Our modern day Memorial Day stems from the actions of freed slaves who wanted to remember the Union Soldiers who fought for their freedom. A few years later it became a national holiday and has since become the day we remember fallen soldiers of any era. It is also the day we take flowers to the graves of any of our loved ones and remember the families who bore and/or raised us.
This Memorial Day weekend I have a different kind of memorial to share. It is one etched in granite. I learned of this monument from a Facebook post. I love the idea of having a time-honored and favorite family recipe on a gravestone. What a sweet way to remember a loved one!
Kay Andrews, the wife of a WWII pilot and grandmother of 30, is remembered for her loving kindness AND her fudge recipe. I made the recipe this weekend in memory of this woman who I never knew in person but came to know, along with her husband, through the recipe etched on her gravestone. Kay died at age 97 in 2019.
In order not to infringe on any copyright laws, you can read more about her by clicking here.
What a great way to remember someone in perpetuity! How many people will make this recipe over the years and decades to come out of curiosity about this woman who was famous for it? This is the heart and soul of Kneading to Remember. While the fudge is not actually a baked good, it has enough chocolate and sugar in it to qualify for a post on this Memorial Day weekend!
I find that fudge made with a confectioner’s or granulated sugar base (as opposed to marshmallow Fluff which I think is cheating) can be finicky and end up too hard or too soft or too grainy. I have a favorite fudge recipe I used to prepare for my grandfather, and while is was very tasty, I seldom hit the mark in terms of texture. This recipe hit the mark with setting up yet not being too hard to cut, but it still had a bit of the grainy texture. The taste is excellent, however, and I had no trouble eating my share before packing it up to take to relatives! The trick to graininess, I have learned, is in the way you stir or beat it (as Kay directs) as it is cooling. What I left to cool in the pan without beating was a perfect consistency, while what I cooled by beating was a tad grainy. I sometimes have to experiment when trying someone else’s recipes when that person is not around to help me.
Give it a try, and enjoy!
Jump to Recipe
Rough Date of Recipe: Unknown – Place of Origin: Utah
Prep time: 45 minutes- Baking time: n/a Servings: 40 pieces depending on size
- 2 squares (ounces) of baking chocolate
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pinch of salt
Melt chocolate and butter over medium heat. Add milk and bring to a boil. Add sugar, vanilla (I was always trained to add the vanilla after you take it off the heat so that is what I did when I made it), and salt. Heat to soft-ball stage (about 135F). This took about 15 minutes on medium heat. Stir to keep from sticking or burning to the bottom.
Pour onto marble surface (I used a 40 year old Corning ware counter saver) and beat. I interpreted this by using a metal spatula and moving the fudge around on it to cool it. This is where I was not sure exactly how to proceed so I “beat” is on the counter saver which cooled it quickly but then before it set up I poured it into a cake pan. I think I should have let is cool completely on the counter saver and then just cut it in pieces from there. The gravestone was certainly not large enough to add all those details so I improvised!