Countdown to Christmas – F*cked Up Fudge and Other Christmas Calamaties

Yeah, yeah, I know.  Christmas is over. Stop counting down to Christmas, moron.

But Christmas slipped by while I was in a semi-delirious state.  I know I cooked, I know Dad came over, I know I got everything I asked for, but I can’t for the life of me remember much of that day.  Or the day after.  Or the day after that.

I know it snowed.

I know I did dishes.  I remember eating some cookies.  I remember sewing.  Looking back on the last four days seems like looking into a murky fishbowl.  I see shapes but nothing’s clear.

I think I have the flu.

Sore throat, stuffed head, hacking cough, chest pains, chapped lips…and a partridge in a pear tree.  The MINUTE I boasted that I NEVER get sick, hubris slaps me upside the head and banishes me to bed.  I haven’t finished posting the crap I did before Christmas so bear with me.

I had this brilliant idea to MAKE Zombiegirl’s teacher’s gifts.  When there was only one or two teachers, it was easy (and probably more appreciated) to give an Amazon gift card.  With seven teachers, I couldn’t afford to give them all gift cards, so we decided to make candy- peppermint bark, fudge and peanut brittle and put them in tins.

All good intentions.  The BEST intentions.  ZERO patience and talent.

The peppermint bark was easy.  I only burned the white chocolate once and the bark separated when we cut it but it was still pretty and edible.

The peanut brittle got nixed by Z-girl because she suddenly hates peanut brittle.  It’s disgusting (news to me.)  So we substituted Oreo Cheesecake balls.  Again, easy to make, not that pretty to look at.  We dipped them in semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate.  They held the shape, but looked like piles of poo.  Covered in cookie crumbs, it looked like poo taken out of a cat box.  NOT pretty.

I was excited to try the fudge because it was my Mom’s recipe.  Dad had just given me a gold-mine of recipes he found on his PC.  Mom had typed them all out for him before she got too sick to do so.  Nana Francis’ fudge was one of them.

Fudge batch Number One:  We followed the directions to a T.  When it reached soft ball stage, we popped it into a pan and put it in the fridge.  The next morning, it was still in a caramel stage- it never fudged.  I kept it cold hoping it needed more time.  It didn’t.

Fudge batch Number Two: I got this recipe from the internet- 5-minute Microwave Foolproof Fudge.  Hey- they know me!  Fudge created just for me!  The first batch finished up and we popped that into the refridgerator and quickly made a second batch.  When that was done I spooned it over the first batch since that layer was so thin.  It must have melted the first layer because when I cut into it, the top layer was fudgey but the bottom was melted lava.  There was no making squares from this spreading ooze.

It’s now too late to make anything else- Z-girl has to bring the presents in the next day.  I arrange the bark and the truffles in six of the tins and am relieved that there wouldn’t be any room for fudge anyway.  I put bows and tags on everything, then realize I’m missing a tin for the seventh teacher.  I miscounted.

S’kay, me being the recycle queen, I never throw anything away.  I washed up one of those organic salad-for-one containers, slapped an old Christmas card over the label and lined it with parchment paper.  I’m convinced if you stick a bow on it, it will look pretty.  Seriously, it worked out just fine.  The teachers liked the gifts, tasting the truffles immediately and declaring them delicious.  I only hope they don’t find the mystery ingredient.

Is dog hair nutritious?

I panic when I make anything in my kitchen since the dogs lay practically at my feet while I’m cooking hoping I drop ANYTHING.  My kitchen mantra is “Go inside”, “go inside” while I’m cooking.  They of course, don’t ever listen.  I should therefore list dog hair as an ingredient just so people are prepared…

Anyway, I complained to Dad that the fudge recipe didn’t work so he tried it at home.  He brought over some on Christmas and even his didn’t fudge properly. 

This year’s cookies were a disaster, too.  I misread the frosting recipe for Royal Icing and our sugar cookies came out looking spackled.  I’ll post about those tomorrow.  Dad’s delicious lace cookies never “laced” up and his butter cookies came out all wrong (it didn’t stop MR from eating them, though). 

We made Thumbprint cookies (Mom’s recipe) but they weren’t touched.  They’re still wrapped up on the platter.  The only thing that was eaten for dessert was the chocolate pudding pie Kansas made at the last minute and the canolis I asked Dad to pick up at the Italian pastry shop in his neighborhood.  Everything else stood untouched.

I guess I planned too much dessert for seven people.  I never learn.

Then, I had planned on making a chocolate ginger cake with bourbon icing for the day after Christmas (going up to the in-laws) but the oncoming blizzard postponed those plans.  Thank goodness I didn’t bake.  I would have a cake standing untouched along with those cookies.  

Merry Frickin’ Christmas.


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