The world stops dead;
Under snowy coverlid
Flowers lie abed.
Only a sampling of what passes through the mail!
Only a sampling of what passes through the mail!
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
You knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for
And then suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms could ever hold
I heard somebody whisper ‘please adore me’
But when I looked, that moon had turned to gold
Now I’m no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
6 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup H**shey’s cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 to 3/4 pound walnuts
1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large sauce pan, at least 4 quart.
When you boil the fudge it rises a lot!
2. Pour in the milk and mix it with the dry ingredients.
It won’t mix well until you start to heat it, but mix it the best you can.
3. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until it comes to a bubbly boil.
Once it starts boiling you can stop stirring.
4. While the fudge is boiling grease a 9" by 12" glass dish with butter.
Get the rest of the ingredients ready.
You’ll add them to the fudge as soon as you remove it from the heat.
Layout a hot pad for the hot pan when it comes off the stove.
5. It’s a lot easier if you spoon out the peanut butter onto a small saucer
so when it’s time to add it to the fudge you can just push it off the saucer into the hot fudge.
If you don’t like peanut butter or nuts, just leave them out.
Dirt Farmer Fudge is still kick butt without them!
6. Keep an eye on the boiling fudge and start checking it for consistency.
As it boils it will thicken.
If you under cook it you will have a sticky glob that will never harden.
If you over cook it you might not even get it out of the pan.
Or if you over cook it, it will set up almost immediately when you pour it
which means that it will not be creamy and it will be too dry,
and I’ll be really disappointed in you.
Okay, maybe it won’t be that bad, but you’ll never know how good this fudge is when cooked perfectly.
7. Test the fudge by dropping a small amount into a dish of cold water.
When it is done perfectly it will puddle in the bottom of the dish
and you’ll be able to push it into a small pile with your finger
then you should be able to pick it up between two fingers.
Test the fudge early and often.
If it can’t be picked up, rinse the dish and add fresh cold water and test it again soon.
It takes a while for it to boil down to the perfect consistency,
and there is a fine line between over cooking and under cooking it.
Check if often.
8. As soon as the fudge is done remove the pan from the stove and place it on a hot pad.
Immediately add the butter, the vanilla, the walnuts and the peanut butter.
Do Not Stir it Yet!
9. Just let the fudge cool a bit.
This is a critical and scary time
but you really want it to cool down to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit
which means that you can almost place your hands on the outside of the pan without burning them.
Please be careful, do not stick your finger in the fudge and only put your hands near the outside of the pan.
10. Once the fudge has cooled some, start stirring it.
As you stir it, the fudge will thicken and lose it’s gloss.
Get ready to pour quickly once that happens.
Sometimes you barely get the peanut butter mixed by the time the fudge is ready to pour into the dish.
11. Pour the fudge into the dish and quickly push it into the corners of the dish
then quit smoothing the fudge.
The top will set up quickly,
but if you’ve cooked it perfectly the rest of the fudge will need several hours,
up to 24 hours to really set up completely.
This makes a really moist fudge
so I cut it into small squares and place it in a container or onto a serving tray.
Often times the bottom of the pieces will stay moist
so I lay a paper towel in the bottom of the tray to help wick away some of that excess moisture.
I stack it on the tray with a little space between the pieces so the edges can air dry
but inside the fudge is nice and moist.
When done perfectly, Dirt Farmer Fudge is to die for!
H**SHEY’S Baking Tips Library
Scroll down for Fudge & Candy making tips.
Up the valley, at the home place, there is no computer, no TV, the radio only works if it’s pointed in the right direction, and cell phones don’t work at all. Spending a few days up there leaves you out of touch with the outside world. Coming back down the valley, it’s always surprising how little’s been missed.
Because of work schedules, our family Christmas will come two days early, and the gathering place is almost ready. Just a little more baking, a few things to wrap, and a touch of cleaning will make the house holiday ready.
The cottage on the back road will be occupied again by the end of the week. Until then have the happiest of holidays with your family and friends. Much love is sent to each one of you from my little valley in the mountains.
A Blessed Christmas to You All!
Little Gal’s Christmas Fashion Show
(She does wear shoes!)
Baking Sugar Cookies
(Sorry, no time for the story)
Riding the Christmas Train
(Oops, we lost Santa Claus!)
When the weather turns cold in the valley,
and Christmas lights start twinkling
on houses in the village,
the quest begins.
Every year the anxiety and excitement mounts
until a new guy is added to Little Gal’s collection.
It’s been so since the year of her birth,
when the first guy came into her life
and shocked her mother at his size
and the rest of the family
because he looked so bazaar.
He was the size of Little Gal,
and then some.
She wasn’t quite two months old.
To find the perfect guy for Little Gal,
the Internet is searched,
the pattern box is searched
and Grandma’s cluttered mind is searched.
Because it can’t be just any guy.
It has to be the right guy
for Grandma’s Little Gal.
Sometimes a pattern is used,
Or, sometimes Grandma dreams up one of her own.
This year’s guy came from a picture chosen
From all the pictures of guys
saved and kept in a folder.
A pattern was drawn,
then enlarged onto tissue paper.
Cut from muslin dyed a gingerbread tan,
Little Gal’s guy took shape
with well stuffed
legs, arms, body and head.
Clothed in a vest with holiday theme,
Red buttons lined his chest and belly.
White rickrack circled his arms, legs and head,
And black eyes looked out
from his rosy cheeked face.
A wide smile stretched
from one ear to the other –
(But the certainty of ears is in question).
Snowflakes were danced across his forehead
and one of his legs.
A plaid heart,
matching the lining of his vest,
Was needled and threaded to the opposite leg.
Lastly, for remembering, a tag with Little Gal’s name
and the year the new guy entered her life
was hung around his neck.
For six Christmas’
Little Gal has gotten her guy.
In some of those years, though,
to be truthful,
she’s gotten a gal instead of a guy.
This year, there is question
whether she has a gal or
whether she has a guy.
It isn’t known for sure,
But, whatever it is,
it has a new home
with the five other members of
Little Gal’s Gingerbread Clan.
2008 Gingerbread With Gingerbreads From Little Gal’s Past
(You might recognize
Kermit the Gingerbread Frog
in the above picture,
the first gingerbread oddity
that had family members chuckling
and tongues wagging.
He was named by an amused uncle
who recognized his froggy characteristics.)
Last Year’s Gingerbread – 2007
At the head of the valley snow often comes sooner, falls heavier and lasts longer than it does down below, Around the Homestead. Over Thanksgiving, throughout the valley, an uncommon snow fell, and fell, and fell some more.
With her family and Jack the Dog (also known as JackiePoo), Little Gal came from the Big City, where snow isn’t as frequent, as lasting or as deep, to the little house in the bend of the creek, at the edge of the wood, where snow can keep you snuggled inside or give you a purpose to go out.
Little Gal came with a firm purpose in her expanding mind. Her purpose was to have some rousing fun in the snow. Little Gal’s intention was to go out.
To go out, she was longjohnned, tobogganed, gloved, jacketed, hooded and, finally, booted. Little Gal was raring to go. She couldn’t wait to go out, to romp in the glorious snow. But before she got to the door, she had to quit. Her boots didn’t fit!
A wintertime tragedy for Little Gal! Playing in the snow had been talked all the way from the Big City to Grandma’s, then all the way up the valley from there.
Maybe she could wear her boots without socks? Grandma vetoed that suggestion. She needed more protection than that.
Well, Grandma had worn her boots. Perhaps with some extra pairs of socks? No, it didn’t work. Little Gal clopped and flopped.
Couldn’t she just wear her Sketchers and socks? This idea got an emphatic "No" from Mother. Her feet would get too cold and wet.
Heartrending times like these require serious innovation. These are the times when Super Wise Grandma must assert herself and commandeer the situation.
These are the times when everyone knows (who has good sense and distaste for family discord) to disagree with Grandma is a total waste of verbiage. Because she’s Grandma, and Grandmas always know best!
Post haste, Little Gal was socked and shoed. Next, she was plastic bagged to her knees to keep out the cold, wet snow. Then, with a final stroke of genius, she was socked with a pair of her Daddy’s huge, sixteen size socks (with a hole in the bottom, so it didn’t matter) to keep her from slipping around in the snow.
Little Gal’s foot cover was a Thanksgiving masterpiece, one of Grandma’s best quick-thinking inventions. From such Grandma-based brainstorms springeth a happy Grandchild.
Excitedly outside in the wonderful, marvelous snow, the first thing to do was build a fort. Using a garbage can to form the snow into firm blocks, Little Gal and her Daddy, a think-on-your-feet inventor himself, built a snow fort in the side yard, and the snow battle was on.
Fists full of packed snow flew back and forth between father and daughter, with Little Gal hunched behind the fort, popping up to pelt Daddy with all the snow her five-year-old hands could hold.
The battle ended, but for Little Gal there was no thought of abandoning the cold and snow for the warmth she would find in the house.
A day in the snow wouldn’t be fun in the snow without a ride downhill on a sled. And Little Gal had her saucer, an end of season purchase last year and never used.
With some nudging from Daddy, she flew down the hill (a little girl size hill) on her saucer of green. Trudging back up, with Little Gal determination, she did it all over again.
Carrying her saucer in pink mittened fingers, the climb back to the top was a chugging effort. But, Little Gal made the trip several times, enjoying the zippy ride back down to the bottom. What luck to have a hill in the side yard!
In time, Little Gal’s snowy adventure came to an end, except for the memory she carried with her when she left the valley to return home to the Big City.
The boot socks that had kept Little Gal’s feet warm and dry were tossed into the garbage, no longer an important accessory for a little girl who had come in from the cold. Their important purpose for Little Gal’s Thanksgiving escapade in the snow had expired.
Sometime soon, she’ll return to the valley, a valley that will likely be covered with snow. This time, though, inside her bag of this and thats will be a good pair of little girl boots. Boots made for hours of playtime in the snow. Boots that will fit Little Gal perfectly.
NOT FOR VEGETARIANS
A TURDUCKEN is three birds nested together. The tur is (turkey). The duck is (duck). The en is (chicken).
A deboned turkey that’s stuffed with a deboned duck that’s stuffed with a deboned chicken. The cavity of the chicken is usually filled with sausage, breadcrumbs, or stuffing. Born in the South in the 1980s, it can be braised, roasted, grilled, or barbecued. Many people serve a turducken in place of the turkey on Thanksgiving.
From The Cartoon Lounge – The New Yorker
November 19, 2008
I have to say the whole idea of turducken grosses me out a little. Maybe it’s because it starts with the word “t–d.”
But just the idea of stuffing one animal carcass into the hollowed out cavity of another seems disturbing to me. It’s like something from a horror film. It’s like those Russian dolls that fit inside each other except it’s made of pimpled, pink poultry flesh. But if you’re into that sort of thing, why stop with just three birds? How about this—how about you cram a quail into the chicken and then you’ve got yourself turduckenquail. I’d even go a step further and farther afield and stuff the quail with a shrimp.
What else? Maybe wrap the shrimp in bacon? Then stick the whole thing in a goat in a pig in a cow and then deep fry that sucker.
No TURDUCKEN at our house.
We’ll feast on turkey and ham.