Monday, December 5, 2011

On the 5th Day of December ....

                 I love traditions, you guys probably do to. I don't know about you but sometimes as we age holding on to those traditions gets hard. Let me explain.
           Growing up I remember every Christmas my mom and dad would make Sees Fudge. Lots and lots of Sees fudge, pounds of fudge would take over the refrigerator.
           My mom had a favorite Revere ware copper bottomed pan that was her favorite fudge making pan. During candy making time mom did most of the work as well as the clean up! Daddy was always close by for the final stir and pour. Sees fudge takes about 20 minutes per batch to make, by the time the final few minutes arrives the mixture is thickening. Once it come off the heat my dad would rapidly stir in the marsh mellow cream, chocolate chips and finally the nuts. I learned later that this part makes your arm feel like a limp noodle when your done! The final step is to pour the hot fudge into trays and allow it to cool.
                     For many years I watched this process and waited patiently for the pan to eat the left over warm fudge, this is just the best part! In 1981 my dad unexpectedly passed away, it was October 19 and Christmas was a few months away. As we drifted into December I asked mom if she wanted me to help her with the traditional fudge ritual. After a good cry we decided to give it a go.
That first year was tough, we cried, we laughed, we through a burnt batch down the drain. However, we persevered and the tradition continued for many more years.
                  Eight years ago my mom passed away after a long battle of COPD. Christmas arrived ... it was hard. I pulled out that famous pan and assembled the necessary ingredients and cried. I think I managed to make two batches and called it quits. Every year I struggled until a few years ago I stopped the tradition. My daughter is not happy in the kitchen and making fudge is definitely not her thing. She would do it for me, but that seems to lose the true essence of the tradition.
             It's now December 5th, next week is my time to begin my holiday bake-a-thon. I'm so torn about the fudge, do I force myself to keep the "tradition" going ... or do I let it go, bury it with my parents. The joy was the fun and memories of cooking together, not eating the finished product.
              Christmas memories can be so hard.

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