Virginia Burton was my mother.
Her friends called her Ginny.
I remember her preparations for Christmas each year. She decorated the house as only an interior decorator could. My brother and I remember the year we had the aluminum foil tree spinning around in the living room with a revolving red, green, yellow and red light on it. I’m not certain if everyone had mother’s with an eye for the most up-to-date fashion trends, but mine certainly did. We hated the year of the aluminum foil tree!! We loved her peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge, though. On those two things, she never failed us.
My children enjoyed the tradition of her chocolate fudge. But there was one thing only she could make. That was the peanut butter fudge we all loved so much. She guarded that recipe with her life. When we moved her into a nursing home, I went through every cookbook in her house. No recipe! When I asked her where it was, she laughed and told me it was in her head and that she’d share it with me one day. In the meantime, I had to drive her to my house to make the peanut butter fudge. I was not allowed in the kitchen while she made it. I knew the ingredients, but I didn’t know the correct combinations.
She was in her 80’s when she finally agreed to give me the recipe. I was in my 60’s at the time and was losing hope I’d ever have an opportunity to carry on the tradition. In memory of Ginny Grimes, I now share the “secret” recipe with all of you.
Ginny Burton’s Peanut Butter Fudge
In a heavy pan, cook together to a softball (240 on a candy thermometer) Watch and stir constantly:
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk (I use 2%)
I have never been able to do it right testing the syrup in cold water like mom did. I fail without using a candy thermometer. I thoroughly dislike the thing, but once a year I drag it out of the cupboard to make the peanut butter fudge.
When the syrup reaches soft ball stage, stir in:
1 cup marshmallow cream
1 cup peanut butter
One tsp vanilla
The fudge will get hard quickly, so make sure you have prepared a buttered plate or 8″ square pan before you start.