Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Never Had a Chance: Pumpkin Fudge

Do you ever have those moments, where you revert back to Middle School?  You know, those moments... where even if you tried REALLY, really hard... you couldn't be less cool? 

In the seventh grade, I had a crush on this boy; his name was Brian.  (Interesting side note: over the course of six years in Middle School and High School, I probably had a crush on half a dozen different boys named Brian. It was my thing.)

Brian was dreamy in that scrawny, clean-cut, seventh-grade-jock-boy, kind of way.  Now rest assured, it was a rare day when someone would have used the word "dreamy" to describe me.  Instead, I was relatively invisible and a bit awkward in that "I know I'm too old to play with Cabbage Patch dolls, but I'd still really like one for Christmas" kind of way.  So when I felt a bit of "cool" coming on... I tried to go with it.  And by cool, I mean, I snuck makeup and a can of hairspray into the girls bathroom and went nutty.

One dreary day (and really, what day isn't dreary when you're in Middle School), I was riding high on my Aqua Net fumes as I descended the stairs to hell... I mean shop class... and encountered Brian coming up the SAME SET OF STAIRS.  I mean, it was like, fate.  And to this day, I can't tell you how I mustered the courage... but throwing caution into the wind... with much abandon and flair, I boldly said (out loud and everything), "Hey."

And then proceeded to fall down the stairs.  Hitting each one with a memorable bounce and an internal proclamation, to NEVER. RETURN. TO. SCHOOL. AGAIN.  Thank the Good Lord, my hair was there to cushion my fall.

Anyway... I had one of those moments the other day... only "Brian" was replaced with two strapping European men, a whole store full of women shopping a purse sale (so they sort of get a "pass" on this one), numerous clerks, and an ENTIRE movie theater full of people... nay, ADULTS... that could have told me that after shopping the clearance racks and trying on clothes at Macy's... I had put my shirt back on... very obviously... inside-out.

Seriously?  No one could mention it in passing?  Whisper a little something in my ear? Gesture wildly at their own non-existent tags?  Laugh, point, make a spectacle?  Anything!?

The worst though, was the guy who sold me my movie ticket that night... the same guy who wore a name tag which proudly read, "My favorite movie is Star Wars," and has probably seen the inside of Comic Con, one too many times... he had the audacity to give me Sad Face while he asked, "All alone tonight?  Just the one ticket?"  At the time, I thought..."Man, sucks to be single in the world."  But about half way through the movie, when I reached back and felt the oversized tags of my shirt, flappin' in the wind... I realize Comic Con Man was probably thinking, "Poor thing.  Never had a chance."

Well, that's how I feel about this Pumpkin Fudge.  Poor thing... never had a chance.

What you'll need:

2 3/4 Cups sugar
3/4 Cup melted salted butter
2/3 Cup evaporated milk
½ Cup pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
One (12 oz.) package white chocolate chips
One (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
1 Cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick spray. 

Stir together first 6 ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat, cooking and stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234° (soft ball stage) or for about 12 minutes.  This is pretty important: I have somehow misplaced the candy thermometer I bought a few years ago... so it didn't set up quite right, as evident by the photo below.  But if you don't mind eating your fudge with a spoon...

Once the mixture reaches 234°, remove from heat and quickly stir in the white chocolate, marshmallow creme (my love affair with marshmallow cream, has no end), nuts and vanilla until well blended.

Pour into the prepared pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool; cut fudge into squares.  Or simply pull up to the pan with your spoon. 

It's makes an odd first impression... sweet.  I mean sweet, in a way that turns your clothes inside out and makes your insides feel awkward.  But apparently, that's how I roll...


  1. Hmmmm... there must be a delay in your blog. The post date says the 8th, but i know I've checked it since then and this wasn't there. Otherwise, I would have grounded you, young lady. Makeup AND hairspray, huh. Never mind that that was, what... 20 years ago? I suppose we will let you off with a warning this time. And don't try to blame this on Amy or the twins. Do I need to have a talk with this Brian, too? Kids.

  2. Cut yourself some slack. There's no way anyone could master the perfect nonchalant "hey" and stair negotiation at the same time.