Sunday, December 23, 2012

easy Christmas fudge and a Christmas traveling horror story

Please allow me to begin this post by quoting a song from a beloved, family favorite, holiday movie:

"It's that time, Christmas time is here
Everybody knows there's not a better time of year
Hear that sleigh, Santa's on his way
Hip, Hip, Hooray, for Christmas Vacation!"

Yeah, that's right, I love National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It doesn't really feel like Christmas until I've commiserated with the Griswolds and reminded myself that if they can make it through their psycho holiday and still enjoy parts of it, then I can handle mine, too. I needed such a reminder after our traveling day from hell.

Yesterday, Mr. J and I commenced our annual holiday celebration plan: we spend four nights each with his parents and with my grandparents. The first leg of the journey required a 2.5 hour drive to his parents' home, which is usually not a problem (I always look forward to driving by a small farm near his parents and mooing at the cows. Yes. I am still five years old.) As excited as we were to start our Christmas vacation, we were a little sad to say goodbye to our dear Christmas tree. We couldn't resist taking pictures of the presents under the boughs.


 Despite our preparations to leave on Friday night, we delayed the trip until the following morning to avoid a snowstorm. No problem, we thought. Ha! Little did we know what was coming our way. We awoke with excitement because there was SNOW where there hadn't been all of last winter or so far this year. We mistook it as a good sign. 

We packed up the truck and left promptly at 10am to use a free coffee coupon and pick up a last minute item. We started traveling to Mr. J's parents at 10:45am. This fact will be important soon, I promise. We hit the highway only to discover high winds and snowy slush on the road. Traffic slowed, rightfully, to travel safely. However, not everyone slowed down: they were plenty of jerks who continued at high speeds through the slush. We started passing accidents, lots of them. Cars were in the ditch, on the side of the road, and eventually IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Ya heard. One car was sitting in the middle of the highway facing the wrong way with its separated bumper nearby. This is when we really started to worry. The wind blew harder and more snow fell. We had to slow down to 5mph, and it stayed that way for about an hour.

Before I stress myself into a tizzy by reliving the entire experience, let me say that yet another accident ahead left us and the drivers behind us STATIONARY on a highway for almost half an hour. What should have been a 2.5 hour drive turned into an almost 5 hours charade. We finally made it to our destination and proceeded to watch 3 movies and eat pizza for the rest of the night.

On a happier note, here's my favorite fudge recipe from my grandmother that I added a little something to.

Easy Christmas Fudge

I call this Christmas fudge because it's so simple to make and so easy to eat that I only make it during the holiday season!

Before you get started, line a 9x9 pan with aluminum foil, then grease the bottom and sides with either a little cooking spray or Crisco, like so:

Fill a pot with a couple inches of water and heat it until it simmers. Maintain this temperature. Sit a glass bowl atop the pot, but be sure the bottom of the bowl DOES NOT touch the simmering water.  Pour 3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips and one 14 oz. of sweetened condensed milk into the bowl. Stir occasionally until completely melted.

 Add 2 Tbs. of marshmallow fluff (try homemade) and stir thoroughly.

Sorry, I'm not sure why the following pic is lopsided... Turn off the heat. Carefully pull out the bowl and place in onto a kitchen towel. Stir in 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.

 Pour the fudge batter into the prepared pan.

Be sure it's spread evenly! Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Once the fudge is set up, lift the foil out of the pan. Turn it over onto a cutting board and peel off the foil. Now you can cut the large brick into bite sized pieces!

Enjoy! xo