste or smell of it. I haven’t tried the candied walnuts yet, but I will attempt them in the next few days! Today, I tried my hand at fudge.
My Nana’s fudge is not the ooey gooey kind people think when they think fudge. It’s not marshmellowy or any of that nonsense. That’s not “real” fudge in my opinion, that’s a new type of fudge that is more like a gooey brownie than a candy. My Nana’s fudge is old fashioned, sugary, crumbly, and absolutely heavenly. I should admit that my Nana got her recipe from the old Hershey can, so technically it’s Hersheys fudge, but it will always be my Nana’s fudge to me.
I attempted making this about 10 years ago with my sister Jenny (and I think my brother was present too). It turned out awful. Of course, we didn’t follow directions very well, or use a candy thermometer, but it made me absolutely terrified to attempt to make it. I don’t take failure well, especially in the kitchen.
I’m not an expert cook or baker, but I do like to think I know a little about both. Baking and bread making are definitely a passion of mine, and I’ve been wanting to try my hand at candy making, but I’ve been too afraid. I think I have found some confidence in it! I expect I’ll be making a few tutorials about different candy goodies!
So now on to what you really care about – the tutorial.