Archive for September 2009

The Smell of Chocolate Is Brain Therapy

September 24, 2009

Mother

Our family is addicted to chocolate!  Not just chocolate, anything sweet will do, but chocolate is our favorite.  It’s Mother’s fault!!!  It’s her fault because she consistently filled the air in our home with the aroma of  all things yummy.

Homemade fudge was one of her specialties.  She made it in an iron skillet.  Once the butter, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla blended and heated, it emitted a smell that lodged in my brain when I was a young child, and it is there it has remained.  The hint of the smell of chocolate, takes me back to my mother’s hip, where I stood and, she stirred the heavenly concoction. She would pour it onto waxed paper to cool.  “Who wants to lick the spoon?” she would call out.  That generated a flurry of activity as we scurried to the kitchen, often pushing another sibling aside, to be the first to get to get there.  If there were several of us at home, she was careful to leave enough in the skillet so that we could all have a taste.

On rare occasion, there would be a box of store bought chocolates in the house.  “You can have two pieces per day.” she instructed.  She attempted to teach moderation with sweets, but they were a weakness for her, too.  She was the guiltiest of the whole bunch of us.

Mother had a habit of applying a thumb print to the bottom of the pieces of chocolate.  The purpose was to discover what the filling was, prior to committing to the entire piece.  I tended to take my chances and dive right in.  Suz would do the same, except that if she didn’t like it, she returned it to the box and continued to sample other pieces in the same way. “EEWWWHH! You ruined it!” was the response to that antic.

Forrest Gump was right when he coined the phrase, “Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re going to get.”

I learned from the box of chocolates that:

1. Testing the water before diving in is probably wise.

2. Diving in head first, and committing to it fully, will get the job done, and with some degree of satisfaction, but not without a few bumps and scrapes.

3.  We should be willing to share good things with others.

Jeaneane just sent me Mother’s fudge recipe, so here it is:

1-1/2 cups milk
2-1/2 cups sugar (mother’s recipe called for 3 cups, but I think that’s too much)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 stick margarine
1 tsp vanilla
Chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients and stir.  Cook over medium heat until boiling (bubbles should become small).  Test by dropping a small drop of mixture into a cup of cold water.  If it forms a ball, remove from heat and place pan in cold water.  Immediately add margarine, vanilla, and nuts.  Stir quickly.  As soon as mixture begins to harden, pour into a glass container that has been greased down good with butter.