I learned to cook when I was very young. Like most kids, my first recipes were for sweets. My mom had the best recipe for brownies. It was easy to mix, only had six ingredients, and I remember that it seemed to come out great every time. In all this time, I have never found a better recipe for brownies, and I have tried lots of them.
For me, the holidays are a great time to practice baking. In the past, my kids and I would bake together – lots of sugar cookies, peanut butter fudge, and applesauce cakes. Since my kids are all grown now, I don’t have as many opportunities to bake sweets. This Christmas, I missed the baking but got my sweet fix at family gatherings and holiday parties. Thank goodness other people like to bake for the holidays, too.
One of my favorite holiday recipes is Fantasy Fudge. The recipe used to be on the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Cream jar. It only takes ten minutes to make, is always perfect, and you can adapt the original recipe for your favorite types of fudge. My personal favorite is peanut butter fudge, and I use crunchy peanut butter so I don’t need to add nuts.
Two months ago, the Center for Lifelong Learning started a Cookbook Club. During November and December, the group experimented with recipes for appetizers. This month we will be starting on soups and stews, and I will be contributing my favorite beef stew. Other members will be contributing Friendship Soup, Wedding Soup, Tortellini Soup, a couple of chili recipes and chowder. I am really looking forward to the meeting, which will be held Monday, January 5, from 12:00pm to 1:00pm at the CLL Training Room.
If you would like to join us, bring a sample of your favorite soup or stew, and the recipe card to the meeting. Membership is free, and the meeting is very informal. We are working our way through a meal, and will be compiling the recipes into a cookbook of our own at the end.
The club is a way to experiment with recipes, make your own adaptations, and show off your culinary skills. The group is friendly and welcoming. For more information, you can call me at 256-233-8262.
Our winter/spring catalog of classes will be coming out soon, and I hope you will join us for a class, trip, or event. Here’s that promised fudge recipe, and we’ll see you soon at the Center for Lifelong Living at Athens State University.
Peanut Butter Fudge
3 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup (5oz can) evaporated milk
½ cup peanut butter (or 12oz package chocolate chips)
1 (7oz) jar marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Butter a 9×13 pan. Mix butter, sugar, and milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter (or chocolate chips). Beat in marshmallow cream and vanilla. Transfer fudge to pan and let cool before cutting into squares.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262