The Book Cook Oh, (Super)Fudge! Ellen Clifford

SuperEasy Fudge

All hail, Judy Blume! Growing up, I read plenty of her books and I’m guessing you did, too. I never read Superfudge, though, because it was about icky boys and a baby. I thought boys were gross. I was never going to get married and I’d rather have played games with boys than kissed them. So basically I have achieved my childhood goals. Oh, the games we play with men. My favorite is the “who waits longer to reply to a text” game. I usually lose. As for the babies, I still would rather see your cat pictures than your baby pictures. Actually, I rather enjoy cute kitten pictures. Bring em’ on.

But before I get sidetracked by boys, kittens and my impending cat lady status, let’s get back to the book.

Despite my earlier shunning of Superfudge, I knew it was the perfect choice for my Book Cook-ing exploits. And so I read. The sequel to Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (I so identify) follows Peter Hatcher into sixth grade while he deals with his parents having a third child and moving to a new town. I realized Judy Blume teaches quite a few good lessons in her books. Oh yes, she sneaks in quite a bit of education, some of which is still useful, even when you are an adult. Here’s a few things I picked up:

  • Door slamming is a healthy and appropriate response to being frustrated. Pretty much every time Peter gets angry, he flounces to his room and slams the door. When his mom gets upset, she slams the refrigerator door. Everything works out okay and nobody gets hurt.
  • Art really does imitate life. An artist friend of the family achieves success when he starts painting pictures with names like “Salamis On Parade”, based on his love of salami and onion sandwiches. I’m now inspired to write a book called Vampyre by Default based on my raging insomnia and general pallor.
  • Mistletoe is a plant that grows as a parasite on trees. Used in ceremonies by early Europeans, the berries are poisonous to humans but not to birds. Please file those facts away in your brain for next holiday season, when you find yourself that awkward moment you’re stuck under the mistletoe with someone who either you don’t want to kiss, or who doesn’t want to kiss you. Or maybe both of you are unsure if you should kiss. You can awkwardly spout out that factual info about the ‘toe, which will be so incredibly awkward you can forget about the kissing awkwardness. Awkward.
  • If you somehow forgot how to spell unanimous, now you are reminded.
  • There is no place like New York, or so the Hatchers believe. I believe them. It’s sorta a life dream to live there for at least a little, although I’m waiting to get an acting gig that will require me to switch coasts. Ahem, Lena Dunham-you’ve been needing my skills, no?
  • Blood bounces on ice. Or so says Peter’s friend Jimmy. I’ve yet to test this one. Or Google it. That is your homework for this week.

That is enough of that. Let us move to on to the food. Superfudge, I was disappointed to learn when I started reading it, is neither in reference to anything “super”, nor the confection we call “fudge”. Fudge is the nickname of Peter’s obnoxious little brother. This was a bummer to me, I wanted to make fudge.

So I read, and I thought about making something mentioned in the book, but the most discussed foods in there are the theoretic “worm cookies” the boys think their neighbor eats. I am saving recipes for worm bait for another week, so I decided screw it, I’m making fudge anyway.

I tried this fudge out on my improv group and the powdered sugar powered us through 2 hours of practice, a show and after-show breakdown discussion over sangria and pizza. We’re doing our best to disprove the whole actors-don’t-eat-anything-but-kale thing… although we are in comedy, so not sure how that works. All of which is to say that you, like us, will eat the hell out of the fudge. Oh, wait, this is for Judy Blume. You’ll eat the heck out of it. Are you there, Judy? It’s me, Ellen. I brought fudge.

Easy Fudge adapted from the AllRecipes website

  • 4 cups of powdered sugar (1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. amaretto

Butter a 9-inch square pan. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa together into a large microwave-safe bowl.. DO NOT skip this part or you will have lumps, lumps and more lumps. Pour the milk over them and put the butter in the middle but don’t bother to stir. Put in the microwave and heat for about two minutes, or until the butter is melted. Take out, add vanilla and amaretto, and stir like the dickens, until your arm falls off and there are no more lumps. This fudge is easy but a good workout. Pour into the buttered pan and put in the freezer until firm. It will be ready soon. Lick bowl whilst waiting.

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