Posts Tagged ‘family’

A Picture from Edna

Cousin Violet’s Fudge Recipe

Long ago, before collecting recipes from the Internet became de rigueur, we homemakers often traded handwritten recipes. My cousin made the most delicious fudge and I was intrigued and asked for the recipe. I had stopped making fudge because I could only manage success about once in five tries. My usual result was a soupy concoction that could only be eaten with a spoon. Cousin Vi’s recipe changed all of that. It is simple – no boiling, and I make it in the microwave oven, which we didn’t have in those long ago days of yore.

Cousin Vi is now 78 years old and her handwriting is still as beautiful. That is because she has the genes of an artist coursing through her veins, as her father was my Uncle Ben, of whom I have written much. I made the fudge seen above, molding it into large cookie cutters of Christmas shapes. I used Google’s free Picasa2 software to made the collage of photographs.

The Recipe As Written by Violet –


  • 18 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (such as 3 bags of chocolate chips)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (I toast them in the oven first.)

In a heavy saucepan over low heat melt the chips into the milk, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla, salt and nuts, and stir until smooth. Spread evenly into a waxed paper lined 8 or 9 inch pan. Chill for 2 hours, or until firm. Turn fudge onto a cutting surface, peel away the waxed paper and cut into even squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

*MICROWAVE METHOD: Heat chips and milk on high for 3 minutes, depending on the wattage of your oven. Stir until smooth, then follow the traditional recipe.

The image, My Christmas Fudge, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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My father’s sister had told me that her mother, my grandmother, Martha Smith of Cheltenham, Essex, England, had remembered a favorite exclamation of her mother to her father, which was; “Jimmie, Damn your Eyes!” I had never before heard this expression, until I came across it last night in the writings of G.K. Chesterton in “The Innocence of Father Brown.” I can but assume that my great grandfather, Jimmie Smith, must have been a most perceptive person.

DEAR FATHER BROWN,–Vicisti Galilee. Otherwise, damn your eyes, which are very penetrating ones. Can it be possible that there is something in all that stuff of yours after all?.

“Vicisti, Galilee” translates as “you have won, Galilean” – which was the supposed resignation from the last pagan Emperor of Rome that Christianity had won out as the state religion.

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Aunt Ivy

A Picture from Edna

I think of Aunt Ivy often these days, as she was my father’s baby sister and is the last living member of his generation. She is now 94 years old, and continues to keep her own home. She has attained a greater age than any one of her forebears.

Her family immigrated to the United States in 1915, when she was just a baby (picture), and the only relatives and family she ever knew were her own parents and four siblings. She graduated from high school about 1933 (picture), in Baltimore, Maryland, married and had two children, and worked as a legal secretary. She is now the ancestress of a clan of numerous descendants, including great great grandchildren.

The tiny babe in her arms, on her 94th birthday, shares the exact same name with her great grandmother. They are both named “Ivy”, as it was traditional in my grandfather’s family for girls to be named for flowers, and I suppose that he considered “Ivy” to be a flower. Her sister was “Myrtle”.

Aunt Ivy’s niece, “Violet” sent me this photograph, which I scanned. After “Violet” was born in 1929, the flower-naming tradition seems to have ended in our family. Perhaps with the new Baby Ivy, will come a resurgence of flower names for girls.

The image, Aunt Ivy and Baby Ivy, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives, for more of Edna’s writings.

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