Monthly Archives: December 2013

Goodbye, 2013.

“And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.” –  Counting Crows (A Long December)

This year has been very difficult for my family. We started the year off with an unannounced cut to Joe’s bonus – something that lasted for six months or so and was not ever fully restored. Money was beyond tight – we were losing money each month.

I had to have surgery to get a tooth pulled.

The boiler system for our building broke and it took several days for it to be repaired.

Our car got totaled in a wreck – thankfully, nobody was injured. But the car had to be replaced. Our other car was older anyway, but now we have a monthly car payment.

A month or so later, Kai’s mother died. Everything changed and additional unneeded stress was added from outside influences regarding her death.

We spent two months without any child support – money that was being used to pay bills. Likewise, we had to add Kai to Joe’s health insurance at about double what it cost to have him on his mother’s (that money had previously been counted as child support).

We took a trip to North Carolina for Kai’s aunt’s wedding – which was nice but was also somewhat stressful in the planning, and we all came home sick. Joe got bronchitis and I got pneumonia. Kai was coughing a lot and “goopy”. The power was out when we arrive home, so we had to kind of force our way into the building. In the middle of this, the elevator broke. Trekking up and down the stairs with bronchitis/pneumonia is a real “treat”. And we were sick for months. MONTHS.

Joe’s mother died.

Our apartment complex has been being remodeled – we lost our swimming pool, had to deal with inaccessible elevators for days on end, and the “noise pollution” was really difficult on Kai and me.

One of our cats started marking things – including the bed, every day, sometimes twice a day. We had to take him to be fixed. (That has, luckily, seemed to stop that behavior.) I’m glad it got done, but that was also a significant expense.

I feel beaten down, like this year was just out to screw us over.

But no matter. The wheel of time keeps on turning.

I have hope that next year will be better.

2014 approaches.

Eggnog Fudge!

The boy likes to help me cook. Especially when the end result is something sweet.

Helping me make eggnog fudge. December 18, 2013

And who WOULDN’T smile about eggnog fudge? It’s super delicious and tasty. But I do have to warn you… it’s very rich. Like Daddy Warbucks rich, but in candy. I can eat a LOT of sweets, but I could only have a piece and a half of this and not big ones, either!

We had to let this sit a day, to let the flavor develop. Otherwise, it tastes mainly like white chocolate, with a bit of eggnog. But man, oh, man. The flavor is WORTH IT.

Eggnog Fudge

Eggnog Fudge

Ingredients
2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup eggnog
1 12 ounce bag of white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
One 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon rum extract or vanilla extract – I used rum

Directions

  1. Measure everything out, even your extract and nutmeg, ahead of time. You’ll use lots of tiny cups this way but your fudge will be better for it.
  2. Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan (okay, mine is actually rectangular and a weird measurement – this measurement is more common) with foil and let it hang over the sides to make vague handles. Butter the foil. Butter it well or the foil will stick to the fudge!
  3. In a heavy, 3-quart saucepan combine sugar, butter, and eggnog. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir. Stir. Stir. Some recipes make you use a thermometer. I don’t think that’s necessary, as long as you keep it over medium to low heat, keep it boiling, and STIR.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, work quickly to stir in white chocolate chips and nutmeg until chocolate is melted and smooth. Once it is smooth, stir in the marshmallow creme and extract. Beat until well blended and then pour into your well-prepared pan. Let stand at room temperature until cooled and solidified. I recommend waiting 24 hours before eating to give the flavor time to develop.
  5. When completely cool, use the “handles” to pull the fudge out of the pan, and cut into squares. Store in a covered container, separated by layers of waxed paper if need be. I hear this freezes well. I wouldn’t know. Ours won’t last that long. But you can sure try it.
  6. Nom and enjoy.

I doubt I actually have to say this, but boiling sugar stuff is hot. Please do be careful.