Three years ago I started a new Christmas tradition, the annual Christmas post. For some reason they are always the hardest for me to write. I tend to get sentimental this time of year, and long for the Christmases of my youth. Back when families gathered together and shared a meal without posting it on Instagram or Facebook for the masses to judge. Back when people talked to each other while they passed the peas. Wait a minute, I’m wrong. We never passed the peas. There was so many of us back then our meal was set up buffet style. Come to think about it, I guess there was twenty or more of us in my Aunt Willie’s house. We all seemed to be able to make it home for the holidays back then.
One of my favorite Christmas memories dates all the way back to elementary school. I want to say I was in third or forth grade. I remember my mom standing in the kitchen of our Cherokee Terrace apartment listening to WIVK on the radio and making candy. My mom made all sorts of confections: peanut brittle, mounds candy bars, peanut butter balls, and potato candy. There was hard cinnamon candy that made the whole apartment smell good. My favorite was her fudge. Delicious, mouth watering fudge. She made three kinds; chocolate, chocolate with walnuts, and peanut butter. I keep this tradition when I make it myself. Back then it wasn’t Christmas if she didn’t make candy. Don’t think that we feasted on candy dinners until it was gone. A lot of it was sent else where as gifts. Oh, those lucky people.
This is the first year in a long time that I have made Mama’s fudge. It just seemed like the right time, ya know.
5 1/2 c. sugar
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 stick margarine
1/4 c. white corn syrup
1 (7 oz.) container marshmallow fluff
1 Tsp. vanilla
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips**
1 c. chopped nuts, optional
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13″ pan; set aside. In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the first four ingredients over medium heat. Stirring constantly bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 8 minutes, and remove from heat. Quickly add remaining ingredients, and stir very well. Pour into prepared pan, and cool completely. Once cooled, cut into small squares. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
**You can use peanut butter chips, dark/milk/ semi-sweet chocolate chips. Any flavor chip would work, BUT I would not use anything with caramel in it.