We worked together for about eight years and in that time we shared many laughs, corn relish from his wife Ruth, pickled beets from my pantry and Walter's fudge. He makes the best fudge! From time to time, he would come in with a batch to share. One Christmas, he gave me a tin full and included the recipe. Ever since then it has made my Christmas baking every year. It has become a favourite, expected treat to those that I give my Christmas baking to.
He has lots of friends in the business who he would meet for lunch on occasion. Gail was a favourite lunch date of his as they always went for fish and chips at Duckworth's. It was during one of these dates that he told her about my blog, unbeknownst to me. Later that afternoon, Gail called me to say how much she enjoyed reading it. We had a nice chat for about twenty minutes, talking about all things food. It would seem that we are kindred spirits! We eventually met a few weeks later at Walter's retirement party. Our husbands commiserated about life married to foodies while Gail and I compared notes about cookbooks, recipes and our favourite places to shop. It was a real treat to speak to somebody who completely understands the need to have four different salts in one's pantry. Most of my family and friends don't understand that at all. They just think I am odd. I prefer quirky.
Imagine my surprise when the following week Gail dropped by my office with an old cookbook of hers that she wanted to share with me. It was completely unexpected and made my day.
Walter's Maple Fudge
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp maple extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Butter sides of heavy 2 quart saucepan. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, whipping cream, evaporated milk, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil.
Boil rapidly over medium heat, stirring to soft ball stage, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, add 2 tbsp butter. Do not stir. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add one tsp maple extract and beat with electric mixer on low speed until butter and extract mixed in. Turn mixer to high and beat until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat or fudge will become dry and crumbly. Butter 9 x 9 square pan. Press fudge into prepared pan and smooth until evenly spread. Allow to cool then cut into small squares. Enjoy!