Last week, when I said that my mom never made anything, I exagerrated a bit. She always liked to make fudge and butterscotch morsels to give to friends at Christmas. People loved these treats and she freely gave out the recipes, as neither were any sort of family secret.
She got the butterscotch morsel recipe out of the Los Angeles Times in the 80's. It was a mix of chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter coating Corn Chex. We used to alternately call it Reindeer-Crap, because it didn't look appetizing at all. However, it was so delicious that a whole tin could be gone in an entire sitting. I have a friend, who liked it so much, she would hide it from her husband! Unfortunately, I've been unable to locate the recipe. It's somewhere in this house and that's why I am proclaiming 2013, The year of Organized Living. Let it be known!
Mom got her fudge recipe from the back of a jar of Kraft's Marshmallow Creme. The recipe that my mom found predates me and the recipe on the jars has been changed many years ago. Mom had many people tell her that they followed the jar recipe and it just wasn't the same. Two things, first, of course it tastes better when someone else does the work and second, the recipe is different. Here is the tried and true recipe that my mom used.
My aunt still carries on the fudge tradition, but since she has had so many surgeries, she found it tough to do this year. It required a lot of stirring and lifting. On Sunday, Dan and I went to Tustin and made a batch for her.
The first Christmas without my mom, 2009, I felt the pressure to carry on this tradition for friends expecting the treats. I got out the fudge recipe and thought that I had followed it properly, but it was a disaster. It tasted great, but I couldn't cut it into neat squares. It was a big mush of fudge. The big trick is to let it cool in the fridge for 45 minutes and no more. It needs to be soft enough to cut, but not too soft where it won't form squares.
I let go of the tradition, it's was my mom's, not mine. Last Sunday was my first time making fudge since the disaster of 2009. Dan and I made it as a team and it turned out perfect, in perfect squares.
This week also brought two new great recipe discoveries from one of my favorite sites, Allrecipes.com. On Monday night, we had the Tantalizing Tangy Meatloaf, which uses pineapple preserves as a surprise ingredient. Dan liked it, but thought it was a bit too sweet for dinner. If I make it again, I might follow another member's suggestion of crushed pineapple to cut the sweetness. I really enjoyed it though and really liked using the leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.
The big hit of the week was the Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole. It's very easy to make and boiling the chicken breasts gives it almost a slow cooker texture. Dan scarfed this up so fast, not only did we not have any leftovers, but I had to battle for my portion of dinner. I loved how this one required very few ingredients, most of which were already found in our kitchen. Cheap, easy and yummy, this will be a frequent meal in our home.