Fudge: Roadway to Respect

I never respected Mamie Eisenhower. As the wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower Mamie was bound to be overshadowed by her husband. However, Mamie could have used her husband’s power to create a platform or position of her own. Instead, she claimed her only position as that of wife and used it to promote the color pink. Today her love of pink is the only legacy left to her by the history books.

The color choice is immaterial, but the fact that this is all that is remembered about a woman who had the power to influence the known world is sorrowful. Wasting such an opportunity does not commend a person to the masses, nor to me. So, I had no respect for First Lady Eisenhower. Then Special Correspondent Perel told me that Mamie Eisenhower composed the best recipe for fudge.

Fudge is really hard work; it requires patience, timing, and a trained eye. It seems that Mamie had all three. These are not fly-by-night attributes and any person who can accomplish them deserves my admiration and respect. Once, long ago, I tried to make fudge. There are two things I remember from the experience: 1. there is a difference between ‘hard ball stage’ and ‘soft ball stage,’ which I could not see 2. My mother assured me that the substance I’d made, once heated up in the microwave, tasted just like fudge. I’ve never considered making fudge again.

But Mamie Eisenhower made fudge. She made fudge so well that – Perel assures me – it’s the most common recipe for fudge available. The woman who championed no cause, and attested to no far-ranging interests, had the skills to succeed in an area which foils most people. She was not a woman of great ambition, but she was a woman who knew herself, her favorite color, and how to make fudge. I respect that.

Mamie Eisenhower’s Fudge

1 1/2 cups  sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into 8″ square baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Mazal tov to Special Correspondent Perel and many thanks for the recipe.

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