Do you ever feel the need, the deep, deep NEED to be poetic or intellectual or (dare I say it?) satisfying when you write? I do feel that need, but I try to push it to the side as often as possible. So, what I’m saying is, although I could astound y’all with my reamarkability, I’d rather just spew out some word vomit so you feel more at home — and like I’m accessible.
See? I’m here for you.
So. Mother’s Day. Coming right up. We’re having homemade wheat bread and honey butter and reading out loud to each other. That’s what passes for Big Wilhite Plans. (But the adults are going to Cheesecake Factory tomorrow, for Pre-Mother’s Day Festivities, and that’s plans if I ever had some.)
Speaking of Cheesecake Factory. There are times that I miss my mom. Things I wish she could have known. I know I tell you that a lot. And the last time I went to CF, I had one of those times. Because I had a tuna salad. My mom knew tuna salad as this:
You know. It’s canned tuna chunks, mixed with mayonnaise and dill pickles. Maybe red onions and celery if you’re in a dicing mood. You put it on bread. You eat it, and for a mayonnaise-based meal, it’s good. Even satisfying. At least it CAN be. But my mom never ate this:
That is the Cheesecake Factory’s Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki Salad with avocado and wasabi vinaigrette. With a pretty rosette of pickled ginger (mmmm). 441 calories, if you keep track of such things (which sometimes I do, and that’s the perfect number, since the slice of mango-lime cheesecake I’m going to eat for dessert has a
few whole lot more than that).
I wish I could have shared this with my mom. Not literally, you know. She’d have to order her own. Oh, come on. Just kidding. I’d share. But really? This is tuna salad nirvana, and I wish she could experience it.
*Theological/Existential Question: Is there seared Ahi tuna Tataki salad in heaven? And mango-lime cheesecake? If there’s not, I’ll find a way to be happy anyway, but I think there might be.
On a non-foodly topic, I have a deadline. Remember when I told you I was enjoying what I hoped was my last non-deadline writing project? It was. And now, with the excellent editorial advice of Agent Meredith, I am revising FIFTH GIFT for a soonish submission. And it’s going great. Do you want to know how much she likes my story? A lot. She has lovely and kind things to say about characters, language, world-building and such. It’s a fun story, on it’s way to awesome. And she’s helping me make it better: Want to know what she asked of me? Setting, that’s what. She wants my characters to wear clothing and live in buildings and have SCENERY outside their windows. And she’s absolutely right. But do you want to know what happened? When I started putting my characters in clothing and having them look out the windows in the buildings they live inside… they had to go out into the scenery. And new things are happening there, in the outside. Cool things. Things that will hopefully thicken up this story to the point of its becoming a BOOK. That someone will PUBLISH. And when that happens, I’ll be so sure to let you know. (Yesterday I added scenes that were awesome and met my 2000 word goal. I cheered. And made peanut butter fudge as a reward. See below.)
Peanut Butter Fudge. It’s a new happiness. I saw the recipe in my Hershey’s cookbook. My Grammy gave me this cookbook 18 years ago as a wedding present, which is exactly in line with my Grammy’s gift-giving mojo: Give the gift you’d like to receive. I’m not much of a chocolate dessert person. But know what? Husband is. And so this book has pages (like the one with the “deep dark chocolate cake” recipe) that are stiff with spills and smears of ingredients. Which, you know, is how to measure the success of any recipe. Pick the dirtiest card, the stiffest page, the one with unbookly colors and textures on it. Also pictures.
If you’re a candy purist, this isn’t even fudge. Know what? I don’t care. Because even if it isn’t fudge, it’s good. And BONUS… it’s easy. Also, there’s sweetened condensed milk. So, you know. Happiness.
Here it is.
Fake Peanut Butter Fudge
2 cups (12 ounces) Reeses’ Peanut Butter Chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk*
3 Tablespoons butter
Line a 9×13 pan with foil. Spray the foil with pan spray. Pour chips and milk into a saucepan. Melt over medium heat until it’s all smooth. Stir in the butter. Spread the loveliness into the prepared pan. THEN, there’s this:
2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk*
Rinse the peanut butter sauce pan. Dry it really well. Pour chocolate chips and milk into the saucepan. Melt over medium heat until it’s all smooth. Don’t forget to stir, and don’t turn it up too high, or you’ll get lumps. That would be sad. When it’s smooth, pour it over the peanut butter layer. Cool it in the fridge. Cut it into 1-inch squares (they’ll be cubes, really, and they’re lovely and striped). I know. Too easy to really be fudge. But so tasty. Tell me if you try it.We can make yummy sounds together.
There’s more, but we can save some of the random for another day, right? Happy Mothers’ Day, mamas out there. And those who have mothers, ever knew a mother, or have a Mother Heart. You, especially.