Today I feel like we’re getting to sneak a peek inside a Christmas package, because my friend Joye shared with us her semi-secret recipe for Fabulous Five Minute Fudge! You’ll find the recipe at the end of this episode. I wish I had been able to make WordPress fancy-up formatting do the recipe justice… but all I could manage was something plain. Well, there’s nothing plain about Joye’s fudge, so enjoy!
These three ingredients took my mind to things that added to the character of Granny and the setting of her kitchen. I hope you’ll enjoy this second episode of our new “interactive” serial.
And now — episode two… Happy reading, and bon appétit!
2. Mandolin, Chinoiserie, Wimberries
“Now you just calm down, Sweet Pea. I know it was a terrible thing to behold, but it’s going to be all right,” Granny said as she sat me at the kitchen table. “Why you’re shakin’ like a leaf, Pip!”
When I got back to her cottage, she had already brewed tea and produced some lovely fudge as if by magic. Somehow Granny had already heard about what happened at the Bijou. She dusted an imaginary speck from the green and white gingham table cloth, and then placed a Chinoiserie tea set on the table in front of me. The dishes were done in a shade of sea green a little darker than the checks of the table cloth, and they were decorated with blue chrysanthemums.
I gazed absently at steam rising from the cup of Darjeeling tea while Granny pulled out a white ladder back chair and sat down next to me. My grandfather had made those cane bottom chairs himself. My Pops had a set of them too, except those were stained wood rather than painted white.
Tracing my finger around the rim of the teacup, I spoke without looking up. “I remember this tea set. Have you always had it?”
Granny gave me a downright wicked, mischievous smile and even wriggled her eyebrows. Then her expression turned fond and she chuckled. “Almost always. They were a gift — when I was a very young woman. They were actually from Mrs. Wong’s grandfather,” my grandmother told me.
Surprised, I looked a question at her. “He was a widower. Yes, he was interested in me. Oh Pip, are you surprised that a man besides Grandpa was interested in your Granny?” she said with a smile. “If ever I was going to be attracted to an older man, it would have been Alastair Wong the elder. He was a fine man.”
Now that surprised me. But the unexpected was to be expected with Granny Fanny. She was full of surprises. I bit into one of the delicious pieces of fudge on my plate. Granny’s fudge was enough to make me forget anything upsetting. While it melted in my mouth I looked at a jar on the table. Unfamiliar handwriting proclaimed it contained wimberry preserves, with Crickhowell Cottage printed at the top of the label. I remembered Granny had a pen pal in Wales and thought it must be from her.
“So that would have been Alastair’s great-grandfather,” I said, trying to make an effort at conversation. Granny nodded with an expression of reminiscence in her light blue eyes.
She poured more tea. “Do you want to talk about it?” she asked gently, and I knew she meant the killing at the Bijou.
“I don’t know who the man was. It just seemed so strange and out of place that he had bits of cilantro all on his shoes. And I feel like there must be something wrong with me for being stuck on that thought,” I confided.
“Oh Sweet Pea,” she began. “It’s normal to get focused on some odd thing or other when something awful happens.” She paused and pursed her lower lip while she thought. My Pops said I did the same thing. “I do admit it seems odd though,” Granny said while she poured more tea into my cup.
Granny moved to the counter and began tidying up. I noticed she had dismantled her mandolin. The whetting stone was beside the newly sharpened blade. Granny always said you were more likely to cut yourself on a dull knife than with a sharp one.
Abruptly a huge thudding noise made me jump from my chair. Granny suddenly had a dishtowel in her hand with the sharpened mandolin blade held like a weapon.
Fanny’s Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge
- · 1 – 12 ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)
- · 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (one-half of a 14-ounce can)
- · 1 tablespoon water
- · 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired
- · 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, and water.
2. Microwave, uncovered, on 100% power (high) for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 1 minute more, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and spread it into a 9×6-inch rectangle, or drop mixture by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet.
3. Chill fudge about 30 minutes or until firm. Cut fudge into 1-1/2-inch squares. Makes 24 pieces
Yield 24 pieces
Prep 5 minutes; chill 30 minutes
Nutrition Facts (Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge)
Servings Per Recipe 24,
cal. (kcal) 112, Fat, total (g) 7, chol. (mg) 3, sat. fat (g) 3, carb. (g) 14, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 2, vit. A (IU) 49, sodium (mg) 11, calcium (mg) 30, iron (mg) 1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Copyright 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.