The Art Site

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The bizarre connection between wedding dresses and maple fudge

This evening, my friend Emily and I sat around our dining room table, eating warm maple-and-walnut fudge, and looking at wedding dresses.
The reason for the fudge was that she just got engaged, and fudge seemed to be the thing to make to celebrate. The reason for the wedding dress pursuit is quite obvious.

We cracked walnuts, chopped them up and added them to the hot, swirling, maple-syrupy, caramel fudge mixture. There really is something about making this confectionary. Any food preparation is my thing, naturally - unless I'm being forced to cook lumpy, salty mushroom soup, or some other sort of unpleasant concoction.
And any kind of sweet-making has lovely associations: of the good old days when we'd sell toffee apples outside schools and at Kids' Fests - old-school connections.

Yet fudge means more. It is difficult to analyze my special affinity to fudge, but I'll give it a shot. It's really the making of it that makes me all brooding and dreamy - preparing it is visually stimulating I guess. First, you stick all the components in your mums' sturdy iron pot, and set it on low to slowly melt the sugar granules. Then you turn up the heat to gradually caramelize the mixture - and add to it your salt, maple syrup essence, and/or vanilla.

When you're utterly convinced (and you need to be UTTERLY convinced) that the mixture is at the soft-ball stage, you swiftly take your mums' sturdy iron pot off the element and onto a board, and start to beat the mixture with an extremely vintage hand-beater. The kind that all good citizens of our free country know about and use.

Then, when you're sure that the fudge has lost its gloss, and is fairly thick, you rapidly pour it into your (already buttered and lined) vintage fudge tin, where you spread the soft-grained, matte fudge to all the edges. You quickly place it in your fridge, and get down to the serious, complicated work of licking off every bit of fudge you can from all the (many) bits of equipment you've used.
The relationship that fudge and wedding dresses share is this: what better thing to do when looking at wedding dresses (or whenever, and whatever you're doing, actually) than to eat maple-and-walnut fudge, still firming up and slightly warm?

There is only one, minor problem: one's consumption of fudge could lead to problems of not being able to get into the wedding dress.

- Lydie


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