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Oh fudge! Valentine gift not quite right

By CAROL KALLBERG Columnist Published: March 4, 2017 5:00 AM

Valentine's Day is over. I was expecting the usual bouquet of flowers but instead there was a heart-shaped container of chocolate covered strawberries. They were delicious. It was not what The Man of the House set out to buy, he later confessed. He wanted to get me one of those beautiful edible arrangements like you see on TV.

We have a store that sells those not far from here. He found it and to his chagrin, they were sold out. That was because he waited until Feb. 14 to shop. It is likely a good thing since he found out the prices are very expensive. The smallest box of strawberries was a whopping $35 for 10 berries. Yikes.

The most expensive arrangement in their catalog was $679. It was listed for bridal showers, baby showers, dinner parties, holidays or corporate events. I would say it should definitely be for the latter -- and on an expense account.

We told daughter Robyn about the whole experience. She later sent an email with a picture titled "When You Can't Afford Edible Arrangements." It was a picture of a sad homemade variety -- an apple, a cheese stick, one corn chip and a piece of bread, each on a separate skewer stuck in a glass. We got a large laugh out of it.

I made him a batch of homemade fudge. I decided to try the recipe for Carnation 5 Minute Fudge that my sister had typed up for me years ago since I found a can of fat free evaporated milk in the pantry.

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I must confess I was in a hurry when I did this and did not read the recipe very carefully. The first thing I did was put one and two-thirds cups of sugar and one-half teaspoon salt in a saucepan. So far, so good. The next thing was to mistakenly read that I should add one and two-thirds cups of evaporated milk -- so I got as far as putting in one whole cup before discovering that was WRONG. What it actually said was add two-thirds cup milk.

Too late now.

I went ahead and followed the directions of heating the mixture to boiling, then cooking it five minutes, stirring constantly. Next you take the pan off the fire and the recipe said to add one and one-half cups (or 16 large) marshmallows that have been diced. I did not have large marshmallows. This recipe must have been around before miniature marshmallows were invented, but that's all I had to use.

You were also to add one and one-half cups chocolate chips. So, to make up for using too much milk, it made sense to me to throw in the entire two-cup bag of chocolate chips. (Besides, the temptation of that extra half cup of chocolate chips would have been too much for me to bear.) You also were supposed to add one teaspoon vanilla and one-half cup chopped nuts and stir until the marshmallows melted.

The marshmallows never did melt no matter how hard I stirred, and I thought the bag of walnuts said they were chopped but it only said shelled so they were in rather large pieces. The whole thing turned out to be more like Rocky Road which may be how that variety got invented in the first place.

I poured the whole mess into a buttered 9-inch pan and hoped that someone other than me would eat it. It was appreciated and at the rate the recipient is eating it, he should have it finished by April Fool's Day. (I keep finding teaspoons all over the house that he leaves after getting another bite.)

Here's hoping you had a sweet Valentine's Day, too.


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