Everyone knows the inflection in her little voice when Cindy Lou Who asked, “Santy Claus, why? Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?”
She was a little breathless and a little whiny, right? Kind of high pitched? A bit desperate?
With the same confusion and inflection, I ask, “Why can’t I make this damn fudge? Why?”
I can bake bread and pies and cookies. But I can’t make fudge. I know this to be true based on the disastrous results of two experiments.
Experiment number 1: Thanksgiving. I under cooked the concoction of sugar and chocolate (because WTH does softball stage mean anyway?) and ended up with fudge sauce. A couple of desperate fellows dug a spoon in the pan and slurped some down before I dumped it all down the drain.
Experiment number 2: Today. Based on excellent advice from a wonderful friend, I bought a candy thermometer. It’s supposed to take the guesswork out of reaching that critical softball stage. The thermometer actually has a mark on it that says “softball stage.” All I had to do was stand there for thirty minutes until the red alcohol rose to the softball stage mark and turn off the heat, move the pan, add butter, wait thirty more minutes until it cooled to 110 F and then add vanilla and beat it until it lost its gloss.
This time I made taffy. I managed to scrape 80% of the goop out of the pan (almost bent the spoon) into the trash. The spoon got stuck. Now the mess is soaking. I’ve lowered my expectations–now I’m just hoping to get the pan and the spoon back.
Santy Claus, why? Why can’t I make the damn fudge right? Why?