SOLS 2013:2 The Bathroom Off the Kitchen


Ruth Ayres and I have worked together for several years and have shared countless books. I believe we were both surprised at the discovery that Roxaboxen was a book that we had not talked about even though for years it had been pulling on both of our heart strings. It was special for me because it was one of the first mentor texts that I had used in classrooms to teach how making connections support a reader in making deeper understandings that made you fall in love with a story. Again it became special for me when Ruth and I included it in our recent Writing Workshop trainings. The book inspired me to write intentionally about childhood places and memories. One of my writing goals this month is to write those stories and share them on this blog.  The following is the first one I have completed.             roxaboxen

Time:  1962 – 1967              

Place:  The House at 9401 Kerwood Drive

Room:  The small bathroom off the kitchen


Shelves full of choices. Usually I do a quick calculation in my head to find the most cost effective brand to save a few pennies on the grocery bill…but not for all items. Hershey’s Cocoa is a brand that evokes memories instead of mathematical calculations. Although I’m sure Hershey has changed the label on the tin, it looks to be the same or similar to the tin that my mother bought at the grocery fifty years ago.  The thought of saving a few cents doesn’t matter anymore…as a matter of fact even a dollar or two wouldn’t matter.

On the rare occasions that my father was home and he was in the mood for chocolate fudge…out would come the Hershey Cocoa tin. He would mix together sugar, cocoa, milk, vanilla and butter.  The scent of chocolate and the sound of the spoon stirring against the pan would fill the room.  After what seemed like an eternity my father would holler, “Quick, fill the sink with cold water!”  I would jump up from my favorite reading spot and run to the bathroom off of the kitchen.  Quickly I would turn on the cold-water spigot and fill the sink and step out of the way. Then my dad would run, while madly stirring the chocolate goo, from the stove to the sink. The never stopping stirring was to keep the fudge to turning to sugar when it cooled. The pan would be placed in the sink full of cold water.  He would wildly whip the creamy chocolate round and round in the pan.  At the point when I thought his arm would fall off he would pour the chocolate goo in a buttered pan.  And we would wait…and wait…and wait for the fudge to harden.  “Maybe I didn’t whip it hard enough,” he might mutter under his breath.  My brother and I would not dare make any comments. Not a word.  Eventually my dad would resign to the fact that again this batch of fudge was not going to set up. The chocolate goo would remain…well, goo.  It didn’t matter to us. We just reached into the silverware drawer for a spoon and ladled the Hershey fudge into a bowl. We would then spoon the chocolate sweetness into our mouths.

I reach for the Hershey Cocoa and place it in my shopping cart with a smile.  The memory is worth the price.                      I have discovered why my dad’s fudge never did set. Look at the cooling time. Then you stir! : )  hershey's cocoa

Dear Blog Stalking Husband,

I found a Hershey’s tin on ebay that has the cocoa recipe on the tin. I’m thinking about buying it. Just wanted you to know in case you see a mysterious charge on our statement. : )

Your 2013 March blogging wife

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10 Responses to SOLS 2013:2 The Bathroom Off the Kitchen

  1. Jaana says:

    I love this memory! You describe the details so effectively that I felt like I was in the room, smelling the fudge goo. You have also given me ideas for my own blog posts–childhood memories.

  2. kdoele says:

    I can almost smell the chocolate cooking in your piece. What a marvelous memory. I do think you need that can with the recipe. This is the type of story kids love to hear and it leaves them wanting more. I enjoy writing stories for my first graders about my best friend growing up and the things we did–just little things like climbing the cherry tree in her backyard. They can’t seem to hear enough of them.

  3. elsie says:

    Why did this have to happen in the bathroom sink and not in the kitchen sink? Unfortunately the link does not show the recipe. 😦 I love the way you told this memory. Your note to your husband cracked me up.

    • Deb says:

      I don’t know why! That’s a good question! Perhaps the sink was full of dishes but I don’t remember any dirty dishes ever…well, during holidays. It was always the bathroom sink! Thanks for the heads up for the link. I’ll see if I can fix that.

  4. Robin says:

    What a great memory! This was fun to read and easily illustrated in my head. Thanks for sharing – especially the note for your husband! Hilarious!

  5. Tam says:

    Nothing says it like chocolate. You’re fortunate to have such yummy memories of your dad. And then, the smile every time you buy Hershey’s Cocoa–priceless.

  6. Now I want to taste some chocolate fudge. At least my daughter and her friend are upstairs making fudgy chocolate chunk brownies. They will have to do.

  7. Yum! What a great memory–and for the record, I think you should definitely buy the tin!

  8. Ruth Ayres says:

    That book has become a rich source of inspiration for you. I think you could write a story every day for a month just from the memories ROXABOXEN stirs for you.

    I love the not to “Blog Stalking Husband.” I feel compelled to leave a comment for him.

    Dear Deb’s Blog Stalking Husband,
    Keep your eyes peeled for ebay charges so you won’t see the Amazon charges. 😉
    You-need-more-books-Deb! Friend

  9. Cindy Kaiser (Principal) says:

    I love to read your writing! I also was intrigued by the blog stalking husband…!

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