by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker
Families are like fudge… mostly sweet with a few nuts. Author Unknown
I LOVE my family.
No naming names here Uncle Jim, but I find this quote to be quite true, at least in my family—and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
My dad’s mom (Ma-Ma) was a master-maker of the butter-like (with a hint of sugar crunch) chocolate concoction, better known as fudge. I remember Ma-Ma’s arthritic fingers carefully stirring chocolate chips, vanilla, marshmallows, and pecans in her white Pyrex bowl.
When I came across the above quote, I was reminded how Ma-Ma’s fudge-making process was truly similar to families. Just as each fudge recipe is a tad different, so are families. There was a time in my life when I wondered why I landed in my particular family. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very thankful for my family, but when I was younger, smack dab in the middle of difficult situations, I couldn’t help but wonder why. But now, looking back, I’m reminded that much like Ma-Ma’s fudge, God handcrafted families with much care, blending unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Hey, even the ‘nuts’ in the bunch help mold us into the men and women God intended.
Growing up, I usually found my way into the den to talk to my grandfather when the dreaded part of the fudge-making process⎯the constant stirring of sugar and milk until it came to a rolling boil⎯was over. If it wasn’t carefully monitored, the liquids quickly scorched, leaving behind wasted ingredients, which is probably why Ma-Ma didn’t mind my absence, knowing I’d soon return for the bowl-licking session.
After pouring the warm sugar mixture over the dry ingredients, the fudge is blended, poured into a prepared pan, and baked. This final step reminds me of a different kind of family. God’s family. We don’t need a village, we need a kingdom where Truth is poured out, even if it means getting messy. And regardless of our denomination, or whether we worship the same way, if our desire is to come together as One family and put our heavenly Father on display, I think we’ll find that we blend beautifully.
Ma-Ma’s Fudge Recipe
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cups evaporated milk (Ma-Ma used Carnation)
- 12 large marshmallows (Ma-Ma used Kraft)
- 1/2 cup butter
- dash salt
- 1 cup Nestle semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar, evaporated milk, marshmallows, butter, and salt in a saucepan. Cook stirring over medium heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Stir constantly and boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate morsels until melted. Add nuts and vanilla. Pour into buttered pan or Pyrex dish. Cool and cut into squares.