Today I had a craving for my mother's fudge. She used to make it from the recipe in this book that her mother had from the time my mom was born. So, having both been raised with this fudge recipe it should be no surprise that it was one of those that I used to request her to make when we were together. I've had lots of different kinds of fudge made by numerous people, but nothing beats this fudge. Now I just have to get busy and make some. When I make it I'll double the recipe, most definitely.
I remember the last time my mother made fudge for me, that it was a strain for her to move the mixer through the candy (note that the recipe calls for the cook to "stir" but I highly recommend using a mixer), and that she hated asking me to finish it up for her. I knew it was our last fudge and I have a few pieces of it stored in a tin in our refrigerator to this day, wrapped in plastic and tied by her. I guess I'm sentimental about items that attest to human communion. Preserved food items being the only things from the past that sustained a life now gone -- as opposed to clothing, jewelry, papers, etc. -- seem spiritual in nature.
In that terribly difficult year when I lived in Portland, Oregon, struggling with strange jobs and acting strangely on jobs due to perpetual hangovers, one of the few lights I had in my life happened when I received fudge in the mail from my mother. I lived in one of Portland's older neighborhoods, the Hawthorne District as it was just becoming trendy, in a six-plex -- three apartments each bordering a beautiful but overgrown courtyard with a storage/laundry building at the far end. The apartments had mail slots not in the front door but in the front wall next to the front door. Once when my mother visited me she measured the dimensions of the mail slot and after that I received her little care packages of fudge in perfectly proportioned boxes. The mailman must have at some point wondered what those heavy (for the size), brick-shaped packages contained but his suspicions of my lifestyle were the least of my worries in those days.
Our family also frequently enjoyed Waldorf Salads when I was a kid. I don't know why my mother didn't serve them as pictured in this book......maybe the only recipe she ever truly looked at was the one for fudge. In any case, I think this hollowed apple bowl is charming. I love Waldorf Salad and haven't thought to make it for years, and I'm definitely going to try this.
I notice that several recipes in this book call for "dressing" and "Carnation dressing," and this one calls for "salad dressing." As I've never seen Carnation dressing in my life in a store I can only wonder what it was like. You can use what suits you. My mother always used Best Foods Mayonnaise (Hellman's on the east coast) alone in her Waldorf Salads and I've changed that only slightly with Best Foods Light Mayo.
Does anyone know what that contraption is behind and to the right of the mixing bowl in that woman's pantry?