Thought I'd give fudge-making a whirl yesterday, continuing in my spurt of baking. Rachel and Kurt were here doing the tiling in the afternoon, but I had the kitchen back to myself in the evening. I had visions of turning out a perfect batch of fudge, cutting it into neat little one-inch squares using a wooden ruler as a guide as my dad used to do when we were growing up. Fudge is kind of a Salzwedel tradition - my dad is still a regular at it, and my middle brother has been known to produce it from time to time. The recipe has been in the family for at least three generations. The end result of my efforts was a sad sludge, like wet sea-sand only better tasting. But much less fun for castle-building because of the stickiness. I gave up on it setting last night and put the pan in the fridge; this morning I had cold, wet sea-sand. I managed to cut it all neatly but only because it had been in the fridge. After I had scraped it out of the baking tray it ran back together as any self-healing granulary Fudgeblob would do. Felt bad about binning the whole lot, but as the only way to eat it was with a spoon (and there was that whole sand thing going on), it didn't seem like a fun thing to have it sitting in the cupboard for ages, mocking me from its ice-cream tub sanctuary. As a compromise, I used some of it as a middle layer in a batch of millionaire shortbread which was a moderate success. Kurt and Rachel were back to finish the tiling today, so the kitchen is now done - they did an excellent job and it all looks very neat and complete.
But back to the baking part of the story...I made a batch of coconut ice which is horribly messy to make but pretty difficult to mess up, so that turned out well. Nick cut it and away went my neat little squares idea which was to be implemented on that set of confectionary. They're little rectangles of all sizes, but they are neat. I had to skip bible study again as Nick has been dealing with matters related to marriage, not appropriate for the boys. Tackled the fudge recipe again, taking ages to bring it to a slow boil over moderate heat, and it seems to have worked this time. It's still cooling down so my elation might be premature, but I think I will sleep easier tonight knowing that I do, after all, still have Salzwedel in my roots.