Friday, December 23, 2011


In a recent post, I talked about how holiday foods and traditions can remind us of those who are no longer with us.  In my family, every recipe, every dish on the table,  has a story behind it.  One of my favorite Christmas memories is of Aunt Birchie and her Peanut Butter Fudge.  And yes, her name really was Birchie.  There's probably a story there, too, but unfortunately there's no one left who could tell it.  Actually, she was Daddy's aunt, therefore my great-aunt, and one of my favorite relatives.
Aunt Birchie holding me on my first Christmas.  
 Every Christmas Day, she (and her husband, who I swear was named Bervie) would arrive after lunch.  They always seemed to show up just as the turkey (and ham, and sauerkraut, and dressing, and beans, and potato salad, and German Chocolate cake, and lemon icebox pie, and......) lulled us into our annual Christmas Day nap.  It wasn't so much a nap as it was a coma.  And just when Mom had found her favorite napping corner, Aunt Birchie would burst through the door with her homemade candy.  You would think that we would have all said, "Thank you, but I believe I'll wait awhile until my lunch settles", but NOOOO!!!!! not this bunch.  You see, she made several kinds of candy, but her peanut butter fudge was worth fighting for.  And we did.  She never brought enough of it, so I think she enjoyed watching the fight.  And I don't just mean the children.  The adults jumped up and ran to the kitchen and started  pawing through the candy as though they hadn't seen food in a week.  All of that "peace and goodwill" went right out the window when we got to the last piece of fudge.  This was the creamiest, the smoothest, the most perfect peanut butter fudge ever created.  Of course, time marches on, and sadly, Aunt Birchie is no longer with us.  Every year, I make this candy, not just because I'm a peanut butter addict, but as a tribute to her.  Mine will never be as good as hers, but I like to think she would approve.  


2 c sugar
2/3 c milk
1 c creamy peanut butter
1 c marshmallow cream

Cook sugar and milk until it forms a soft ball.  Remove from heat.  Stir in peanut butter and marshmallow cream.  Stir only until it melts.  Pour into pan and refrigerate until it sets.

Now, I have no idea what "a soft ball" means in this case.  I got the recipe from Mama years ago, and now I find out she doesn't know what it means, either.  I just stir with a wooden spoon until it begins to stick to the spoon.  

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )


Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind.--Helen Steiner Rice




Alyce said...

Thanks! I have great memories of my husband's grandma bringing peanut butter fudge to Christmas. I'm not sure we fought (we were young marrieds) over it, but nearly. I'll try this recipe! (I have your blog on my blogroll @, BTW.)

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment! Good luck with the PB fudge. Merry Christmas! : )


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