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Rite of Passage

I do 99% of the cooking in our home. Occasionally, Matt will make boxed mac and cheese, and he does make a KILLER grilled cheese sandwich, and once he browned ground beef for me… but primarily I’m the cook. And I think I do pretty well, no real complaints. I’m not perfect. I’ve burnt things like bread and bacon a couple times. When we were first married, I tried to make this roasted citrus chicken and forgot to account for the “caramelization” effect sugars in OJ would have. I ended up with a very “caramelized”, but still edible, chicken. So far, I have avoided burning things beyond repair and setting things on fire…. Until the other night….

I finally had an evening to myself, Matt was out with Dan, so I decided to cook which helps me relax. I wanted to try an idea I had. I make this fudge which I shamelessly stole from my Father-in-law, which he stole from his mother. Really, you see, I’m carrying on a family tradition. Anyways, I like to play with flavors and have adapted the recipe for flavors like Mexican hot chocolate or chocolate peanut butter for example. Someone I know had made an orange crème fudge, so I was thinking about fruitier flavors and I decided to try a berry flavor. I decided to try my idea with a half-batch just for fun…

Everything was going fine until the time came to add the extract. I was worried all the sugar would overwhelm the tartness of the berries so I was going to add just a dash of lemon extract. As I added in my 1/4tsp, something happened and my hand must have jerked because as I poured it in the pot, the bottle splashed a little on the stove… From here on, I’ll just give you my thought process:


“Darn! Wait, isn’t extract mostly alcohol??”

::Whoosh:: as the burner flames up…

“Yep! Huh…”

::Whoosh:: as the entire pot of fudge ALSO catches fire

“Okay where is the lid? In the cabinet… nope… nope.. there it is”

Try and put the lid on..

“Why won’t it fit??? OH! The spoon is still there!”

Remove the spoon…

“There we go! Okay good…”

Look over at my right hand holding the wooden spoon…

“Oh, the spoon is on fire too!”

And after sticking the spoon in the sink, it was over. The whole thing was about 10 seconds. I started laughing immediately, particularly at the image of me holding the flaming spoon, looking like the Statue of Liberty in the middle of my kitchen!

All in all, I was very proud of myself. I was perfectly calm and almost scarily matter-of-fact about the whole thing. Now I know when I set something on fire, I at least know how to deal with it. I’ve reached the next level in cooking…

Oh and the fudge? It didn’t set right and the flavor was way off, but that might have been because it was flambéed!  Had it set better maybe I could have passed it off as fudge brulee? I did make the traditional chocolate one, without incident, to give to people at work, so the night was not a complete loss. And it has given me an idea for another flavor, toasted marshmallow. 😉

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  1. Love it! You are an awesome storyteller Jess -Fern

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