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.
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.
http://www.food.com/recipe/hersheys-old-fashioned-rich-cocoa-fudge-4573 I have discovered why my dad’s fudge never did set. Look at the cooling time. Then you stir! : )
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