the little things: gramma's fudge sauce (emily gardner).

It’s here, it’s here – Tuesday has come around again! And today, I double-dog dare you NOT to lick the page after you read my mama-friend Emily’s account of her grandmother’s hot fudge. Because the way she captures the moment is that good. Enjoy, embrace, and be sure to show Emily some love at the end!

Photo cred: Flickr Creative Commons.
Photo cred: Flickr Creative Commons.

The dark, seething liquid was dangerously close to spilling over as the timer announced two and a half minutes had passed. I had used a yellow ceramic bowl, remembering her set of colored mixing bowls that were far too heavy to be practical, but pretty nonetheless. Dark specks clung to the sides, above the now-calm pool of chocolate. Unsure of how hot the bowl had gotten, I ventured to touch the rim lightly with my fingertips before committing my whole hand.

The microwave safety of my bowls was only the beginning of what I didn’t know. I couldn’t imagine this lumpy, brown soup turning into the hot fudge sauce. Despite having made this recipe time and time again, I was always worried it wouldn’t turn out right. Would those specks ever melt into something cohesive and fluid? Would that burnt chocolate smell make its way into the flavor? Would that runny mess transform into the thick, velvety sauce I remembered?

My worries are always appeased eventually and I remind myself why I come back to this recipe time and time again – because, what really could go wrong with milk, chocolate, butter, and sugar? A little heat and some vigorous beating works magic on those ordinary ingredients.

Delicious simplicity isn’t the only reason I flip to that particular recipe so often. I turn the pages of my recipe notebook looking for more than hot fudge sauce – I’m looking for my Gramma.

I always find her in the chocolate melting in the microwave, in the charred smell I worry so much about, in the constant whir of the mixer. One lick of the beater and I’m in high school, standing in her kitchen with a spoon and a Tupperware full of leftover sauce. She would normally be against such dessert impropriety, but she makes an exception for me as we chat about life. One look at the thickening chocolate and I’m sitting at her table after Christmas dinner, anxiously awaiting my slice of The Log – candy cane ice cream cake roll for the uninitiated – which wouldn’t be complete without a generous drizzle of fudge sauce. The sweetness is nothing compared to the sweetness of our gathered family.

The taste of it reminds me of my Gramma’s delight in the gustatory side of life. The smell of it reminds me of her home, warm with scents of fresh baked bread and gravy. Serving it reminds me of my Gramma’s old-fashioned sense of hospitality. Making it reminds me of her hands deftly guiding a rolling pin across rounds of pie crust.

She’s been gone for almost seven years but I still make her homemade hot fudge sauce to rewind time.

Maybe one day I will stop worrying about the results, but for now I stop only to savor the memories a bowl of seething chocolate can evoke.

headshotEmily is a Southern California native starting a new adventure in Northern Idaho with her youth pastor husband, Tim. They became a family of three in January. She loves partnering with Tim in ministry and spends her free time snuggling with her son, baking, reading, and crafting. You can find her blogging about marriage, motherhood, and ministry on her website (where you can find the actual recipe, today!), on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.  Is your heart endeared to Emily’s words today, or what?!  Show our new friend some love by leaving a comment below!  



7 thoughts on “the little things: gramma's fudge sauce (emily gardner).

  1. I make my grandfather’s brownies because they are delicious… and because they remind me of him and all the many Danish treats he baked. Food is one of those great memory triggers like music.

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