They heard the smack- it was a distinctive noise, the sound of someone shooting up and nailing the top of their head on the sharp edge of the kitchen cabinet door. Jack winced and waited. Sure enough…
Cooper came around the corner with his hand clasped to the top of his head, scowling. He glared at Jack and their son, who was sitting at the table with his afternoon snack. “What have I said about leaving the cabinet doors open?”
Jack bit his tongue because the sight of the big bang was turning purple. His son, however, piped up. “It wasn’t me! I’m too small to open the cabinets.”
Cooper narrowed his eyes. “Yeah, I know it wasn’t you, Sam.”
Sam was four and his feet kicked against the rungs of his chair. “You shouldn’t say fudge.” He licked the edge of his peanut butter toast.
Cooper had moved to the freezer for an ice pack and was muttering to himself. Jack sighed and continued flipping through the magazine on the counter. “What’s wrong with ‘fudge’?”
“He’s swearing. We’re not supposed to swear.”
“If certain people were considerate, I wouldn’t have to swear.”
Jack ignored him and frowned at Sam. “But ‘fudge’ isn’t a swear word.”
“But you use it like a swear word.” Sam licked his fingers. “If you use a word like ‘fudge’ as if it were a curse word, than you are transforming the meaning of the word from its original intentions and infusing it with the properties of the word you are originally substituting, which is fu-“
“What?” Their son blinked. He had Cooper’s eyes and was far too smart for his age- that was their punishment for selecting that lady astronaut’s eggs for their surrogate, Jack thought with a sigh. “I’m just trying to be logical. They’re just words. Why can you say fudge but I can’t say fu-“
My time in Chicago is drawing to a close. I should feel sad about this but I don’t. I never feel sad to leave a place (but I do feel sad to leave the people in it).
By this time next week, I’ll be in New York with my family, for who knows how long. And until Saturday, moving day, I’ll be eating. Here. And here. Oh, and here too. And baking with Nicole, a few last times before we take this mother mobile. And hugging my friends tightly. And force-feeding them fudge.
Alton Brown’s Simple Peanut Butter Fudge
via Food Network
8 ounces unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar
Combine all butters in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. (Mixture will be very hot indeed. Just like Mr. Brown. That’s right, I find him vaguely attractive. No, I will NOT apologize.)
Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. The mixture will become thick and difficult to stir.
Spread into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Bring to work where your coworkers will descend on the plate like a pack of hungry wolves. Or store it up to a week.